“DON’T JUDGE THE CONTENT BY THE PACKAGING”

Mark 4:30-34 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 seed, 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 groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth 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.

The little round mustard seeds were an emblem of any small insignificant object. Mustard seeds are very small but very pungent – THEY MUST BE CRUSHED OR BRUISED IN ORDER FOR THEIR SAVOR TO BE ACCESSED.

Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed, which is the least of all seeds in the earth, but they grow to be greater than all herbs. If we were to look at this passage in proper context, we’d first see that from the beginning God desired to reap the souls of men. What was his solution? He sowed a man; Jesus. We all know that if you want to reap a harvest you must first sow a seed? If you wanted tomatoes you’d have to plant tomato seeds.

So here we see Jesus compared to the kingdom of God. Jesus came as a man, He was despised and rejected, He bore our grief, He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities and not only did He carry our sins to the cross, 2 Corinthians 5:21 says that He BECAME sin that we might be made the righteousness of God. When they beat the blood out of Jesus, when they crushed Him, the blood that flowed out was the pungent flavor of redemption! They found what was on the inside of Him was salvation that still extends all the way down to us today!

When I think of things that are considered the “least” of things, or insignificant, I tend to think of incarcerated people. By standards of society they are considered the least or the lowest of humanity. Some would even take their status as human beings if they could. Some believe that they should just be locked up without food, clothing, or anything else until they eventually die. Sadly some of these people are in Church every Sunday morning. When things that are considered as least or insignificant come up, I can’t help but think about the black race and their struggle for equality, and the adversity that it has been through and is still battling. I think about how a young black man is considered a gang member, a thug or a thief just because he is young and black. His pants sag, so he bears watching. I think about how a white man is labeled a racist just because his skin tone is white. Don’t let him have tattoos. I think about women and how their status in society is directly tied into who their husband is. I think about single mothers and labels that people try to put on them. I think about single women in general and how they are viewed as flawed because they haven’t gotten a man at a certain age. I think about the sickly and the disdain they are under even by the “so-called” Church folks.

I think everybody can identify with feelings of being insignificant and unimportant. We have all had feelings of being bruised or crushed, but don’t you know that a mustard seed has to be bruised or crushed in order for its flavor to come out? Any seed has to die in order to bring forth fruit. Can I tell you that many behind the walls of prison are dead to some people in the world? They were sent there to die. Life has stopped so for some that they’re just waiting to stop breathing.

But bless God, the scripture doesn’t end there! It goes on to say that when it is sown, it grows up, and becomes greater than all herbs! God has a plan for the broken. We may not be all we want to be just yet, we may not even be all we need to be, but bless God we’re not what we used to be!

David said, “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” (Psalms 40:2)

Even if you’re not incarcerated, you have an enemy that is ruthless and wants to destroy you. The devil wants to entrap us in sin, even if we’re born again, so that he can put us on the sideline and prevent us from fulfilling our destiny. He’s tried to get us to believe a lie; he wants us to think that we don’t matter. He wants to remind us of all our mistakes, bad decisions and failures.

BUT JESUS CAME THAT WE MIGHT HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY. JESUS WANTS US TO REMEMBER CALVARY AND THE PRICE THAT HE PAID FOR ALL OF OUR SINS. WE HAVE BEEN WASHED CLEAN BY HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD, WE HAVE BEEN CALLED TO HIS HOLY CALLING AND WE HAVE BEEN EMPOWERED BY THE HOLY GHOST TO STAND IN HIS PLACE AND BE HIS AMBASSADORS IN THIS STATE, IN THIS COUNTRY AND IN THIS WORLD!

1 Corinthians 1:27-29 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 the world, 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.

YOU MAY BE AN INSIGNIFICANT LITTLE SEED WITH A HARD SHELL. FOR SO LONG YOU HAVE THOUGHT THAT YOUR SHELL KEEPS THINGS FROM GETTING IN; YOU’VE BEEN HURT, YOU’VE BEEN LIED TO, YOU’VE BEEN MISTREATED, AND YOU THINK YOUR SHELL IS PROTECTION. BUT WHAT IT IS ACTUALLY DOING IS KEEPING WHAT GOD HAS PUT ON THE INSIDE OF YOU FROM GETTING OUT!

2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:

(BUT) GOD IS GOING TO BREAK THAT SHELL AND YOUR FLAVOR IS GOING TO BE SO STRONG THAT OTHERS WILL BE DUMBFOUNDED AND SHOCKED. YOU WERE JUST A MURDERER, YOU WERE JUST A THIEF, YOU WERE JUST A DOPE FIEND – BUT GOD – NOW YOU ARE DECLARING HIS LORDSHIP, – BUT GOD – NOW YOU ARE EXEMPLIFYING HIS POWER, – BUT GOD – NOW YOU ARE BRINGING HIM GLORY, – BUT GOD – NOW YOU ARE A TREE THAT IS ABLE TO PROVIDE REST AND REFUGE TO OTHERS WHO ARE IN NEED!

A prison sentence or a prison record doesn’t disqualify you; your race doesn’t disqualify you; your gender doesn’t disqualify you; your past doesn’t disqualify you; even your mistakes don’t disqualify you! God is looking for a willing vessel who has been through something to go to those who are still going through something to tell them; “HIS ANGER ENDURETH BUT A MOMENT; IN HIS FAVOUR IS LIFE: WEEPING MAY ENDURE FOR A NIGHT, BUT JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING.” (Psalms 30:5)

IF YOU STAY INSIDE YOUR HARD SHELL YOU WILL NEVER GROW INTO THAT HERB, THAT PERSON YOU ARE MEANT TO BE. IF YOU NEVER GROW UP INTO THAT GREAT HERB, IF YOU NEVER EMBRACE YOUR CALLING AND YOUR DESTINY, THEN YOUR BRUISING AND YOUR BEING CRUSHED WAS FOR NOTHING! I DON’T CARE IF YOU’VE LOST JOBS, HOUSES, MARRIAGES, RELATIONSHIPS; I DON’T CARE IF YOU FEEL LIKE A WALKING DISASTER AREA; DON’T LET YOUR BEING CRUSHED BE FOR NOTHING! THERE IS GREATNESS IN YOU! THE DEVIL KNOWS IT AND THE WORLD KNOWS IT. BUT GOD WILL COMPLETE THE WORK HE’S BEGUN IN YOU; HIS WORD WILL NOT RETURN TO HIM VOID! YOU’VE BEEN CRUSHED AND YOU’VE BEEN PLANTED; NOW IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO GROW AND BECOME WHO GOD INTENDS FOR YOU TO BE.

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