What the Kingdom is really like – I’ve been fascinated this week to learn how the Kingdom grows. It’s a lot easier than we usually think.
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain — first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” Mark 4:26-29 NIV
Here’s the goal. “Seed” can be sown spiritually and the crop is a mature disciple. The parable of the sower is an example. “Seed” also refers to money or literal crops in the natural. People that know how to multiply money and disciples have learned how to do it easily, “all by itself.” Let’s consider both:
Finances – People with wealth do work hard but their focus isn’t on the sweat, it’s on the smarts (the wisdom of Proverbs). Wealthy people have learned to let money work for them. Ever heard of “passive income?” It’s the best kind – shows up night and day with no effort on your part except to set it up in the beginning. I want to suggest that is “spiritual wisdom” and it reflects an aspect of Kingdom reality – “night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the see sprouts and grows.” We don’t set out every day to re-earn our salvation. We set it up once at the cross and then start doing what the father’s doing. It’s not work; it’s a joy to “flow” with the leading of the Holy Spirit and our heart’s desire.
Even the key to engineering principles is to leverage nature to extract something for free. We build a dam and make electricity from the water that gives us energy from gravity – for free. We plant crops that grow naturally from the sun and water. Every good idea grows the Kingdom in an automated, natural way. That “natural growth” is true in engineering, finances and our spiritual relationship with the Lord. If you can grasp it your creativity and productivity will change dramatically.
Making disciples – I want to suggest that making disciples is much easier than we’ve believed in the past. Our “good news” message to new believers is sprinkled with terms like surrender, die, repent, turn, submit, and obey. Although there are powerful truths in each of those terms they must be balanced by the resurrection portion of the gospel.
You see sin is what makes life difficult. Cain is a great example:
Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” Gen 4:11-12 NIV
When we get saved a spiritual door is opened to enter the Kingdom and the concept of multiplication starts can work for us too. What if our message to new disciples was that the consequence of their salvation was freedom, healing, abundant life, creativity, wealth, and generosity? What if we taught them they could arrange their lives by faith to receive these things passively (by grace)?
Here’s what I think would happen. I think disciples would start making themselves. I think missions would go “viral.” I think it would happen day and night and we wouldn’t even understand all the reasons why these new disciples decided to start multiplying themselves without a lot of effort on our part. We just need to learn how to scatter the right seed!
Sowing the Right Seed – “Seed” can be God’s word or money. Seed can also be our lives. In a very real sense we are seeds sown by God into the world to produce a harvest. So how do we get the seed of our example to be something others will want to emulate? Our life has to “multiply” through this planting process.
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:24
We usually read John 12:24 as a death sentence for our heart’s desires… our very life. We usually hear it as an admonition to give up everything. We expect things to go wrong in our life and then we read this verse and conclude that God is also trying to destroy us!
Let’s put a different spin on it. Jesus did die over the course of a few hours. Since then the Kingdom has been multiplying and he’s been sitting at the right hand of the Father (having a great time). This verse really speaks to the set-up required to have abundant life. Our old ways of poverty and hard work may have to die before we can “produce many seeds” and learn to multiply finances and disciples. If my life isn’t multiplying and I’m stuck, what has to “change / die” to reach abundant life and “rest” while I’m doing it?
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. Heb 4:10-11 KJV
It looks like this – God is multiplying the finances of His people because we looked for passive income and found the creative ideas that led us to “sow” inventions, investments, and business opportunities and ministries that multiply. People are drawn toward us because of the blessing they see operating. It’s not work; it’s an adventure. Our focus is less on ourselves and more on helping others find abundance. We tell others, “this is what the Kingdom is like, “we scatter seed; it grows day and night and we don’t know exactly how it works. We just know the soil produces, and we harvest… and we know it’s a lot of fun!”
Example – We received email this week from Jan Davies in New Zealand. While I’m sleeping, the soil in New Zealand is producing Kings. Pretty cool – the disciples are discipling themselves. I didn’t do a thing after scattering the seed. Sounds like a great vacation spot. Sue is wishing for a tour in New Zealand now! The pictures are the web are beautiful. You can see a picture of Mike and Jan at http://www.zealandier.co.nz/tours.php
John – We recently purchased your book – Releasing Kings and your teaching PDF workbook, and have just begun session 1. It has taken a few lessons to lay the foundations. We are excited and passionate about this type of teaching as we see that our business and Releasing Kings are like a hand and a glove, not only can we teach it, we are living it. Bit scary at times I must confess. I’ve checked out all the notes which go with the DVD’s. I had already read some of the notes but was not aware they went with the DVD’s. This info is REALLY GREAT. You have done so much work on this. It excites us no end. Our difficulty is to keep the balance with teaching and promoting our business.
Mike is my business partner and he has spent time with John & Paula Sanford while they visited NZ to run a series of seminars some years back and actually escorted them around the area. Mike has a great respect for John’s teaching and was delighted to read his comments in the foreword to your book.
Our cell group consists of up to 20 people, coming from 2 distinctly different churches. We belong to a Baptist church and some come from that church, (several of the church elders,) and then we also affiliate to Mosaic – much younger congregation, but very much alive and happening. Mike’s son is the pastor of this church. Along with this we have people attend who do not attend any church, for various reasons (not for us to judge) and after each lesson, I recap the lesson and email it out to quite a large number of people who have requested these. We have no idea how far a field these lessons go. But they are much appreciated. There are many times we want to give this part up as our lives are so busy, but God says no.
Now I will brief you on our business. This is relatively new. We’re in our 2nd year now, and Christian / Religious travel for New Zealanders in New Zealand is a completely new concept. It happens in other parts of the world, so we decided it can happen here also. My business partner and I had considered this for some time and prayed about it in some length, before taking the risk to step out. During the process of research and set up I discovered your writings on the web and it felt so right. We felt it was for us. We run a cell group and my business partner is the teacher. He has pastoring experience and Christian counseling background, along with business. He too was a mechanical engineer for a fairly large company. It was in this heavy vehicle industry where we begun our working relationship.
We believe the two (business and ministry) go hand in glove. We are excited and passionate about putting the two together, and I can assure you this is not an easy ride or walk.
New Zealand’s scenery is truly amazing and as we travel about the country, you see so much of Gods creation in a very short space of time and travel, unlike longer travel distances in USA. Additional info is on our web site. I will send you a promo pack which includes 2 X DVD’s of New Zealand as a tourist destination, along with a Zealandier Tours DVD.
Jan Davies, Director Zealandier NZ Ltd, firstname.lastname@example.org
Box 4527 Mt Maunganui, New Zealand www.zealandier.co.nz
Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.