马太福音 13:31-32 他又设个比喻对他们说：“天国好像一粒芥菜种，有人拿去种在田里。 这原是百种里最小的，等到长起来，却比各样的菜都大，且成了树，天上的飞鸟来宿在它的枝上。”
Matthew 13:31-32: He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”
Jesus gives us a simple truth about the kingdom of God. When you plant the gospel, it grows. It may take time, but it grows. I think we should be planting churches in as many places as we possibly can, because wherever the gospel is preached, God’s kingdom grows.
That doesn’t mean that we should plant those churches carelessly. If you plant a church in the middle of nowhere, where there are no people, you cannot expect it to grow. Plant the churches where the people are. Plant them in places where people will notice them. Plant them where the gospel will reach as many people as possible.
And what about those churches that aren’t growing? We planted many churches in thriving rural communities, churches which grew and where hundreds of people worshipped. Now people have left the rural areas and have moved to the cities. Some of those congregations have dwindled to the point where they can no longer support a pastor.
What of that? My former associate used to remind me that we have to count the statistics for God’s kingdom a little differently. All those people who died and went to heaven are no longer counted on our church’s roster. But they are counted on God’s. God’s kingdom will never shrink in size because God can count all those saints who are in heaven with him as well. Our purpose here is to bring the gospel to as many places and people as we possibly can.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, remind me of my purpose in this world – to proclaim the gospel to as many people as I possibly can. I also pray that you would send forth workers into the harvest field, because the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few. I ask this in your name. Amen.