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07 Apr 2019

The Stories Of Kingdom Growth [Matthew 13:31-33]
  • Topic: CHRISTIAN LIVING, CHURCH AND MINISTRY, KINGDOM OF GOD, KNOWING GOD'S WILL, Parables, SERVICE

Overview

"Dream Big, Start Small, Build Deep. " These are words you may have heard before.  Jesus taught in the Parables of the Mustard Seed and of the Leaven that God's Kingdom grows in a stunning, silent and significant way.  "Dream Big, Start Small, Build Deep" are wise practices that flow from principles Jesus taught in these two parables.  Let us then encouraged that serving God is never in vain. We are on the winning side! Jesus will build His church. Let us not be afraid to start small, and be pressured to immediately produce spectacular or dramatic achievements. Let us also patiently go deep into the lives of people we serve. One day, we will all see that mustard seed ministries will blossom into glorious praise to God. To find out more, check out the sermon here.


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Sermon Transcript

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We continue as a church in our study through the books of the Bible, Matthew chapter, 13 if you have the Bible with you and we will be looking at the secrets of the kingdom.

Let me start with a story of two very ordinary men in the United States. Their names are Mike, Mike and Kevin and they were very ordinary men who decided to create a mobile app and this app allows people to put up photos and videos and it became very popular. Within two years, hundred million people downloaded that app and within four years, 300 million people downloaded that app, and after 5 1/2 years Facebook bought the app from them for one billion dollars, that's the story of Instagram, a story of phenomenal growth and something about things that grow, things that are successful, that appeals to us we are fascinated with stories of growth.

Do you know that the Bible tells us stories of growth as well. Well, in fact Jesus in Matthew 13, He teaches us some parables of kingdom growth. Parables are comparisons, they are earthly stories that tell us amazing things about heavenly truths. So we're looking today at the growth of God's kingdom, the expansion of the work of God in people's lives. So these parables take very ordinary things on earth and teach us spiritual lessons on how God work advances, how His Kingdom will to grow, is to grow. So we are going to look at parables of the mustard seed and of leaven.

Now when I was growing up I was not very familiar with mustard or mustard seed. I grew up in a Chinese family and we are not very familiar with mustard sauce. We are more familiar with soya sauce and oyster sauce and sesame oil and stuff like that. So mustard is not very familiar, I don't take a lot of that. Mustard sauce is made from mustard seeds and I think today you will see a lot more in our shelves in supermarkets.

My first contact with mustard sauce was really with hot dogs, you have a classic combination of hot dogs with mustard sauce and ketchup that's what is very well, it's well known for. Then, later on, I realized that mustard sauce goes very well also with steaks and it's quite a eee, you say, but actually this is quite good. It works well and then later on I realized that this predominantly western sauce goes very well with something very Asian, mustard sauce goes well with soya sauce, that would be terrible. Mustard sauce goes well with watermelon, hopeless you guys mustard sauce goes well with yusheng, wah, alright, alright, mustard sauce goes really well with sio bak. You really should try it if you have not alright go buy some sio bak, put it with good mustard sauce, it is a great combination. So, ever since then, I appreciate a lot more about mustard sauce.

Jesus some 2000 years ago gave a story that teaches about kingdom growth using the humble mustard seed. He says that the kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed it is in his field. It is a seed that is to be planted and it is the smallest of all seeds. Now, let's be precise here. Jesus says that the mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, some of you may immediately say, I protest, Jesus is wrong, mustard seed is not the smallest of all seeds I can find any other seeds that are smaller than the mustard seed and I think you are right. The smallest seed today, is said to be from the orchid plant in the tropics, the orchid, it is the smallest seed, it's almost dust, like it's so tiny.

But you see, Jesus is not talking about I think all seeds in the world but He's talking about all seeds that the middle eastern man in his time is familiar with, with regards to sowing and planting for crops it's the smallest garden herbs seed that you would sow, I think that's what he's saying.

So this mustard seed imagery has become a proverb to refer to something very small. Jesus later on would say if your faith is the size of a mustard seed, it's talking about if you just had a little faith that would be enough. So, how small is the mustard seed. Well, it looks something like this, tiny little grains that you may not very you may see very clearly at all with the naked eye. And so this, the picture here is that a man takes a small little mustard seed, and he sowed it in his field and when it has grown, this mustard plant will be larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, a shrub, a tall bush so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches. How tall, how big can a mustard tree become? It is said to be able to grow to about four meters tall and that is about 2.5 times my height or two times some of you but it's a tall structure and it's an amazing story of how something so tiny can result in something quite big isn't it.

That's story number one, story number two Jesus gave in Matthew 13 is that of leaven. He told them another parable, another comparison, the kingdom of heaven is like leaven. What is leaven many men here would struggle, you're not familiar with leaven because you, you don't cook, you don't bake but maybe the ladies here you will be more familiar, leaven is in our day and age, pretty much, we equate that to yeast. Actually leaven is a kind of a substance usually yeast, which is a single celled organism that is used to cause dough to rise.

When you make bread, you use dough, flour and so on, but when you have dough that is without leaven, what happens is when you bake it, the, the bread because very dense and maybe hard and not so palatable. So people insert or fold into the dough, yeast. What it does is that the yeast causes the dough to rise, how does that work? Well, today if you buy yeast, it might come in the form of flakes or it can come in the form of powder, generally and, and you mix the yeast, the leaven into warm water with sugar and then you fold it into the dough and what happens is that you then let it rest for a day for a few hours and that yeast inside will work on the sugars and the dough and produce, produce air that's right, that's right, produce, produce, air or carbon dioxide, the whole dough will be infiltrated with this yeast the whole dough would be aerated and so the dough rises and it becomes spongy, soft, delicious, so that's how leaven works. And Jesus says, the kingdom of heaven is like this leaven, this yeast that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour.

How much is three measures of flour. By the way, it's interesting that when you look at the Bible usage of three measures of flour, it seems to be a very common Jewish recipe you would, for those who are familiar in Genesis 18 Sarah would take flour to knead into cakes of bread to feed the angels who came, Genesis 18. She used three measures of flour, and then when you read about Samson ah, not Samson, Gideon in Judges 6, he would also use three measures of flour now we see again three measures of flour, seems to be common Jewish recipe, and three measures of flour is approximately 40 litres that's a lot of flour, a lot of bags of flour right and the 40 litres, maybe it's hard for us to conceptualize you know the 1.5 litres coke bottles, soft drinks have about 27 bottles of that, that amount of flour you have. So the point here is very simple you take a little leaven, in those days, your, your whole dough that has been leavened. You would pull out a little blob of it, just a small lump and then the remaining dough will be baked as bread but that small lump would be kept so that next time you have another dough, you just fold this lump into that new lump and the whole dough will be leaven again.

So the idea here is, you just take a little lump, you put it into three measures, a lot of flour and the whole dough will be leavened. It speaks of amazing spread, amazing growth. If the first parables speaks about the expansiveness of growth, that growth is extensive, this speaks of intensive growth, it's growth, it spreads everywhere within the dough. Now, can I have five minutes of technical, technical points, alright. If you are sleepy fall asleep here, I'll wake you up after five minutes alright, but something technical.

There are preachers today who say that this parable should not be understood as kingdom growth as in the spread of God's work. Instead, this parable should be understood as growth of sin and of false teaching and of corruption, the bad stuff. In other words, it's not talking about good things, God's work growing, but bad work, Satan's work growing and the, and you and I could understand very well why some preachers would say that because many times in the Bible when leaven is mentioned, it is usually associated with something bad. Example Luke 12, verse 1, Jesus says, be careful of the leaven of hypocrisy of the Pharisees, Luke 12:1. So He's saying that the hypocritical thinking and practices of the Pharisees is like leaven, hypocrisy is bad or for example number two first Corinthians chapter 5 and verse six there in the passage it is said that a man committed incest with his mom probably step mom that's a heinous sin that even non-Christians don't do, it was in the church and so Paul says that is bad and you need to purge out the leaven.

So again, leaven is used for something really bad, terrible sin or, you may recall, Galatians 5:9 and in that passage it is talking about how false teaching is like leaven, you got to throw it out. In those days in Galatia, there are people who teach that you cannot be saved unless you are circumcised like a Jew, it's legalism, it's trying to earn God's favor with self righteous ceremony and acts. So in all these instances I've shared, the Bible usually associates leaven with these bad stuff, right, hypocrisy, sin, false teaching. So that's why many people think, some people think this is a parable about the spread of bad stuff but this is the problem, not every time, leaven is mentioned, is it always equated to bad stuff. Take for example, Leviticus 23:17, God commanded Israel to offer sacrifices, but in particular in Leviticus 23:17 God commands Israel to offer leavened bread. Now, God wouldn't command people to offer to him things that represent sin. It is true that God does command Israel to offer unleavened bread but He also, wants people to offer sacrifices like leavened bread.

So this is how we should look at this leaven in and of itself it's quite neutral. It is not always associated with sinful, corruption or false teaching, but the characteristic of leaven is that it is able to spread, it permeates, it goes everywhere, that's why Jesus says, be careful of the leaven of hypocrisy because hypocrisy can spread, that's why Paul says put out the leaven of sin because sin can spread that what Paul says in Galatians 5:9, be careful of the leaven of legalism because false teaching can spread. So leaven in and of itself is not negative, but let me give another example. Think about lion and when you think about lion in the Bible, you may think about first Peter chapter 5 that says Satan is like a roaring lion, aiyoh, lion is evil, so next time I go to the Singapore zoo, so I take a rock and throw lion, no we don't do that why because equally in the Bible it is said that Jesus is the lion of Judah, both lion, one very bad, one very good.

So I think the proper way to understand this parable and which is the position taken by most preachers, is that this is not really about the spread of corruption although if you want to take it that way you may but I think it is best seen together with the parable of the mustard seed to describe kingdom growth, about how God's work is able to spread, grow extensively like the mustard seed or intensively like leaven. I've explained to you the parables, but let me then move on to the principles it's important to extract principles for our consideration.

So three simple principles for you to think about, number one, these two parables teach me that God's work, the advancement of God's kingdom is stunning kingdom growth is stunning, it is phenomenal, it is exponential, it is simply amazing. It's very clear that's the point of Jesus when He referred to the mustard seed becoming a huge tree. It is very simple to understand when he talks about a little lump that permeates the whole lump and leavens the whole lump kingdom growth is stunning. You would not expect that kind of a growth, if you remember how it, how did the New Testament church start, started very small started 2000 years ago in the upper room in Jerusalem amongst 12 very ordinary men. They were not scholars, they were not famous people, they were not rich or powerful, they were a bunch of nobodies. They were ignorant, they were uneducated. They were fishermen, a lot of them, and they were scared and frightened. They were uncertain about their future and yet the New Testament church started with this mustard seed.

Fast forward 2000 years to what we are today it is amazing. When I talk about church here, I'm not just talking about the local church but the universal church. Yes, there are many false churches around, there may be people who may not be really Christians who gather in church but by and large, if you think about it, I'm sure all of us would acknowledge it is a long way. It has grown a lot since its beginning 2000 years ago and if we think the church today is spectacular we have not seen anything close to what it will be yet, because in Revelation 11:15 it is said that the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. I remember the story in Daniel there's a dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had.

Nebuchadnezzar dreamt of a statute and God subsequently revealed that the statue reveals or represents all the kingdoms of man. But then there will be a rock that seemingly comes out of nowhere and smashes these statue into smithereens, almost saying that the kingdom of God in that rock would smash away all human kingdoms and that rock will become a mountain and the mountain will fill the whole earth, what is this dream that Nebuchadnezzar had it's God saying God's kingdom will grow in a stunning manner that will fill the whole earth and that's what I read when I read my Bible recently in the book of Psalms I, I get his motif, this idea over and over again God will reign over all and it all began with a tiny group of people two thousand years ago. They probably must be thinking what you mean we are to be your ambassadors or servants, you mean we are to spread the Gospel to all the ends of the earth who are we, we are too small and that would be where the parable of the mustard seed comes in, that's exactly the point guys start small you'll be really tiny, but the growth will be stunning you will become a mustard tree.

Maybe it's hard for you to connect because it's 2000 years ago, but think about how this local church started some 31 years ago, when Pastor Paul together with some what, 19, 20 people gathered for their very first service, very small start. I don't think he would have imagined or understood what God would do, through a simple small group like this in 30 years time, I don't think it would have crossed his mind I know you all not listening to me now, looking at who, who, who but that's how it is, God's work, God's kingdom, the Spirit's work advances in a stunning way, and we can rejoice in.

Now, I, I did mention that the two parables tells me about extensive growth and also intensive growth and I want to say that God's work in a single man's life can also be very spectacular, very stunning, how a man can be absolutely turned around that's stunning.

I always like this verse, first Corinthians 6, I read this several times in this church I do recall, I hope to send this point again across to you, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God, people who are habitually, continuously unrepentantly committing these sins making it a practice of their life, they are not the people of God, they will not inherit the kingdom of God and then we say hah, thank God I'm not like this, thank God, this church is not like this.

Are you serious, you are not very different, the church at Corinth struggled with these sins, I don't think we are immune to these sins. But here is the amazing thing about what Paul said. He says, and such were some of you. In other words, the Corinthian church is not made up of perfect people who always behave right, it is made up of very sinful people who has now been changed and turned around, why by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, by the power of God's saving message that Christ came to die and to save us from our sins, you were like this but the work of God in your life through the Spirit, through the Gospel is that you are washed, you're sanctified, you're justified, that is now very much in the past, radical turning around.

Apostle Paul persecutes the church and then he becomes the servant of the church. The Bible talks about how grabbers, thieves become givers to give of their lives for the cause of Jesus Christ, the kingdom growth is simply stunning. It's always a joy to hear of God's work in individuals lives because I see the little leaven of God's Spirit, God's Word, the Gospel beginning to leaven your whole lump, turns your life around.

Second thing I see in these two parables is that kingdom growth is not only stunning kingdom growth, a lot of times is silent, quite unassuming it's there, it's spreading, it's working, it's growing. It is not showy, it is not always dramatic, it is not always seeking to impress, it's powerful it's real, but it's quiet and unassuming. Interesting passage here in Luke 17 the kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed. You see, people were asking Jesus, hey, what's up, I thought that when the Messiah comes, He will come with angels and power and pomp and glory.

Jesus says, hey wait a minute, the kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, it's not coming in pomp and splendor and glory in His first coming so He comes as a meek, humble carpenter's son and the work of God in people's life is not this outward manifestation because nor will they say, look, here it is or there it's not so easily seen on the outside. Why, because, behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you it's in the human heart. It's real, it's powerful, but it's quite the kingdom of God advances, sometimes, often times in a quiet, silent way. You see, when we don't understand this, we fail to see God working in people's lives.

We like to see spectacular results. We like to see dramatic things, we like to see someone who is a like apostle Paul, wah, hater of God then suddenly become changed overnight, we love to hear stories like this and bye-bye there are stories like that but do you realize that if you think every time God works has to be like that you may really be missing out on how God is working in many more lives. You see, that, that comes into reality when we share the Gospel. We think that when we share the Gospel, it's one hit wonder, I share with you today, I will see that you cry and you repent and believe Jesus and if he or she doesn't cry, I think I failed.

Now, not everybody cry so fast, as not everybody reacts so fast because God doesn't always work in your own time or in the way in the timing I like but when you share the Gospel and the face is still like that, emotionless but you say, next, next week when to meet, I meet you lah he, he look bei song, but he still wants to meet what do you say, hey, not spectacular, not impressive, I don't, I don't think it's worth, not you say, alright, let's meet next week let's meet for another month let's meet for another three months, I don't see any spectacular results, but it's okay because a lot of times kingdom growth is be patient when you share God's Word.

It's the same for discipling we expect people to become apostle Paul overnight, not realistic. Be patient to disciple someone, it's quiet, maybe for two years, three years, this guy look like cannot make it, lazy, not doing anything, not really passionate. Well, if he is faithful, available, he's teachable, then spend your time with him and wait till one day you wake up and say, wah, got three already ah wow, I didn't realize that and let me say this for yourself.

Perhaps you are very disappointed with yourself because you're not growing well, there's no real spectacular differences in your life don't give up, there's sometimes God may be working in you, but just not so obvious yet, don't be enamored by spectacular things alone. The world is very fascinated with spectacular results, dramatic results, wah, weight loss, the advertisement or spectacular lose weight, they show you the things but the kingdom of God often quiet unassuming.

But maybe, let me move on to the third point, third principle and I think it is this, kingdom growth is not only stunning and silent, kingdom growth is significant. What I mean by that, is that kingdom growth brings blessings benefits to those around. Jesus talks about this, He says with a mustard tree is grown, then the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches. It becomes a blessing to the birds, it becomes a blessing to those around and kingdom growth is beneficial it's significant, God's people, the church of Jesus Christ blesses community around, and it's the same illustration for the leaven, you know leaven so useful because when you look at a piece of bread like this, you fear that it's very cha cha right, kock, kock, kock, kock, kock, wah, how to bite ah, so hard but when you cut into it and you see all these bubbles you know something has been at work, what leaven, next time you eat bread, please think about this sermon, wah, got holes, wah, got leaven, how what and maybe next time if you eat bread spread some mustard, remember these parables alright.

So leaven brings blessings and benefits and the Bible tells us that God's people brings blessings to those around. One example 1st Corinthians chapter 7 for the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, the unbelieving wife is made holy because of husband, otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. Now what is this saying, this is not saying that if my wife is a Christian, I automatically become Christian, no the Gospel does not transmit via blood or diffusion or osmosis. It does mean, however, that when my wife is a Christian, I will be positively impacted by her. I may see her godly life and I am encouraged to seek God. I'm encouraged by her godly thinking and decisions and our family does better because of good righteous decisions. So there is an impact, there is blessing to those around.

If you are a child of God I believe you would be a blessing in your home, in your class, in your office, in Singapore, in Punggol. This church, one of the great determinants or markers is are we a blessing in Punggol because if this is God's work. Yes, we may start small but we will become a tree and we will be a blessing to those around us. So kingdom growth is significant.

I share with you the parables, extracted the principles. Finally I want to come down to the practices of kingdom growth. This should change the way we serve, this should change the way we think, this should change the way we minister, this should change the way we live. God has given us a God-given vision on how kingdom growth is and I hope these few lines would be important considerations as you think about serving God and pursuing Christ.

Number one, I think when I understand these parables it teaches me to dream. Now, when I think about dreaming big, I'm not saying dream about big house, big BMW or big bank account, no, no please note this is not at all what the Bible teaches. But when I think about dreaming big it means we believe that the church of Jesus Christ is unstoppable, that men and women all over the world can be saved and will be saved. I'm not saying every single one but I'm saying, many more people will be saved, the church is unstoppable.

We were so inundated with problems that confront the church, things like persecution, opposition, false teaching and sometimes we get so depressed, almost like the church is being extinguished by the devil hey but remember Jesus said on this rock I will build My church. It's Christ, and it's the Lord who adds to the church daily such as should be saved. We are serving on the winning side, we really am, we really are. You and I, we are serving on the winning side and we can dream big we must not be overly discouraged by the oppositions around us but to trust that God is still doing his work, the kingdom advances.

And I want you to dream big about your own personal life. Again, I'm not saying dream big to be a CEO or to be a successful businessman. No, I'm saying dream big with regards to your likeness to Jesus don't settle with your sins, don't say to yourself, I can only be like this, I can never be so holy, I can never be so godly, I can never forgive this person, I can never break free from pornography. I can never free myself from the lust of this world. No, I think we can dream big, we can trust that Christ in us is sufficient, His grace is sufficient and I pray that I'll be more and more and more like Jesus, so number one dream big.

Number two, this statement we have said this many times in our church, is to start small. Yes we dream big but we are not afraid to start small. We want to have a mustard tree, but we are not afraid to start with a mustard seed. We want the whole lump to be leavened but we are not afraid to start with a small lump this kuching kurak little start, let's do it, start small. We live in a day and age where we want spectacular start, we, we want people to be impressed we want to start with a big bang. But often times it falls flat in the church, why, because God's ways are not man's ways.

We need to follow Jesus, Jesus was not afraid of starting small, He started very small you what is Jesus thinking about when He was on earth, amongst many things, He's thinking about something really, what's He thinking about, world wide evangelism, He's thinking about people at the uttermost parts of the world unto the end of the age coming to salvation through the Gospel, that's what He's thinking about oops, sorry, what happened aah, He's really thinking about big stuff. But what did Jesus do to arrive at the big stuff. He started with a few good 12.

One book that has been really helpful in my life in ministry philosophy, not just for knowledge, but really actually living it out and practicing it must be the book Master plan of evangelism written by this old guy, good guy Robert Coleman he said what's the master plan of evangelism is it some ABC steps, 123, some formulas, some script that you memorize so that you can share the Gospel oh no, the master plan of evangelism if I may summarize it in a few words is simply a few good men. What is Jesus' genius strategy for worldwide evangelism, go to many Gospel rallies a few good men.

He poured his life into a few good, men, that's it that's his strategy you mean, a few good men will result in worldwide evangelism, yes. That's what we are seeing today, Jesus was not afraid of starting few, some of you say pastor I want to follow Jesus but you know I'm getting old I have not much time I can't do this right, I need to do something bigger, let me tell you, Jesus had only three years, but that was what He invested himself to do. The closer He got to the cross, the more time He poured into his few good men. What kind of a ministry do you want, one that looks good and falls flat or one that is in obscurity and silence, but following the footsteps of Jesus, has longevity and exponential growth. I, I think I know who I want to follow.

So today you say I want to serve God, I want to play a part in the kingdom of God I'm praying that God would use me, let me advise you, let me suggest to you, you may be thinking, I can't be like the preacher standing on the pulpit I can't be evangelist going around the world, but I tell you, you can dream big and start small.

You can start with one man, two ladies, three kids in the Sunday school you can start with a few young youths, adults and you say, I'm going to give my life to them I'm going to, I'm going to study the word myself, I, I'm going to grow myself and I'm going to give all that I know, I can to these few lives. I'm going to believe God that when I start small and really poor into them it will result in something big in God's timing. I just want to follow Jesus, doesn't matter if no one knows, but I'm following Him.

Let me say this, if you are willing to do that, you will change, the lives around you will change and countless lives in generations to come will change, why you sowed that mustard seed many years ago, you put that lump into this dough and the whole lump or whole dough will be leavened. Dream big, but be secure enough to start small and I pray that we will be a church that does not just talk about this, as if it's a mantra I know, but we will actually live it, do it, believe God for it. You already know my third line right, dream big, start small, build deep. Of course, when we start small and when we serve people we don't just do that for a short time, but we build deep into them. We don't neglect them but we continue to nurture and to sustain and to minister.

Now, some of you may not be familiar with mustard or leaven and you are mathematicians. So let me give you a mathematical formula for these two parables alright, it's quite cheem ah see whether you are smart enough, alright, what is the answer to one, Okay, let's restart what the answer to want to the power of 365 very smart guys 1×1×1×1×1.....it's all going to be one. If you do the same thing, you don't change for every day of the year, nothing's going to change you will end up the same at the end of 2019 as you are at the end of 2018. But supposed today, you make a little change you say I want grow to be more like Jesus I say start small read the Bible, pray 15 minutes you say, pastor, too long cannot lah. Okay never mind 10 minutes, still too long, five minutes cannot err, it's getting ... I think still not one minute can OK, pastor, one minute, one minute but what can one minute do well it's alright you dream big, start small and you do it consistently.

Or how about this, you say, I want to serve more people. I say just start small, start with one. Spend time once a week, with one guy, two ladies whatever you may want, now what's the difference it's going to make. Well, if we just make a little difference every day. This is a mathematical formula I try to press very softly one okay alright okay 1.01 to the power of 365, what would that be anyone, anyone, I don't think anyone would know if you know, kowtow to you, you are a genius you should be in Stanford, you should be somewhere else. 1.5. No wonder you are not in Stanford okay now, 1.01 to the power 365 if you just make a little change every day, start small, build deep wah, very close. You use a calc, you use phone, you cheat ah, 37.7 alright, it will be really amazing. Just do something small reach one life, it will be stunning, dream big, start small. I pray that will be the God-given vision for you as you live your life pursuing Christ and you serve Him.

You know in this church, I don't do very much. I don't plan a lot, I don't organize a lot, I don't strategize a lot, but this is what I always love to do. I dream big for this church, I, I really long to see each and every one of us maturing to Christ likeness, that we may be this body of believers that will be so distinct, that would smell so much of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that birds will come and lodge and be blessed, that we will be a blessing here in Punggol and unto the uttermost parts of the world.

How to get there well, I say, I will disciple a few men, that's all I could do in a weekly basis, a little small start, but I'll do it consistently by the grace of God I'll continue to teach the word, a little each week, and I hope to build the people deep, faithfully, consistently in the Scriptures and that's all I do. Maybe, there will be not anything spectacular within my lifetime, but that's perfectly alright. When I meet with my Savior I hope I will just hear, well done thou good and faithful servant.

I pray we will not be a church that is caught up with impressive spectacular results that would draw praise and applause from men, we don't need that. We just need to believe the parables of kingdom growth, start small dream big.

Let's bow for a word of prayer together. Father, we are thankful for this morning that we can hear Your Word. So often we are enamored with the building of the tower of Babel, something big, impressive, but You hate that. I pray that as a church, as Your people, we will be faithfully believing and ministering in the way of Your Kingdom, daring to dream big but secure enough to start small and patient to build deep. Give us eyes of faith with long-term vision. And we ask that we will be about Your business, Your work in biblical ways. Father, I pray this will not just be a sermon that we hear and forget. But this will really inform the way we pursue You in our devotions, in maybe taking little steps to join Bible studies and, and discipleship groups.

Father, we pray that the ministries of Gospel Light will not be for the praise of men, but for the real work of God, like mustard seed, like leaven, something very quiet, very silent, very unassuming, but something which will one day prove to be very stunning and significant. So shape our thinking and our convictions this morning that we may do Your will. Father I pray for friends who are here today maybe hearing the Gospel week in, week out and I pray that You will not allow the seed of the Word to be removed from their hearts God, continue to bless them that they may hear and may Your Spirit work in them in such a way that they will repent and believe. We long for the amazing salvation work in many lives. Point them all to Jesus who died and rose again to save us from our sins. We thank You we pray for all this now in Jesus Name, amen.

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