You Cannot Grow Where You Have Not Been Planted

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically today’s passage begins with the eighteenth verse of the thirteenth chapter and continues through to the fourteenth verse of the fourteenth chapter. “Then said he, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? And whereunto shall I resemble it? IT is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his garden; and it grew, and waxed a great tree; and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it. And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened” (Luke 13:18-21). “And he went through the cites and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves are thrust out. And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last” (Luke 13:22-30). “The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee. And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stones them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Belssed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Luke 13:31-35). “And it came to pass, as he went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath day, that they watched him.And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. And Jesus answering spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day? And they held their peace. And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? And they could not answer him again to these things” (Luke 14:1-6). “And he put forth a parable to those which were hidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art hidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down sin the highest room; lest a more honorable man than thou be hidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever ear exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:7-11). “Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12-14). When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find it beginning with Jesus’ delivering parables concerning the kingdom of God—and not only delivering parables concerning the kingdom of God but what it is like. It’s actually quite remarkable to read the words presented in this passage of Scripture and to consider the language Jesus used to describe the kingdom of God and what it was like. If you begin reading with and from the eighteenth verse of this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus asking those who were present what the kingdom of God was like and what He could compare it to. IN response to his own question Jesus would go on to explain how the kingdom of God could be likened and compared unto a grain of a mustard seed. This grain of a mustard seed would be taken by a man and cast into his garden which would grow and wax a great tree. Not only would this mustard seed grow into a great tree but the fowls of the air would come and lodge in the branches of it. Oh there is something incredibly unique about this when you take the time to think about and consider it this would not be the first time the Lord Jesus would use the reference of a mustard seed when attempting to teach His disciples and those who would gather themselves to hear Him. As you read the four gospel narratives you will find that there would be at least one other time when the Lord Jesus would use the imagery of a mustard seed to teach His disciples with of them being to describe faith as a mustard seed. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the kingdom of God—and not only the kingdom of God but also faith—and how both are intrinsically linked to Jesus’ words concerning a grain of a mustard seed. If you take the time to truly read and study the words which are found in these passages of Scripture you will be brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding Jesus’ using the imagery of a mustard seed to teach His disciples concerning faith and the kingdom of God. In fact you cannot read the four gospel narratives without encountering and coming face to face with the incredible truth surrounding faith being likened unto the grain of a mustard seed—and not only how faith is likened unto a grain of a mustard seed but also how a disciple of Jesus and believer in the sight of the living God needs only faith the size of a grain of mustard seed and they can speak to mountains displacing and dispossessing it from where it stands and commanding it to be cast into the sea. Pause for a moment and consider just how absolutely incredible this truly is when you take the time to think about it for there is something truly unique when you think about Jesus’ use of the imagery of a grain of a mustard seed to not only describe the kingdom of God and what it’s likened unto but also to describe that measure of faith which is needed within the heart and spirit of a man or a woman. There is something absolutely beautiful about the words which the Lord Jesus used in this passage of Scripture for when speaking of a grain of a mustard seed Jesus is indeed speaking of something that begins as the smallest of all the seeds and the smallest of all grains and yet when planted in the right environment and given what it needs to grow can and will in fact grow into a mighty tree which springs forth from the earth. I sit here today thinking about and considering the incredible truth surrounding these words and I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible truth of the size of a grain of a mustard seed and how the grain of a seed of a mustard seed can not only be used to describe the kingdom of God but also faith itself. I am absolutely astounded with and by this incredible truth for there is something truly unique about the use of the imagery of a grain of a mustard seed for it calls and draws our attention to the remarkable truth surrounding faith and the kingdom of God and their manifestation in the earth—and not only within the earth but also within the hearts and spirits of those who believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and are given power to become the sons of God. In all reality that which we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is indeed incredible when you take the time to think about it for it brings us face to face with the wonderful reality that not only is and can faith start off as small as a grain of a mustard seed and accomplish much in that state but faith by its very nature must needs be planted and must needs grow. Jesus did in fact take the time to describe the truth that if one had faith the size of a grain of a mustard seed they could speak to mountains and displace them from their place and command them to be cast into the sea, however, we must needs realize that even with this being said faith was never intended on remaining the size of a grain of a mustard seed. If Jesus took the time to describe the kingdom of God and how it would and could be likened unto a grain of a mustard seed which would grow into a mighty tree in the earth then I would dare say that the same principle applies to faith for faith by its very nature must indeed grow into a mighty tree. What’s more is that not only must faith grow but it must needs grow into a mighty tree which can bear fruit within one’s heart and life. I firmly believe that in order for us to truly understand the words and language which is found in this passage of Scripture and the language Jesus used concerning the kingdom of God we must needs consider the various passages of Scripture found within the four gospel narratives where Jesus used the language of a grain of a mustard seed to describe both faith and the kingdom of God. There is not a doubt in my mind that if we want to truly grasp and lay hold of the picture of faith and the kingdom of God within the earth as well as within the heart and spirit of one who believes on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ there is a great need for us to recognize that which Jesus taught concerning it. The Lord Jesus would indeed use the language and the imagery of a grain of a mustard seed in order to describe how the kingdom of God begins within one’s life as well as within the earth. Not only this but Jesus would also use the language and imagery of a grain of mustard seed to describe the measure of faith that is needed within one’s heart and spirit to speak to mountains and command them to be uprooted and displaced from their present location and cast into the sea. It is with this being said I would like to invite you to consider the following words and language which are found in the New Testament gospels concerning Jesus’ using the imagery and language of a mustard seed that He might describe both the kingdom of God and faith itself. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the gospels beginning with the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew: “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs and become the a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof” (Matthew 13:31-32). “And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could we not cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matthew 17:14-21). “And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? OR with what comparison shall we compare it? It is like a grain of mustard see, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth: But when it is sown, it growth up, and become the greater than all herbs, and shooters out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples” (Mark 4:30-34). “Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offended will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves: IF thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying I repent; thou shalt forgive him. And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, God and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I grow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants; we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:1-10). Please pay attention to the words which are found within these passages for within them we are not only brought face to face with the wonderful truth of the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven but we are also brought face with the truth surrounding faith itself. If there is one thing I can’t help but think about when reading the words is how when Jesus took to describing the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God he used the imagery of a grain of mustard seed. What’s more is that Jesus didn’t merely use the imagery of the grain of mustard seed to describe the kingdom of heaven but he would go on to describe the size of the seed, the planting of the seed, the nature of the seed, the growth of the seed, and the product of the seed. THE SIZE OF THE SEED! THE NATURE OF THE SEED! THE PLANTING OF THE SEED! THE GROWTH OF THE SEED! If you take the time to think about and consider the words and language which is found in these passages you will find that when Jesus used the imagery of the grain of a mustard seed to describe the kingdom of heaven He would describe how it would be taken and not only planted within the field belonging to a man but also being sown into the earth. This is something we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of for this speaks of and reveals two distinct truths concerning the kingdom of heaven. On the one hand we find the personal and intimate reality and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven within one’s life as evidenced by Jesus’ describing the seed being sown into the field belonging to a man. On the other hand we find the corporate and collective relationship and manifestation of the grain of a mustard seed to the earth itself for Jesus would describe how the grain of a mustard seed would be sown into the earth. There is a great need to recognize the location of where this grain of a mustard seed was indeed planted for it was not only planted within a field which belonged to a man but it would also be planted in the earth itself. This is something we have a great need to recognize for it speaks of the very nature of the kingdom of heaven and how the kingdom of heaven is not only a personal experience within the life of an individual but it is also a corporate experience within the earth itself. In all reality we must needs understand that the kingdom of heaven was not only intended on being planted within the hearts and spirits of individuals who believed on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ but it was also intended on being planted within the earth itself. There is a vast difference between the field belonging to the farmer and the sower and the earth as a whole for one most certainly speaks of a personal experience within the life an individual while the other speaks of and suggests a corporate and collective experience. Oh I can’t help but be reminded of the dream which Nebuchadnezzar would have of the great image made of many different materials and how a stone was hewn out from the rock which would hurdle towards the image and would strike it at it’s feet, ankles and legs and would cause the entire image to collapse. So great and so mighty would the collapse be of this particular image that it would cause all the materials to collapse in a great heap upon each other and be grounded into a power deer that was carried away and blown about by the wind. The rock which would strike the image at its feet would indeed grow to become a mighty mountain that would fill and cover the face of the earth. Oh it is absolutely imperative that we recognize the stone which was hewn from the rock represents the kingdom of God which would strike down the kingdoms of the earth bringing them to ruin as it would indeed grow to be the most powerful manifestation within the earth as it would cover the whole earth. I have to admit that as I sit here thinking about Jesus’ words and the language He used to describe the kingdom of heaven I am captivated with His use of the imagery of a grain of a mustard seed. The Lord Jesus would indeed seek to compare the kingdom of heaven and would look for something with which to compare it too and He would choose the imagery of a mustard seed to describe it. What’s more is not only did Jesus describe the kingdom of God being planted within the field belonging to a man but He would also describe the kingdom of heaven being planted within the he earth itself. Oh this is something which we must needs recognize and understand for when we think of the kingdom of heaven itself we must not only recognize the personal responsibility for the kingdom of heaven to be planted and sown within our lives as individuals but the kingdom of heaven is also to be sown into the earth itself. Jesus would describe the kingdom of heaven as being likened unto a grain of mustard seed which would not only be sown into a field but would also be sown into the earth itself. IN both cases Jesus would describe the kingdom of heaven being sown into the field and into the earth and how it would indeed grow. The kingdom of heaven would and could not be sown into the field and/or even into the earth without growing—and not only growing but also growing and becoming the greatest of herbs within the earth. Although the mustard seed was the least among the herbs it would indeed grow up and become the greatest of herbs but only when it was planted. The imagery is actually incredible when you take the time to think about it for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the kingdom of heaven and its manifestation with one’s life as well as within the earth. Oh pause and consider what would and what could happen in the earth, in the nations, in the cities, in the towns, in the villages and in the four corners of the earth if the kingdom of heaven was not only sown into the lives of men and women but was also sown into the earth and grew into that which it was intended on becoming. I sit here today thinking about the parable which Jesus taught concerning the kingdom of heaven and I am absolutely captivated with the reality that He would not only describe the size of the seed and He would not only describe the nature of the seed but He would describe the planting of the seed and the growth of the seed. If you read the words contained within the parables Jesus taught you will find Jesus describing the size of the mustard seed which He would reveal is the least of all the seeds which were present in the earth. Within Scripture we find the Lord Jesus revealing the size of the mustard seed and how when and while it is only a seed it is indeed the least of all the seeds which are present within the earth. This is something which must needs be recognized and considered for it calls and draws our attention to the description of the kingdom of heaven itself. It must be understood that when speaking of the kingdom of heaven Jesus was declaring how in its earliest stage(s) it might very well be considered to be the least of all the seeds—even the least of all the kingdoms of the earth. Jesus would speak of the mustard seed as being the least of all the seeds which were present in the midst of the earth and how it might even be despised when it is merely in seed form. With this being said, however, the words which Jesus uses in this parable goes on to suggest that even though the mustard seed was the least of all the seeds its very nature changes when it is sown into the earth. Oh there is something we must needs recognize when reading the words found and contained within each of the Synoptic gospels for although the mustard seed was indeed the least of all the seeds in the earth its very nature shifts, changes and transforms when it is planted—regardless of whether it is planted in a field or planted in the earth. I am reading the words within each of these parables and I am confronted with the wonderful truth that although the mustard seed is the least of all the seeds while it is still in seed form everything changes when it is sown into the earth. The seed of a mustard seed might indeed be the least of all the seeds which are present in the earth, however, something happens when it is planted. Although eh mustard seed is indeed the least of all the seeds in the earth—perhaps in direct relation to its size—there is something which does indeed happen once it is sown into the earth. What’s important to recognize and understand when reading these words is that although the mustard seed is indeed the least among all the seeds while it is still in seed form something mighty and powerful takes place when and once it is sown into the earth. What this suggests and implies is that within the very nature and makeup of that seed is something that has the ability to be entirely and altogether transformed once it is placed and sown in the right environment. The mustard seed alone cannot and will not accomplish anything while it is still in seed form for it must needs be planted in the soil of the field or even the soil of the earth. The mustard seed might indeed be considered the least of all the seeds, however, once it is planted in the soil of a field or the soil of the earth something begins to happen within it as its very nature changes and is transformed. There beneath the surface of the earth away from human eyes in the darkness of the earth change and transformation takes place. Oh what a powerful imagery this truly is when you consider it in light of the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom of heaven might indeed appear to be the least of all the kingdoms—even the kingdoms of the earth—however something happens once the kingdom of heaven is planted within the field of one’s life. There is within the very nature and DNA of the kingdom of heaven the ability to change, the ability to transform and the ability to grow into something absolutely wonderful and mighty within the earth as well as within one’s life. The more I think about and consider this the more I am brought face to face with the incredible truth concerning the mustard seed and how although it is and might very well be considered the least of all the seeds while it is still in seed form there is something that happens to it once it is planted. The underlying truth surrounding the mustard seed is not necessarily its size but rather its nature and that which happens to its nature and makeup once it is planted and sown into the ground. The words which the Lord Jesus speaks concerning the mustard seed is not necessarily intended to cause us to focus on the mustard seed as being the least among the seeds but rather the nature of that seed. Jesus would describe the mustard seed as being the least of all the seeds and yet having within its very nature, makeup and DNA the ability to grow into and grow up into something that would indeed become something mighty and great in the earth. The mustard seed would indeed be the least of all the seeds and yet when it is planted something happens in the secret, in the quiet and in the dark place of the earth that cannot happen in the light and while it is still in seed form. Essentially and in essence in order for the nature and makeup of the mustard seed to be brought forth into the earth there is a great need for it to be sown into the earth and planted in the ground. Although the mustard seed is indeed the least of all the seeds which are present in the earth it has something in its very composition and DNA that can indeed grow up into something mighty and powerful in the earth once it is planted. YOU HAVE TO BE PLANTED! IT HAS TO BE PLANTED! The truth surrounding the mustard seed is indeed something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for within it we encounter the understanding that it is indeed the least of all the seeds. While it is still in seed form and not planted or sown into the earth the mustard seed will remain least and will remain in a place where it accomplishes and produces nothing. When, however, the mustard seed is planted and sown into the earth something begins to happen beneath the surface that cannot happen upon the surface of the earth. There is indeed something within the very nature, the very composition and the very makeup and DNA of the mustard seed itself, however, that cannot be produced and brought forth until and unless it is planted in the ground within fields or within the earth itself. How absolutely powerful it is to think about and consider the words which are present in these passages of Scripture and how the mustard seed is indeed the least of all the seeds and yet something happens once it is sown into the ground. Oh remember the language which the Lord Jesus spoke concerning a kernel of wheat and how while it remains within and upon the earth it abides alone. When, however, it falls into the ground and dies it has the ability to grow and produce something mighty and powerful within the earth. Oh there is something that happens when seeds are planted in the earth that cannot happen while they remain out in the open alone and exposed to the elements. There is something that happens when seeds are planted—and only when they are planted—that cannot happen until and unless they are planted. IN all reality we must needs recognize and understand that seeds were never meant to be hoarded nor stored in the midst of the earth for they were indeed meant to be sown and planted into the earth. I sit here today thinking about the language and imagery of the mustard seed being planted into the earth and how there is something inherent within the nature and DNA of the mustard seed that can only be extracted when it is planted in the earth. The mustard seed is indeed the least of all the seeds within the earth and yet contained within that smallest and least of all seeds is the power to become something mighty and great within the earth. Stop for a moment and consider just how profound that truth is for although the mustard seed might very well be considered the least of all the seeds it has within its nature and composition the power to become something mighty and great within the earth once it is planted. With this being said, however, we must recognize and understand that the only way for the nature of the mustard seed to be brought forth into the earth is when and after it is planted. Oh while it remains in seed form it still has within itself the power and nature to become something mighty and great in the earth, however, that cannot be brought forth without and apart from its being planted in the midst of the earth. This is something we must needs acknowledge and understand when reading the words found in these passages of Scripture for what is true of the kingdom of God is also true of you and I as citizens of that very kingdom. I am absolutely convinced that there is the power within you and I to become something mighty and great within the earth and yet that can and will only happen when we are planted in the field or in the earth. Would it shock and surprise you to know and understand that while there might indeed be power within your to become something mighty and great it cannot and will not come forth until and unless you are planted? Oh you might very well be considered the least right now, however, there is something in your very DNA—something in your very makeup—that has the ability to change, and transform and grow up into something truly wonderful in the earth. There would be those who would dare think they can be changed and transformed without and apart from being planted and the truth of the matter is that this simply is not the case. As much as we would like to think that we can experience true change and transformation within our lives without and apart from being planted the truth of the matter is that such change and transformation cannot and will not take place until we have been planted. Perhaps the single greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ are indeed willing to be planted in the midst of the earth that true change and transformation might occur within our hearts and lives. Oh dear brother, oh dear sister—please mark the words which are before you today and mark them well for there is something within your very nature, there is something within your very composition and something within your very DNA that can only be brought forth when you are planted and sown into the field or sown into the earth. Remember that it was the Lord Jesus who declared and described the kingdom of God as being and dwelling inside of you thus suggesting that the kingdom of heaven can indeed be manifested within and present inside of you. What makes this all the more intriguing when you take the time to think about it is that you can I as citizens of the kingdom of heaven with the very kingdom of God present within us are such that need to be planted in the field and planted in the earth. You and I might very well be considered to be the least of all those around us and yet something happens to us when we are planted. There is something incredibly unique and powerful when we allow ourselves to be planted in the field and planted in the earth that cannot happen in any other place and in any other location. I am convinced there are many among us who would like to think they can experience true change and transformation absent being planted in the right environment. There are those among us who would like to think they can experience that change and transformation within their hearts and lives absent and apart from being planted and sown into the earth and sown into the ground. The truth of the matter, however, is that this simply is not and cannot be the case. We do ourselves a great disservice when we think and allow ourselves to be deceived into believing that the change and transformation we desire and need within our hearts and lives can indeed be experienced absent and apart from being planted. The mustard seed was indeed considered to be the least of the seeds and yet when it is sown into the earth something begins to happen in the secret and quiet place of darkness beneath the surface that allows its very nature to being to burst forth. Not only does being planted cause its very nature to begin to burst forth but it also causes its very makeup to be changed and transformed. Oh it is within the nature of the mustard seed to change and be transformed and yet that cannot and will not happen until and unless it is planted in the field or within the earth. There is within you and I the very nature to be changed and transformed and yet that cannot and will not take place absent and apart from our being planted within the earth. This is something we must needs recognize and pay close attention to for there is within each and every one of us the nature and the power to change and be transformed and yet that cannot take place until and unless we are indeed planted in the right place and the right environment. Would it shock and surprise you to think and consider how there are individuals who think and believe they can experience change and transformation absent and apart from being planted? There are individuals who think they can truly experience change and transformation in their hearts and lives without indeed being planted in the right environment and without being planted in the right place. The truth of the matter is that until and unless we are planted in the field and planted in the earth the change and transformation we are seeking and would very much like to experience cannot and will not take place. So long as the mustard seed remained out in the open above the ground and above the surface the change and transformation that could take place within it could not and would not take place. This is something we have a great need to recognize and pay close attention to for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous need for planting—and not only planting but also being planted in the right place where true change, transformation and growth can take place. So long as the mustard seed remained above the surface it could not experience the growth, the transformation nor the change which was present within its very makeup and DNA. The mustard seed would indeed need to be planted within the soil of the field and/or the soil of the earth in order for it to being to experience that change, that transformation and that growth which would cause it to become what was in its very nature to become. This reality and concept of the nature of the mustard seed to change, to grow and to be transformed can indeed directly apply to the reality and manifestation of the kingdom of heaven within our lives. The kingdom of heaven has within its very nature and composition the ability to be transformed and to grow within the earth and within our very hearts and lives and yet this can and will only take place to the degree and measure that it is planted within the earth. The kingdom of heaven has within its very nature and composition the ability to grow and transform within the earth and yet it cannot and will not happen without and apart from its being planted within the heart and spirit of a man or a woman. The kingdom of heaven does indeed have within its very nature the ability to grow up and to come something incredibly mighty and powerful within the earth and yet that can and will only take place if and when it is planted. Oh what’s more is that this same reality directly applies to our own hearts and lives for there is within our very nature and makeup the power to change, the power to be transformed and the power to grow. Would you believe it if I told you that even before you experienced change, transformation, growth, healing, deliverance and cleansing within your life you had within yourself the power and the ability to experience such realities? Would you be surprised if I told you that you had within your very nature and makeup the ability to be changed and transformed, however, that cannot and will not be manifested within your life until and unless you are planted? There is within each and every individual upon the face of the earth—regardless of age, regardless of race, regardless of gender, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of social status, regardless of political affiliation, regardless of religious affiliation, regardless of relationship status and the like—the power and the ability to be changed and transformed. We must needs recognize and understand that within each and every one of us is the power and the ability to be changed and transformed but only to the degree and measure that we are planted. The more I think about and consider this particular truth the more I am brought face to faced with the wonderful reality that there is within myself and there is within you who are reading these words the power to be changed and the power to be transformed. Oh although you might very well be considered to be the least and although you might be considered to be the smallest you must recognize that Bethlehem of Judah was considered to be the least and smallest among the towns within the land and yet out of and from it would be born the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Remember the words which the prophet Micah spoke concerning Bethlehem when he declared “And thou Beth-lehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel” (Matthew 2:5-6). Although Bethlehem which was indeed the city of David and the birthplace of David who was indeed the warrior-king anointed by the living God to deliver the people of God from their enemies and adversaries was the least of the princes of Judah there would come forth from it a Governor—one who would indeed rule the nations of the earth. Although Bethlehem was indeed the least among the cities and towns among Judah there would come forth from it the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Lion of the tribe of Judah and the Prince of peace. Out of and from Bethlehem would come the child and son of whom the government would be upon his shoulder—that one whose name would be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Moreover it would be out of this tiny town of Bethlehem this child and son would be born of whom the increase of his government and peace there would be no end and upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom to order and establish it. This tiny town within the land of Judah would indeed be that place where the very life of the Messiah and the Christ would be brought forth in the midst of the earth that would forever change and transform the earth for the rest of history. As I think about the imagery Jesus used concerning a mustard seed I cannot help but think about and consider the fact that within the mustard seed was the very nature and power to be changed and transformed that it might become something it would and could always be. Once the mustard seed was planted in the soil of the field and/or the soil of the earth the real work of change, transformation and growth would take place. Oh how absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to read the words which are found in these passages of Scripture and consider how the mustard seed was indeed the least of all the seeds and yet within the least of all these seeds as the nature and the power to be changed and transformed. With this being said, however, it is necessary we recognize that this nature and the power to be changed, and the power to be transformed and the power to grow would and could only be experienced and manifested when and if it was planted in the earth. The mustard seed would indeed have within itself the nature and power to grow up into something truly mighty in the earth and yet that would and could not be tapped into absent and apart its being planted. Oh with this being said there is a great need for us to recognize and pay attention to the fact that we have been called to be planted for it is only to the degree and measure that we have been planted that true change, true growth and true transformation can indeed take place. Oh there might be small glimpses of change, and of transformation and of growth within our hearts and lives apart from being planted, however we can never and will never unlock the nature of change, transformation and growth that is to be experienced within our hearts and lives until and unless we are planted. It is only when and only if and until we are planted that we are indeed able to experience that change, that transformation and that growth within our hearts and lives which we were intended on experiencing. It was the Lord Jesus who would describe, compare and liken the kingdom of God as unto the grain of a mustard seed which when it was sown in the earth is less than all the seeds which were present in the earth. Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of these words which the Lord Jesus spoke for not only would he describe the grain of a mustard seed as being the least of all the seeds in the earth before it is planted in the earth but also even when and once it is planted in the earth. Jesus would declare and describe the grain of a mustard seed being sown into the earth and its being less than all the seeds which were in the earth. When, however, this grain of a mustard seed was sown into the earth it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs and shoots out great branches that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it. In the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find him describing Jesus as revealing the grain of a mustard being taken by a man and sown in his field. This grain of a mustard seed was indeed the least of all seeds, however when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs. THE TRANSFORMATION FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST! THE TRANSFORMATION FROM THE LEAST TO MIGHTY! Oh this is indeed what I would dare say happened to David who would be the king of Israel for he would indeed come from Bethlehem and would be anointed by Samuel to be the next king of Israel. David would be anointed as the next king of Israel at the age of seventeen and yet for the next thirteen years he would be planted in the wilderness, he would be planted in strongholds, he would be planted in caves, and he would be planted in forests that he might grow and be transformed into that man who would sit upon the throne in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. David would indeed come forth from Bethlehem which was considered to be the least of the princes of Judah and yet from and out of Bethlehem would come this shepherd boy who would be planted in forests, in strongholds, in wildernesses, in caves and the like that he might be changed and transformed into that which he was called and chosen by the living God to become. I have to admit that I cannot escape just how absolutely incredible this reality truly is for it call and draws our attention to the truth surrounding the kingdom of heaven and how within it is the ability, the nature and the power to grow up into that which is mighty in the earth. What’s more is that with this being said we must needs recognize that this same principle applies to you and I for the kingdom of heaven is present within us if we believe on the name of the Lord Jesus. We as the saints of God and disciples and followers of the Lord Jesus Christ have within us the very nature, the very makeup and the very power to be changed and transformed that we might become that which we were called and created to be. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it is only to the degree and measure we are planted that this nature can indeed be extracted and exposed. It’s in the secret and quiet place of being planted that the nature of change and transformation which is present within our hearts and lives can indeed be brought forth in the earth. Oh I don’t care who you are, where you’ve come from, what your upbringing was, who your parents were or weren’t, where you are now, what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, or anything of the sort. If you have breath in your lungs, if your heart still beats within your chest, if you are still present within and upon this earth then you have the power to be changed and the power to be transformed. If there is one thing which is so incredibly beautiful about the kingdom of heaven it’s that when it is planted within the hearts and spirits of men and women it has the ability to completely change and transform the hearts and lives of men and women. Ask Levi who was called Matthew what this was like within his life. Ask Zacchaeus what this was like within his life. Ask Mary Magdalene what this was like in the midst of her life. Oh there is something truly unique and powerful about the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven, however we must needs recognize that the only way we can truly experience the kingdom of heaven the way it was designed and intended to be experienced is when it is planted within our hearts and spirits. I am becoming increasingly convinced that the underlying secret and mystery surrounding the kingdom of heaven and the grain of a mustard seed was not in the size of the seed but rather in the nature within the seed and the planting of the seed. WHEN NATURE MEETS PLANTING! WHEN THE NATURE MEETS THE PLANTING! Oh I am absolutely convinced the the only way true and lasting change and transformation can take place is when the seed of our life is indeed planted in the soil of the earth. With this being said the question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are allowing ourselves to be planted that this change and transformation might come forth. What’s more is we must needs ask ourselves where we are planted and whether or not we are planted in that place where the change and transformation which is present within our very nature and DNA can indeed be manifested and brought forth into the earth. Each and every one of us has the power and the nature to be changed and transformed—and not only to be changed and transformed but also to grow and to grow up—that we might indeed become what we have been called, ordained and appointed to be. Oh I am absolutely and completely convinced that in order for us to truly understand this we must needs consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the fourth chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Ephesian saints. What’s more is I am convinced that we must needs consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the third and twelfth chapters of the first epistle written unto the Corinthian saints. Not only this but I would also dare say that we must needs consider the words which the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote in the sixth chapter of that book. Oh with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words and language which are contained within each of these New Testament books and passages; “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all loveliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body firmly joined together and compacted by that which every joint suppliers, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lascivious ness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning he former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesian 4:1-17). “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but minister by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are laborers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; every mans’ work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every mans’ work of what sort it is. If any mans’ work abide which he hath built there upon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (1 Corinthians 3:1-15). “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all. Are yours; and ye are Christ’s; Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:16-23). “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word o wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophet y ; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues; but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, w high seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:28-31) “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestowe all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinkers no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hope that all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall ail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a. Glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:1-13). “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: but that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned” (Hebrews 6:1-8). “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we just speak. For God is not unrighteousness to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made promise to Abraham, ,because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an endan end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope yet before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec” (Hebrews 6:9-20). There is a great and present need to recognize the words which are found within each of these passages of Scripture for not only do they speak of growth, maturity, and transformation but they also provide us with the environment in which we are to allow ourselves to be planted. It is in the fourth chapter of the epistle written unto the Ephesian saints we find the apostle Paul not only speaking of vocation but also speaking of calling—and not only does he speak of vocation and calling but he also speaks of it in the context of growth and maturity. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand it’s that the apostle Paul wasn’t writing unto the apostles when speaking of vocation and calling, nor was he writing to the elders of the early church or those seven deacons who were chosen minus Stephen. When the apostle Paul wrote these words he was indeed writing unto believers and those were given power to become the sons and daughters of the living God. What so amazes me about the words and language presented in this passage of Scripture is that the apostle Paul speaks of vocation and calling in connection and relationship with the believers and saints who were gathered together in Ephesus. This is something that requires a great amount of consideration in for calling and vocation isn’t merely for apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers and evangelists. There would be those who would like to think that the concept of vocation and calling are directly connected those who have titles, Presti age and placement within the church. There are those who think and feel that vocation and calling is exclusive to those who stand behind the pulpit and/or those who have been entrusted with being the spiritual leader of a congregation of believers. The truth of the matter, however, is that each and every one of us as the saints of God and disciples of Jesus Christ have indeed been given a calling and vocation by the Holy Spirit who has made us to be a part of the temple and body of Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this particular reality and how absolutely incredible it is for it brings us face to face with additional language that is found in the first chapter of the first epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the Corinthian saints as well as in the writings of the apostle Peter. Consider if you will the following words which were written by the apostle Paul and the apostle Peter concerning calling—and not only calling but also election: “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputed of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of th eWorld, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:17-31). “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: ;that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:3-11). As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the absolutely incredible truth surrounding Jesus’ use of the imagery of the grain of a mustard seed. I am absolutely convinced this imagery is a powerful picture of the power that is inherent and present within each and every one of us to experience change, transformation and growth. With this being said I would also like to add that directly connected to this is the power and nature that is present and inherent within us to experience growth and maturity as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. The imagery of a grain of mustard seed suggests and speaks of that which is the least among the seeds and yet how contained within that which is considered least among the seeds is the power to change, the power to transform and the power to grow into something much greater and much bigger than it was originally. I am absolutely convinced that you and I start off as a grain of a mustard seed within our own hearts and lives and possess within ourselves the power and nature to experience growth and transformation. With that being said, however, we must needs recognize and understand that we have been called to be planted and to allow ourselves to be planted in that place wherein this change, this growth and this transformation can indeed be cultivated and produced. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how incredibly important it is for it brings us face to face with the beautiful truth concerning what is contained within each and every one of us. There is within each and every one of us the power to change, the power to be transformed and the power to experience growth. With all of this being said we must needs understand that while each and every one of us has the power to experience change, growth and transformation it cannot and will not truly happen nor will it be manifested within our hearts and lives without and apart from our being planted. What’s more is that unless, except and until we are planted we can never and will never experience the true change, growth and transformation that is needed within our hearts and lives. It makes no difference who we are or where we came from for each and every one of us has the power to experience change, transformation and growth. There is a great need for us to acknowledge and understand whether or not we are indeed willing to allow ourselves to be planted—and not only planted but planted and sown that the necessary death might be produced for change and transformation take place. It was Jesus Himself who declared that except a kernel of wheat fall into the ground and die it abides alone and this it’s a fitting truth that is incredibly vital for us as the saints of the living God. The kingdom of heaven is indeed that which is sown and planted in the earth as that which is the least among all the seeds and yet once it has been planted—and not prior to being planted—it begins to grow and experience change and transformation. It was indeed true that Jesus referred to the kingdom of heaven being likened unto a grain of a mustard seed which when sown into the field or the earth grows into and becomes the mightiest of herbs and you and I must needs recognize that within our own hearts and lives. Each and every one of us has the power to experience change, transformation and growth, however, that type of process and progress cannot and will not take place without and apart from us being planted. Oh that we would be a people who are willing to allow ourselves to be planted—planted in fellowship and planted in the environment and atmosphere of the church. OH that we would indeed be planted in such an environment that as a direct result of the working of the Word and prayer we might grow up and experience the change and transformation that is so desperately needed within our lives. We as the saints of God and the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs recognize the awesome and powerful need to be planted in that place which has been ordained by the living God—planted in the field and planted in the earth. I continue thinking about this particular concept of being planted and sown I can’t help but be completely captivated with the language of the grain of a mustard seed being planted in the field and being planted in the earth. I fully believe and am convinced that we as the grain of mustard seed must indeed be planted in the soil of the prayer closet, planted in the soil of fellowship, planted in the soil of the body of Christ and even planted in the soil that is the harvest. It was Jesus Himself who instructed the disciples to look upon the harvest for it was white and ready for the picking. Jesus Himself declared that the harvest was truly plentiful but that the laborers were indeed few. Oh that we would recognize that we have in fact been called to be planted in the midst of the harvest that we might grow and bring forth fruit—some thirty fold, some sixty fold and some an hundred fold. Each and every one of us has been planted with the inherent nature and power contained within our small grain of a mustard seed that enables and allows us to experience change, transformation and growth. I firmly believe that we must needs recognize and pay close attention to this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful truth that we as the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ must needs be planted where the Lord Jesus Christ would have us and where the Holy Spirit would place us.

It was the Lord God who planted a garden called Eden and then took the man and planted him in the garden—a powerful picture that we have been planted in that place ordained and appointed by the living God. Abraham was taken from Ur of the Chaldeans and planted in the land of Canaan—a land wherein he would sojourn as a stranger and pilgrim together with his son Isaac, his wife and all that he had. It was Isaac and Jacob themselves who were also planted in the land of Canaan centuries before the promise given unto Abraham would indeed come to pass. Moreover the children of Israel would be taken from the land of Egypt and brought through the wilderness that they might be planted in the land of Canaan to take possession of the promise given unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Not only this but it was David who taken from the caves, from the wilderness, from the forests, from the strongholds and even from the territory of the Philistines and planted in the midst of the land of Israel—first in Hebron where he would reign for seven years and then in Jerusalem where he would reign for the rest of his natural life. It would be the children of Israel who would be taken from the land of their captivity and exile—the land of the Chaldeans—and re-planted in the land of Canaan that they might once more thrive and flourish within the land. Scripture is replete with examples of the living and eternal God taking His vessels and His servants and planting them in those places where change and transformation can take place. With this being said we must also recognize that this change, this transformation and this growth can even take place in those places which might not seem conducive for such realities. The children of Israel were slaves in the land of Egypt for more than four hundred years and it was there as they were planted in the midst of the land they grew and multiplied. Not only this but the children of Israel were taken from the land of Canaan and planted in the land of the Chaldeans where they would—through the prophet Jeremiah—be given the command to be fruitful, to multiply, to increase and to grow that when the time came they might be able to be brought back unto their own land.

I conclude this writing with a powerful declaration that you and I must needs be planted—and not only planted but planted in the right soil and the right environment—that we might experience the change, the growth and the transformation that is needed within our lives. What’s more is that we must recognize that this planting can take place in a pleasant land such as the garden of Eden and/or the land of Canaan which flowed with milk and honey or it can take place in the midst of the slavery, bondage and oppression of Egypt or the captivity and exile of the land of the Chaldeans. Regardless of where the LORD God has chosen for us to be planted we must allow ourselves to be planted there that the change, the transformation and the growth which is needed might indeed be experienced within our lives. We must indeed allow the person of the living God and the work of the Holy Spirit cultivated by the Word, by worship, by fellowship and by prayer to be wrought within our lives that true and lasting change and transformation might indeed be brought forth. The kingdom of God can indeed be planted in the field or it can be planted in the earth and it is there in that place where change, transformation and growth can indeed take place. We must needs recognize and understand this for there is something profound about allowing ourselves to be planted wherever the LORD God has for us that the kingdom of God might grow within us and that faith itself might grow within it. It is no coincidence that Jesus would also describe faith as a grain of a mustard seed for even faith as small as a grain of a mustard seed can speak to mountains and sycamore trees commanding them to be uprooted and plucked up and cast into the sea. Oh that we would truly allow ourselves to be planted where the living and eternal God has ordained and appointed us that faith might be cultivated within us, that the kingdom of God might be cultivated within us and that we ourselves might experience the change, the growth and the transformation that is needed as saints of the living God and disciples of Jesus.

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