Stories of Mustard Seed and Yeast
31 Then Jesus told another story: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed. A man plants the seed in his field. 32 That seed is the smallest of all seeds. But when it grows, it is one of the largest garden plants. It becomes a tree, big enough for the wild birds to come and make nests in its branches.”
33 Then Jesus told another story: “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman mixes into a big bowl of flour. The yeast makes all the dough rise.”
34 Jesus used stories to tell all these things to the people. He always used stories to teach people. 35 This is as the prophet said:
“I will speak using stories;
I will tell things that have been secret since the world was made.” Psalm 78:2
There has been a lot of debate about this topic “do I need to go to church every Sunday as
a christian?” To answer this question, I’d like to start from the beginning to have a better
understanding of the church, why Sunday? And why do I need or not need to go. Follow me.
Why do christians worship on Sunday?
Although the sabbath day, which is Saturday, is the day, the Lord selected as the day of
rest and worship. However, in the new testament, the Christian church began to worship and
rest on the first day of the week – Sunday. So does that mean Christians are violating God’s rule
of worshipping on Saturday and made it Sunday? Well, here is the explanation. First, the bases
for observing the sabbath, as stated in Exod 20 vs. 11 is that God rested on the 7th day after six
days of work. God blessed the 7th day and sanctified it. It was then that the sabbath day was
instituted as the day of rest and worship. So the people of Israel followed God’s example and
his pattern of work and rest.
Jesus however, corrected the distorted view of the Pharisees in Mark 2 vs. 27,” the
sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” So this means, the sabbath day was
not instituted to enslave people but to benefit man. The spirit of sabbath observers is
continued in the new testament when we observe a day of rest and worship on the first day of
the week. Secondly, according to Col 2 vs. 17, the sabbath was a shadow of things to come, but
the substance is of Christ.” The sabbath observers was associated with redemption in Deut. 5
vs. 15, where Moses stated, “rememer you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and that the Lord
your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm, therefore
the Lord your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day. It means the sabbath was a
shadow of redemption, which will be ( was ) provided in Christ. It symbolizes the rest from our
work into the rest of God provided.
The command and principle in the old testament were reaffirmed in the new testament
except the command to set Saturday apart as the day of rest and worship, and some of the
reasons for this is because new testament believers believe they are no more under the old
testament law. See Romans 6:14, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not
under law but under grace. See also, Gal. 5:24-25.
It was by Jesus resurrecting on the first day of the week, continued the period of
succeeding Sundays, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the early church was given the pattern
of Sunday worship. The early church met regularly on Sundays – See Acts 20 vs. 7 and in 1st
Corinthians 16 vs. 2. Sunday worship was further allowed by our Lord, who appeared to John in
a great vision on the Lord’s day in Rev 1 vs. 10. These are the reasons why Early Christians
worship on Sundays rather than on the Jewish sabbath. They never saw themselves as jews
anymore, and it all boils down that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead on a Sunday.
The above has established why Sunday. To answer your question, kindly follow me on.
Is it a sin to not go to Church? Or why should I go to church as a Christian every
The truth is, a person can be a Christian and not go to church. However, 1 Cor. 12 vs. 27
says, ” Now you’re christ’s body, and individually members of it in particular.” Do you see that?
This simply means, as a member of the body of Christ( the church), we should be part of
the physical body representation of God. As a part of the body, if you separate yourself from
the body, you will die a natural death. It’s like a tree with different branches, if a branch plucks
itself out, it is sure that it will die a natural death. So also is leaving or not worshipping with the
body of Christ regularly. No matter how independent you think you may be, you will eventually
get dried up. The church is an important part, it’s called the Bride of Christ.
You think you can worship God alone yourself? Okay. See 1 Cor. 12:21 ” The eyes cannot
say to the hand, I don’t need you, and the head cannot say to the feet, I don’t need you.” This is
for the fact that we all need each other. Most people will not be in Christ today if not for a part
of the body of Christ – the church. That’s where the encouragement is.
Listen! Where your mind will deceive you; your eyes won’t. As you worship together with
believers on Sundays, your faith becomes strengthened as you see other believer walk in faith
with God. The more you see a friend trust in God, go further with God and receive God’s
blessings, the more you get encouraged to press harder for a new level with God.
No matter what level you’re, there is always a new level. The more you go further, the
more life comes into you. Another thing is, there is a kind of spiritual security you have when
you go to Church, and you’re surrounded by God’s people.
So, in answer to the question, I’d say you can still be a Christian and not go to church
every Sunday. However, keep in mind that abstaining from Church( Sunday in this case), you’re
indirectly going to an ugly, unhealthy, and a place of death. We have to be in Christ’s
body(church) for us to be the kind of people He created us to be.
Christians are one body, and coming together regularly helps us gain strength from one
another. You should not abstain from the body.
Now, let’s go a little further. Your attention should not be attending Church but getting involved
in church. The following reasons are for you to see why you should go to Church and be
- The theme around the old testament revolves around the church. So, don’t you think it’s
too important, that’s why it’s the whole theme the old testament is based on?
- In Heb 10 vs. 25. We were actually given a warning about forsaking the church. It says, “not
forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one
another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
This simply means, don’t forsake going to church. That is very clear. Right? Yes.
- Matt 18 vs. 20 also says, ” for where two or three are gathered in my name; there I’m in the
midst of them.”
From the above explanation that I made, I want to believe you as a christian has seen why you
should go to church Sunday, not only that but also to get involved in Church.
God bless you.
Being a Christian does not prevent you from facing life challenges. Life challenges can either be to the young or old, man or woman, single or the married, believer or non-believer. Life challenges can be in form of suffering on any Christian but if your anchor holds during the storm, then you are assured of a testimony after the storm.
God has expectations for His children as to how we should deal with suffering because we have a solid foundation in Christ. Paul teaches us in Romans 8:16-17, ” The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Our future glory and heritage depend on how faithful we are during the storms of life.
How can we remain real when the pain is so raw? How can we stay faithful when we want to throw everything inside us in the towel? How do we stay true when God appears distant? How can we remain faithful when our suffering goes on year after year, and God never seems to change our situation?
We find one of the answers of Paul in Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”.
Present Time Pain.
You might be tempted to tell Apostle Paul that he is unqualified to come to his conclusion because present-day sufferings are not worth comparing with what he suffered those days. But I want you to know that Apostle Paul has faced several afflictions and he still maintained his faith.
The Bible has a proof of this in 2 Corinthians 1:8–9, “For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life: But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead”. Paul, in the midst of life suffering, was no stranger to hardship but he was faithful to Christ.
To Paul – and for us – the inspiration for faithfulness is the eternal reward that is ours. Yet what exactly is the promise of the future? Eternal rest, Crown of Glory, and many more juicy benefits awaits us at the parley gate
Can you imagine how it would be to be fully part of the family of God? It’s going to be more like the Garden of Eden; it is going to be more fun than Christmas; we will see Jesus face to face and lots more.
So take heart even though today’s pain is raw or you feel like tossing in the towel. We have an illusion that will never disappoint us. “Jesus deserves it”.
Nobody enjoys suffering, but suffering is a normal and necessary part of the Christian life. In fact, the Scripture teaches in 2 Timothy 2:3; 3:1–4, 13 that we should expect increased hardship and misery, so we must never get distracted of the storm of life.
From the book of 2 Timothy, we know that we may undergo suffering as an outcome of our testimony, our righteous living, or our standing for truth (2 Timothy 1:8; 2:8–9, 17–18; 3:6–8, 12). We may also experience suffering like rejection or loneliness (2 Timothy 1:15; 4:9–11; 4:16), or as a natural consequence of our fleshly, worldly desires (2 Timothy 2:22).
Suffering too will come; however, God in His kingdom will give us grace and strength to conquer every challenge and fulfill our goal and mission. Paul shares certain important truths about how we can endure the suffering in his second epistle to Timothy.
Each Christian suffers. Either you have, you are, or you will, it is affirmed in Acts 14:22 that we must enter the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.
This reality is a strong reminder for is to strive to reach the new heavens and new earth. The New Jerusalem of neither tears nor pain, no mourning or death, has not yet arrived. Yet just because we undergo suffering as we await our body’s salvation, that doesn’t mean our suffering is senseless or purposeless. And it doesn’t mean either that the scripture does not have a plan for our suffering.
TEN PRINCIPLES FOR ENDURING SUFFERING
- Don’t forget why you suffer.
Remember your purpose, and whom you serve! The apostle Paul said in 2 Tim. 2:10 that he was able to suffer for preaching the gospel, because of the elect, and also for the glory of God. The pain (great or slight) may be used to achieve the same ends. Remember Jesus was nailed on the cross to bear the reason for our suffering.
- Know you are a Christian inmate- not being persecuted for your sins or any other person but for the glory of God.
Do not be ashamed of our Lord’s testimony, or of me, his prisoner (2 Tim. 1:8).
- Keep going back to the things you were doing
Strive to make the word of God an habit. At night do you doubt what you see with your lamp? Never!! JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Remember that which you received in Christ as a result of your salvation (2 Tim. 1:5). Recall your calling and God’s grace (2 Timothy 1:1, 9–12).
- Hold on and keep doing what God has called you to do.
Persevere, remain faithful, regardless of any opposition or hardship (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
Most Christian dropped their sword of battle during the storm. As for you, always be sober-minded, bear hardship, do an evangelist’s mission, carry out your ministry (2 Tim. 4:3, 5).
- Trust God to deal with those who stand against the facts.
Don’t take things into your own hands, or become bitter and arguable. “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will”. (2 Tim. 2:23-26).
- Remember past times when the Lord has delivered you or saved you.
Be prompt in praising Him and bear witness to others (2 Tim. 3:11; 4:16–17).
- Relying on the means God has given you:
God’s Grace (2 Tim. 1:2, 9; 2:1; 4:22)
God’s gift — your God-given capacity to serve Him (2 Timothy 1:6–7).
God’s power (rather than your own might) (2 Tim. 1:8; Phil. 2:13; Eph. 6:10).
The Holy Spirit dwelling within (2 Tim. 1:14).
God’s Word that keeps you grounded and gives you an insight (2 Tim. 2:7, 9; 3:12–17; 4:1–2).
- Remember that in your suffering, you are not alone.
You’ve already got:
Christ’s presence (Matt. 28:20)
Other Faithful prayers (2 Tim. 1:3)
The “fellowship of suffering”—other Christians who face misery for Christ’s sake (2 Tim. 1:8; Heb. 13:3; Col. 1:24).
Cultivate these to help you sustain yourself:
Godly helpers — Search and also cultivate a group of like-minded believers whose faithfulness and prayers will encourage and support you (2 Timothy 1:2, 4–5; 4:9–13, 19–21).
Divine Heroes — Read the missionary biographies of other faithful believers so that God can cultivate both faith and wisdom in your heart (Heb. 13:7).
“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;” (2 Timothy 3:10, 14).
Godly heritage-You should be able to instill confidence and bravery in the next generation when you hear of those who have gone before. Pass the baton on to others.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
- No matter how complicated things are today, you can looking ahead with hope. Trust in the Scriptural Truth.
The truth lies in:
One day all wrongs will be put right (2 Timothy 3:8–9; 4:14).
The Lord will deliver you in His time from all evil (2 Timothy 4:17–18).
” And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2 Tim. 4:18).
All your sufferings, sacrifices, labors, and faithfulness will be rewarded in the “day” when the faithful shall stand before their Lord (2 Tim. 1:12, 18; 2:12; 4:8; Philippians 1:6, 10; 2:16; James 1:12).
” Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Tim. 4:8).
- In all your sufferings honor Jesus Christ.
Remember Christ suffering on the cross of Calvary. He went through shame that we might be free. “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” (Hebrews 12:3–4).
How do we faithfully endure Christ’s suffering?
We must remember burdens are lifted at calvary
We must remember to endure suffering that the Word of God is unstoppable
We must remember the lost to endure suffering
We must continue to pray to bear suffering
To suffer, we must consider the reward of God
To suffer, we must remember the judgment of God
Expect to suffer — it’s inevitable — but don’t forget the powerful resource in Christ that you have. It depends on His ever-present care and protection for your future. He loves you, and He surly would allow you to survive.
Whether from a friend, family, an employer, or a church, we can remember one form of rejection we’ve faced in our lives. And without a doubt, this experience leaves us with an effect – either short or long term. Our faith is not a shield either. If there’s anything at all, it is that being a Christian makes us more vulnerable to rejections.
In today’s tech-driven world, you will agree that this has taken an even more difficult approach.
Depending on our response to rejection, this experience can leave a dent on our hearts and could damage one’s self-esteem. It has done great damage to the faith of many Christians and closed the door of truth against many seekers.
God, however, did not leave us in the dark on this matter.
When we turn to the Bible, we realize that we are not alone in this struggle for acceptance. From God’s rejection of Cain and Joseph’s rejection by his brothers to the New Testament examples, the Bible is replete with examples.
But in the face of Christ, we can learn what rejection is and how to handle it. Jesus’ rejection experience was two-dimensional. The people he came to save rejected him, and, at Calvary, was abandoned by the God he loves. If we say Jesus had the most painful experience of rejection, we would be just right.
“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.” (John 1:9-11, ESV)
What, then, can we learn from Jesus Christ?
By looking at the Bible, we can learn the following from Jesus (and the Scripture) in handling rejection.
Focus on Your Purpose
Whatever the enemy brings our ways (including rejection), its sole purpose is to deter is from fulfilling our purpose. We must not give him a chance to do this. Jesus shows us this by focusing on the goal.
“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2, ESV)
Jesus was unfazed in the face of rejections and the shame that accompanied it. His eyes were on the prize. There was no looking at the people who rejected him. He wanted to please God. And nothing was stopping him.
Like Jesus, we have the choice to look away from distractions and focus on our life purpose. What you are living for is bigger than your rejection. It’s a temporary event and not defining. There’s something bigger for which to live.
Turn to God in His Word
It’s no doubt rejection could beat down one’s esteem. It could make you feel less and undeserving of good things. But this is not what the scripture says about you. The opposite is, in fact, the truth. You are priceless and worth more than all the good things of this life!
“Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19, ESV)
Look at that! In the face of rejection, open up your mind and let God’s Word landscape it. Live in and on God’s Word. It can renew and build you up. Allow God’s word to rule your heart and mind. Let it have the run of the house in your mind!
Cast Your Pains at Christ’s Feet.
There’s nowhere better we can be certain our every worry is listened to with intentional commitment. Only Jesus offers us this. He cares for and about you (1 Peter 5:7). He knows and sees what you’re going through. Ours is a God who cares. It is encouraging to know.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV)
Here’s an open invitation, whose only requirement is to have a burden. Hurts accompanying rejection is a heavy burden, too. So, take it to the Lord in prayers and cast it there. In exchange, take Christ’s easy yoke and light burden, and give rest to your soul.
Remind Yourself there’s No Coincidence
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV)
In the face of rejection, we can remind ourselves of this truth. Our God is not a God of coincidence. He has a mastery of using every situation for the good of His children. People may intend to hurt you by this, but God would always use your rejection experience to affirm that he loves you, nonetheless. Though the devil meant to exploit our pains to cause us more harm, God outwits him to turn it for good.
Are you facing rejection? Remind yourself of God’s unalloyed love for you, and commitment to your good.
You can give your hurts to God. Trade it for the unspeakable joy and tranquility he offers. When you give it to Him, God can make a masterpiece of your life’s broken pieces. Remember, the adversary seeks whom to devour. Resist him by
Remaining focused on your purpose
Living in and on His Word
Casting your cares on Christ Jesus, and
Reminding yourself of God’s promises.
When we look at the big picture of our existence in God, we can embrace rejection, knowing fully well that God has all things figured out from before the beginning of time.