Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”John 13:18–19
I grew up singing this song in church—does it sound familiar?
It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and soon all those around can warm up in its glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love once you’ve experienced it; you spread his love to everyone; you want to pass it on.Pass It On, by Kurt Kaiser
These lyrics remind us that something very, very small can also be very, very important, greatly impacting everything around it. This comparison of a spark to God’s love is similar to the imagery Jesus uses when talking about the Kingdom of God.
When Jesus teaches us about the kingdom of God, He begins by naming something very, very small—a mustard seed. This teaching is surprising because most people believe that His Kingdom is big and mighty. And it is! But Jesus wants us to see His kingdom as a place of growth, something we can share so that everyone can benefit.
At times, we may feel defeated in our faith because, spiritually, we feel like we have not “arrived”—we haven’t yet reached the pinnacle of our own expectations. But what about the small but faithful ways we can build God’s kingdom? What about sharing a smile and a cup of coffee with a coworker who is struggling? What about spending some time every day reading the Bible, knowing that it will plant a few small seeds of faith inside you? What about talking to God each day?
Spiritual growth in the kingdom of God never happens overnight. Rather, it begins with the sparks seen in small acts of faith—the gradual kingdom-seed planting that will, over time, grow into a beautiful tree.
- Pause to pray, asking God to show you some ways you can plant “kingdom seeds.” If something comes to mind, write it down. Then, take the first step to create that spark.