The 1% | Broward Church + Kingston Church Collab Service
From the series: Special Collab Services (2020)
We are so glad to have you here with us. If you could just drop some claps in the chat. We’re excited to be with our brothers and sisters from Jamaica. Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Gregory and to a lesser degree, his wife, Simone Ba. And… See more
We are so glad to have you here with us. If you could just drop some claps in the chat. We’re excited to be with our brothers and sisters from Jamaica. Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Gregory and to a lesser degree, his wife, Simone Ba. And I just want to say what a treasure you are, Gregory and Simone, to not only the church in Kingston, but also to the broader worldwide fellowship that we’re a part of.
I love you guys and if you’re in Kingston, it is such an honor that you have such an awesome couple helping in the leadership and in the servanthood of that wonderful church. I echo the sentiment of the apostle Paul when I think about the churches in Jamaica, though I’ve never been, they are part of my heart. It says I thank my God every time I remember you and all of my prayers for all of you, I pray.
I pray always with joy. Because of your partnership in the Gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work and you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, I love you, Kingston Church. And I’m so grateful to be able to share this lesson in this time with all of you. Again, it’s an honor to be together, Broward and Kingston. And I just want to tell the people who are in Broward just a little bit about what we’re going for the next few weeks.
I want to just briefly mention this, because as you could see, we’re kind of in a different transitional set here. It looks a little bit different than typical. And the reason is because next week we have a brand new fresh series and then I do believe can be life changing. It’s going to be called he’s got the whole world in his hands. And we’re going to be talking about the subject of God’s sovereignty. That’s next week.
But this week, if you have a Bible in hand, would you would you join me by turning to Matthew, Chapter 13, we’re going to look in verse thirty three, Matthew, chapter 13, beginning in verse thirty three. I don’t know about you, but I love a great story. Stories have this amazing ability to grab a hold of our hearts, to draw our attention and to reframe the way we think about things as a parent. More specifically, I’ve fallen in love with short stories, with stories that speak to the nature of human beings in a very short kind of quick way and lay out for us a moral something that we can hold on to as as my children grow up for the rest of their lives.
I’ve been reading a lot of these short stories to my children because my wife and I want to kind of instill this love for reading our kids. So our kids read books and we read them every night. And some of what we’ve learned is that some of these stories are absolutely amazing and some of them are just really quite terrible and you can tell the difference between good writing and bad writing, especially in the short stories. But what you can tell is a good short story has a point and sticks to the point, has a point and it sticks to the point.
It’s short and the points are super clear. And and this may be a little bit self-serving, but if you know of any really, really great children’s stories, could you put them in the chat for me so that when I go back and look at maybe I can find some more books to read with our kids and any parents out there, maybe you can look for some books, some short stories that that that maybe you grew up with or that you’re reading to your kids now.
But I want to tell you some of my favorites. One of the most recent favorites is Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham. You probably know this story. You’ve read this. I don’t want them, Sam. I am. I do not like green eggs and ham. And Sam, I am is just very persistent. And in his persistence, he achieves his goal. And then there’s the other guy. I don’t know his name, but the guy who abhors saying Ham, he just doesn’t he wants nothing to do with it. And that book is so great because there’s two really great lessons. One, you keep on being persistent.
You keep trying and you’ll eventually achieve your goal. And the second thing is for this dude, the guy who doesn’t like him, try new things, try new things and those new things, you might experience something that you really do enjoy. We love books like that, short books that are right to the point. Another book that we really like is this book called Up Goes Mr. Downs. It’s a book about a guy who sells balloons. That’s Mr.
Downs here. And he has a puppy. As you can see, he adopted this puppy or he bought this puppy and the puppy keeps him up all night. He’s selling balloons the next day. And it’s kind of a weird, bizarre story. But but basically, the helium gets into this guy’s jacket and then he flies above things and he has to be rescued by his wife. I’m not exactly sure what the point of this is. Maybe it’s like don’t buy puppies.
But but but anyway. But after reading a bunch of times, I actually had to look this up. But but but basically as a story, as the story turned sideways, the point is, hey, if everything is going bad, it can. It’ll turn out for good if you have people who you love. What a great story short. Simple to the point, I love these books, right? We love these short stories. With these great points, you can think about the tortoise and the hare or the fox and the crow or all those Bernstine Bear books.
These stories, those short provide for us and insight into the human experience and give us morals to live by and opportunities to see beauty in the midst of chaos. And what’s interesting to me is that when Jesus came on the scene in the gospel story, he’s the son of man. He’s the son of God, our father.
He came in and he told these short stories with these little points to give insight into man’s heart. God and his son would provide us these little tales to tell us a little bit about a lot of things. And in that explanation, we find some things that are tremendously life changing. In Matthew Chapter 13, we find a couple of these stories, but the one we’re going to focus in on is found in Matthew. Chapter 13, verse thirty three says this.
He told them, still another parable. The Kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about 60 pounds of flour until it worked all the way through the dough. This short story is one of the greatest stories ever in twenty five words that speak beautifully about God, about his kingdom, that breathe life into a topic that affects everything you do, everything you are. It’s a story that speaks about your future and the promises that God has for you all compacted in this twenty five word story.
I want to talk a little bit about the elements of the story, and then I want to come back, tell you what the main point is, and then give you some ideas about how this point should impact your whole life. The story very clearly says it’s about the kingdom of heaven. Let’s talk a little bit about the kingdom. If you’re new to Bible study this, this idea may not resonate with you. But if you’re a Jew living in Jesus’s time, you would have immediately identified with this idea of the Kingdom of God, because in the Old Testament, the prophets predicted that God would bring forth a brand new kingdom, a new people, a new nation, and the ruler of that kingdom would be God’s anointed one.
That kingdom then would one day come to Earth, and in coming to Earth, it would ultimately touch the globe in every single way and every single point. And the son of David, the anointed one, the Messiah, the son of the living God, would be the king of this new kingdom. This kingdom would bring about world peace. It would end world wars. It would end crime and poverty and poverty. The kingdom would bring the elevation of suffering.
It would bring the sort of importation of justice to the world and this new nation, God himself, would do well with all of his people. And in that dwelling, there would be salvation for every single nation. Now, there are so many profit prophecies about this coming of the kingdom throughout the Old Testament, but I want to share two of them with you, two of them with you. Again, this is what that parable, that short story is about.
And so you have to kind of reframe your thinking so you can capture the point of the story. This is two prophecies that I really love. One is found in Micah. The Prophet Micah is writing about four hundred years before Jesus. And this is what he writes in Chapter four. He says this, In the last days, the mountain, the Lord’s temple will be established as the highest mountain is talking about a nation, mountains. That’s the sort of an imagery of that.
It will be exalted above the hills and people will stream to it. Micah is saying, is seeing rather the kingdom in the last days, exalted, lifted up as high as a mountain and nations are flooding to worship its king, to adorn him, to pay homage to him. Verse two many nations will come and say, come, let us go to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of to the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways so that we will walk in his path. They will beat their swords into plowshares, meaning the tools, the instruments of destruction will be an instrument of reaping a new harvest and their spears into pruning hooks. They used to toss these javelins for destruction, but instead it brings about the fertilization of a new land nation will not take up sword against nations. It’s a prophecy of peace, nor will they train for war anymore.
Everyone will sit under their own vine and under their own fig tree, meaning that they will sit under a place where food is produced, meaning everyone will have enough food, no one will go hungry, and no one will make them afraid. For the Lord Almighty has spoken. What a beautiful look at the future. This is the coming kingdom. No more war or peace. There’s food for everybody. This is another prophecy. A love. This is an Zechariah Chapter eight.
It says this is what the Lord Almighty says. The Feast of the fourth, the fifth, the seventh. The ten month will become joyful. Sorry, the fast of the fourth. The fifth, the seventh. The ten months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore, love, truth and peace. You saying the feast of the Fast will one day become feast. The fast will become feast. Fasting in that time was a time of mourning.
It was a time of sorrow is a time of remembering the tragic events that had happened. The Jews who remember their captivity in Egypt, they will remember their oppression in Egypt. They would remember their time in exile in Babylon through not eating any food as a somber remembrance of all the pain that had happened. And notice what he says. He says the feast will be rather the fast will be return to feasts.
No more mourning, no more sadness, instead joyful celebration. This is what the Lord Almighty says. Many people and the habitations in the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. This is the vision of the world. Going to see the brand new king. In other words, they’re going to be a coming day when the Messiah will reign and there will be no more fast, no more gloomy, this just celebration and everyone’s going to come and fall down at his feet.
This is just two of the pictures of what the future prophecy of the kingdom is supposed to look like, but there’s so many more there’s so many more that speak about the kingdom turning the world on its head, ending injustice, removing the stain of sin, bringing peace and bringing and ending suffering and bringing transformation to the nations. And this is the kingdom. This is what the people who are listening to Jesus were anticipating, and so for years and years and years, everyone’s sitting, waiting, when is the kingdom going to come?
They continue to live kind of in their small, insignificant little region corner of Palestine. They were dominated. Jews were dominated by the other nations and dominated by nations with with prominence and with power dominated and devoured by greater powers. And so the Jews are just sitting and waiting. When is the kingdom going to come? When is someone going to become king? When is someone going to end the fast and bring the feast? When is someone going to end the hostility and bring the joy and all of a sudden, Jesus, Jesus comes on the scene.
He’s a miracle worker and he is able to heal diseases and is a tremendous order and people throughout Judiah and throughout Jerusalem are beginning to wonder, is this the king, could this be the guy? Will he lead a kingdom and war weary and suffering and dominate sorrow’s? Will he save nations? Will he bring people into the presence of God? And Jesus, sometimes when he spoke, even referred to the kingdom, but he didn’t set up a throne and he didn’t try to overthrow Rome, and instead his palace officials were a bunch of like Galilean people who were fishermen at one point.
And he healed the lame and healed the blind. And the people around him were sinners and prostitutes and tax collectors. And so the story didn’t make sense. He didn’t even mention trying to overthrow Rome. He didn’t build a cathedral or a castle.
And but he was the king. The people kind of knew it, but they didn’t really understand it so much so that on one occasion the people he was feeding tried to make him king, tried to force him to be king. And then Jesus would say things like this. He would say, my kingdom, I’m sorry. He would say my kingdom. Wrong passage. It’s not here.
He would say that my kingdom is not of the world. That’s John, chapter 18, verse thirty six. And so he would admit that he was a king. And then the Gospels and the Book of Romans. It talks about God’s kingdom. It says, For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, meaning it’s not physical, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. One time, even in Luke, chapter 17, verse 20, in the fact people are asking, well, if you’re a king, where’s your kingdom?
And Jesus said this, the kingdom of God is within you. Or in your midst or among you? Anyway, so throughout Jesus ministries, the disciples are all scratching their heads and they’re trying to think, OK, he’s a king, certainly is a king, but where is the coming kingdom? They even try to fight over positions in the future kingdom, they’re like, I’ll be secretary of state, I’ll be the the governor, I want to sit at your right hand.
And she’s like, you don’t know anything about what you’re talking about. And so here we get to Matthew, Chapter 13, this confusion is happening, but something really interesting happens in Matthew Chapter 12, it becomes a kind of a linchpin. And Matthew, Chapter 12, there is this rejection of Jesus is king, particularly by the religious leaders. It says this in Matthew, chapter two, verse twenty three. It says, All the people were astonished and said, could this be the son of David?
Meaning, could this be the king convinced? But when the Pharisees heard this, they said it is only by Beelzebub, the Prince of Demons, that this fellow drives out demons. The apostles, the followers of Jesus, we’re all going, this might be the king and the religious leaders are like now he’s the prince of demons, he’s a devil. The disciples, the followers of Jesus are confused, they don’t really understand it, maybe what they expected will never come through Jesus, maybe they had to wait for somebody else.
And so Jesus, being the perfect mentor that he is, use this moment as a springboard to teach the disciples and all followers for all time what the kingdom would actually look like. It goes on to describe through seven parables, seven short stories. He explains the kingdom and its function. In the first two, he describes the nature of the kingdom. He talks about the parable of the soils and the parable of the wheat and the and the weeds.
And the point of those is that evil will co-exist with God, like you can expect right now that the kingdom is going to wipe out evil. Totally can expect it to happen. Sin is going to live amongst evil. People are going to refuse the kingdom of God. The second one talks a little bit about the fact that the wheat and the wheat will grow together until the final judgment. So don’t expect perfection yet in the kingdom of God. And then the next two parables speak very similar messages.
But we’re going to talk about the second of those two parables and talk about a little bit about the power of the kingdom of God. Now, with all of that context, let’s go back, read it and talk about the parable. He told them still another parable, the kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about 60 pounds of flour until it worked through the whole thing, worked all the way through the dough. So there’s this woman, she’s making bread and she takes some yeast and she adds it to the dough.
She add some leaven or she add some sour dough. Basically, when when you’re baking, you take a new batch of dough or new batch of flour, which is kind of prepared and needed and ready. And then you take a piece of fermented dough or you take a little bit of yeast or you take a little bit of love.
In all those words are kind of used interchangeably and you stick it in this new dough and you need it in and all of a sudden it begins to ferment and begins to bubble and it permeates until the leaven goes all the way through the entire batch of dough. Now, let’s talk really briefly about the dough itself, the unleavened dough before it’s been leavened. This is 60 pounds of dough, which is a crazy amount of bread. You could fill several five gallon.
You know, those Home Depot buckets. You could fill several five gallon buckets with this much dough and flour, it would possibly feed hundreds of people. Now, the large amount of dough, I think speaks the bread speaks of the enormity of the task of the kingdom of God. So much bread, so much bread needing to be impacted, the goal of the leaven is to permeate all of this dough. The leaven is the kingdom of God or the yeast is the kingdom of God, and the dough is the world.
The lump of dough, it’s flat, it’s uncured, it’s bland. It represents the world that we are in now. The world is the place of war. It’s the picture that we talked about in the prophets. It’s the place of evil, the wicked temptress, kind of a system of diabolical oppression. It sits there kind of awaiting something to save it. It’s nothing. It’s bland, it’s boring. It doesn’t have anything. It’s corrupting. It’s corrupt in all of its senses.
And it needs something to come in and fix it to make it bubble and change it and make it rise, to make it better to transform it. The bread in the story represents the grandeur of the task of the Kingdom of God.
And then. The leaven, the yeast, the sour dough, what is it represents. Well, here’s what makes this story so, so, so cool, because biblical scholars often use an interpretation principle called expositional constancy. This basically means and this is kind of like a, you know, whatever a philosophical word. But what it means is that if the if the Bible says something somewhere and explains it somewhere, it means the same thing throughout the Bible.
That’s basically what it means. So let me give you an example. So if the Bible talks about a mirror being an illustration of God’s word, that means that whenever you see the word mirror in the Bible, you should think, oh, that’s probably God’s word. There’s an assumption made that illustration is the same everywhere in the Bible. That’s basically what this phrase means. And what’s interesting is that this word yeast, this word sourdough, this word leaven is actually used elsewhere in the Bible.
It’s used several times, but all to illustrate not the kingdom of God, but instead the power of sin. The power of sin to get into everything leaven or yeast is used to describe the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, it says it permeates the hypocrisy of the Pharisees is like yeast. It permeates everything they do. And so here’s what makes Jesus so amazing. He’s able to take this illustration and flip it on its head.
There’s this quote I love by a guy named Will Arnett, it’s kind of long, so stick with me for a little bit. But it’s a marvelous insight. And this is what he says boldly as a sovereign, may this teacher sizes the proverb which was current as an exponent of the aversely successful strategy, meaning the opposite one and stamp’s the metal with the image of a super scription of the rightful king.
The evil spreads like leaven. You tremble before it’s stealthy advance and relentless grasp. But beyond good cheer, disciples of Jesus greater is he that is for you then all that are against you.
The word of life which has been hidden in the world, hidden in believing hearts, is alive into the junction of the Holy One is more subtle and penetrating and subduing than sin and Satan, where sin abounds.
Grace shall much more about basically what he’s saying, that Jesus is using this term of yeast that you have in mind.
You understand it. If you read the Bible, you’ve got.
Oh yeah, yeast. It permeated, it impacts everything with evil. And you would immediately kind of draw your attention to that thought. And because he’s such a great Bible, such a great story teller and such a great teacher, he says just as sin permeates.
The kingdom of God permeates all the more. If sin is like a yeast, so is the kingdom as persuasive, as permanent, as powerful as sin has ever been? In fact, the kingdom of God is even greater. So instead of using this constant state constantly, the idea he flips the whole idea on the head and says, no, no, no, no. The kingdom of heaven is like yeast as well.
And as true as it is for sin, when you think about your life and you think about how permanent sin has been in your life and you tried to get rid of it and it’s come in and touched everything you have done and infected every part of your life as permanent as it is in your life, the kingdom of God can be just as permanent.
Boom. What a thoughts. What a thought. But the story is just even more beautiful. I think this is so cool because I want to talk to you a little bit about Brad. I mean, I’m going to take a detour here, because when I preach about a subject, I try to know as much as I possibly can about the subject. And I know nothing about baking bread like zero zero zero zero. At least that was until last week.
I didn’t understand anything about it before starting to study this passage. But this week I’ve watched an incredible amount of YouTube videos about baking bread. And I know that’s not the best way to learn things, but certainly I’ve learned a lot and I got to tell you a little bit about what I learned so that you don’t have to do it. And then Google doesn’t have to think that you’re also trying to become an artisan baker. But I’m going to tell you what I’ve learned, which I think is so cool.
Basically, here’s what happens with with yeast when you put it in bread.
So you put yeast into dough, right, and the yeast begins to feed on the gluten in the flour, and that chemical reaction basically causes it to begin to rise, it’s actually it also needs some heat as well. But but you put that together and it begins to rise. And the thing about yeast is that yeast comes in all shapes and sizes. If you’ve ever eaten Wonder Bread, you’ve seen it. I know you. Have you seen it?
All holes are exactly the same. And that’s because they use like factory grade, instant yeast. They just kind of throw the yeast in and powder and they just pour it in. But if you ever eat like a really good piece of sour dough, like a San Francisco sour dough or something, you’re going to notice that the holes are all really different sizes. I wish I had a picture of it, but but they’re like lots of different sizes.
And the reason that happens is because Wonder Bread again, is like this commercial yeast. But this special sour dough comes from yeast that’s like 200 years old, anywhere between ten and two hundred years old. There’s a whole world out there anyway. So what happens is the yeast or the sour dough is pushed into the dough from the outside and it’s pushed into it. And then when it pushes, when it’s pushed into it, it fundamentally changes the dough and the dough is never the same again.
As soon as these ingredients are stirred together, enzymes in the yeast and the flour caused these large starch molecules to break down into these simple sugars in the yeast metabolizes the simple sugars. And basically it makes all these bubbles. And basically the point is that the yeast causes the bread to never be the same again. So you have this tiny little bit of yeast. And it leavens this massive amount of dough.
And it’s an explanation of the impact of the kingdom of God. Basically, here’s the point of the story, a small slice of the kingdom of God can change the whole world.
That’s the point. A little bit of the kingdom of God can change the whole world. A little bit of leaven influences the whole mass of dough, I’m really saying is Jesus looking his disciples and he’s trying to explain to them they don’t see the grandeur, right? They don’t they don’t see the impact that the kingdom of happening having having in the world.
They don’t see the throne. They don’t see the cathedrals. They don’t see the castles. They don’t see the court. They don’t see it. They don’t have the vision for the future. And he goes, no, don’t worry about what you see. Don’t worry about what’s before you.
A little bit of the kingdom of heaven is going to change the whole world because it has the power to influence and change everything that that dough is.
The dough is like the world and you plant the kingdom of heaven in the middle of the dough even. It’s a very small amount. It will influence the whole thing because inherent in it is this fermenting supernatural power.
And see, on a macro level, it’s staggering to think about what the apostles did not know. It’s staggering to think about it, because Christianity was such a was in such obscurity when they started the church, nothing. There was nothing.
It started with one hundred and twenty a handful of individuals. Two thousand years ago. It was just absolutely nothing at all. They had no idea that two thousand years later, the message of Jesus would ring out to the ends of the earth, that we would be talking across continents, across the world, that there would be people watching us online from from Europe and from Asia and throughout the United States and throughout the Caribbean islands. And they’d be brothers and sisters in Jamaica.
They had no idea. They never know what Jamaica was. They had no idea about how big it would get, how powerful it would be. They had no idea. And Jesus is saying, look, this little bit of heaven is going to impact the whole world’s.
They didn’t know and everybody would one day know the name of Jesus, that in some sense everyone would be sanctified or impacted by the name of Jesus.
You know, the latest statistics say that there are more than two point four billion people who identify themselves as Christians.
Now, I know that a lot of that’s corrupted. I’m not trying to make a statement about everyone’s salvation, but you understand what I’m saying.
Two point four billion people, one in every three people who lives on the face of the earth says they are Christian.
From one hundred and twenty. An upper room and insignificant village. To more than two point four billion people, at least, it’s claiming the name of Jesus. There are Christians, there are disciples, true disciples of Jesus in every corner of the globe, some of the most difficult mission fields, places like China and Iran throughout the Middle East. You want to hear an amazing statistic.
They estimate that right now there is one one and a half million house churches meeting in China right now across the whole Christian world.
One and a half million house churches meeting in China.
Think about the influence. Think about the influence of art, of design, of music, of humanitarian work, of love. For the herding of of love, for the poor and for the downtrodden. Ninety five percent of the population of the world has the Bible in their native language from one hundred and twenty to the ends of the world, in spite in spite of the birds trying to snatch the seed, in spite of the scorching suns of persecution, in spite of all of that, there is still some good soil.
And in spite of the presence of the thorns that represents our anxiety and depression, in spite of the evil opposition, in spite of all of that, in spite of the evil world, the leaven has influenced the world’s. And the world has been changed because of Jesus. And here’s what’s amazing about this illustration. The leaven. Happens at a macro level, but it also happens on a micro level. It also impacts every single disciple of Jesus that comes into contact with the world.
See, it’s true that a small piece of heaven can change the whole world. So once you decide to follow the ways of Jesus, you become yeast also. You become a starter dough. You become an agent of transformation, you are fermenting, you could drop that in the chat, you can say I’m changing, I’m fermenting, I’m becoming, I’m supposed to be fermenting. The spirit in some ways is eating up the gluten of your sinful nature and you are being changed day by day by the power of the spirit.
God is morphing you, mold you, refining you, redefining you into the image of a son. Every day you bubble, you change.
And then in a moment and a single moment, your seemingly insignificant life, your little tiny life is rusted into the bland, dilapidating flavourless door of the world. And in that moment, in that moment, when God inserts you into a school or into a relationship or into a job or into a family or into a neighborhood or into a city or even a country, you come in small, you come in and it looks like you can have very much impact.
But the spirit of God lead you into every fabric of the dough. And with that, he makes everything change because you start living like Jesus and you start showing who Jesus is, you start loving who Jesus is, and you start crying out the way Jesus cried out and you care the way Jesus cares. And in your small way, you change the world. You end the suffering by becoming a shoulder for people to cry on to get it’s you and crime.
By teaching people the truths of Jesus, you bring peace by becoming a peacemaker in a world of hurt. You show just this by by admitting your own desire or rather your own need for repentance. You rush into a world and you become leaven for a dough that’s bland in your small way. In your school, in your family, you are yeast thrown into the dough of the world and you change it from the inside out. You brothers and sisters are yeast inserted into the world to change its.
One goal, one mission, one plan, leave a trace of heaven. Everywhere you go.
The prophets longed to see the days of the kingdom. They long to see the days where peace. Was present or sorrow was ended with pain and suffering were alleviated by people of God standing up to become like a mountain. And it’s always going to be present evil, but you in some ways get to intersect our world with heaven, by the way you live.
Do you get it in your workplace with your children, in your marriage, with your relatives, with your extended family, with your neighbors, with that one annoying co-worker that you can’t seem to get along with on the Internet? You bring heaven. At least you should be on Instagram, on Facebook, on tick tock, on YouTube and your zoo meetings and your fellowship time. When you’re at home, when you’re on the road, you live in the world and you leave a trace of Jesus.
And nothing, nothing, nothing should be the same when you come into contact with it. That’s the mission of Jesus. It’s an enormous task. Yes, but remember. You’re just a small piece of yeast. And certainly it might take some time. And here’s my warning, brothers and sisters. Don’t neglect the small things. Don’t neglect the small things, how do you bring heaven to a co-worker? Well, maybe no one has ever been kind to him or her.
How do you bring heaven to your neighbors? Well, maybe no one has ever knocked on their door, called them to ask them how they were doing. Don’t neglect the small things because the small things might be the place where God brings about enormous change.
Maybe you can begin to focus very specifically on this lesson, everything you touch. Sorry, you can make everything you touch one percent better. Don’t try to make everything better, but make everything you touch one percent better when you’re driving down the road and someone’s really mad at you when there’s a neighbor in need, when there’s an orphanage, they need someone to volunteer. Maybe you can’t foster 100 hundred kids, but you can foster one. Maybe you can’t provide for the poor everywhere throughout your country, but you can provide for one, maybe you can’t do it all for everybody, but you can do it for one.
And you leave a trace of heaven wherever you go because you are 11 thrown into this enormous task. But again, God will need and transform all of it through you. The world can be one percent more holy because of you. One percent more kind, one percent more, just one percent less racist, one percent more focused on Jesus. Brothers and sisters, we are instruments of change, we are people of transformation, we are the yeast that work through the whole batch of dough and in any way that you can, why not bring a little bit of heaven?
Because true Christians trouble the world. They change the world, I think about Ahab when he said to Elijah, he says, you are a troublesome issue. You bring a little bit of trouble. The world may not like what you have to bring, but you can bring a little more truth. You could bring one percent more truth in this world than was there before. Remember, it started so small, one hundred and twenty disciples in an upper room and so much has been advanced by the name of Jesus Christ.
The world has been leavened by Christ, and guess what, it’s still being leavened. The world has been changed and it’s still being changed. I want to close you out with a story. There was a story of an old man who was walking on the beach at dawn. He noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging those starfish back into the sea. So the old man caught up to the younger man and he asked them what he was doing, the answer he got was that the stranded starfish would die if left till the morning sun.
But the old man replied, kind of unsure he was arguing with the young man, he says, But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish.
He asked the young men one last question, how can your effort make any difference? The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it safely back into the waves and he said this to the old man, At least it makes a difference to this one. You may not be able to save the whole world, you may not be able to heal the whole world, you may not be able to do it all by yourself. But I’m telling you, you can do it for one person.
You can make the world one percent better and you do not know what that sacrifice will do in the hands of God.
I’m telling you, organizations can be started from this one thought lives can be changed, your community can be changed, your family can be changed, your neighbors can be changed, your school can be changed. All with this focus on being the leaven brought in to the massive work of the dough. This is what Jesus did. Who had ever heard of Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Who had ever heard of him. And he was alive. No one had heard of him except for the people that came into contact with him and that little sacrifice who had ever heard of the baby born in Bethlehem and that little bit of sacrifice, that little bit changed the whole world and turned it upside down.
Jesus on the cross made a sacrifice. Died for our sins and was risen again. Many people die in this world, that little death was a seed planted that created what we’re a part of right now. I’m just saying little things can make a great impact. Let’s follow the model of our Lord Christ, our Lord Jesus Christ. At this time, we’re going to pray for our communion bread that represents his body and the juice that represents the blood he poured out for us in that moment.
Let’s think about all that Christ did to make our lives where it is now to bring the gospel into us. And then let’s think about how we can do that same thing for someone else.
Would you pray with me?