The Unstoppable Growth of God’s Kingdom
Will we continue to labor in ministry even when the results are different from what we expect? How do we know that God is working through us and His Kingdom is expanding? Mark 6:7-29 is instructive, comforting, and helpful.
Here, we read of two very contrasting ministry accounts. First, we hear of the Apostles outwardly successful ministry: they preached God’s Word, cast out demons and healed many sick (6:7-13). This ‘outwardly successful’ ministry is contrasted with John the Baptist’s ministry: he preached God’s Word to King Herod who refused to repent, imprisoned him, and beheaded him (6:14-29). While the first ministry group (the Apostles) saw much outward success, ultimately not all of their fruit would be rewarded on the Day of Judgment–note how Judas Iscariot was also part of the group [also note Matt 7:21-23]. A visibly successful ministry may not be one that matters in the end. On the other hand, John the Baptist’s ministry in this section did not receive the ‘outward success’ of the first group, but it was pleasing to God and it is a powerful example of faithfulness in spite of what may have been very discouraging (refusal to repent, imprisonment).
These two accounts remind us to trust in God as He grows the Kingdom of Christ in our midst. Jesus tells us that the Kingdom of God is like a seed that grows–no one can see the growth, but it grows still (Mark 4:26-29). The growth comes from God and is invisible. Sometimes it lines up in ways that we expect (dramatic impact on others/conversion) and other times it does not (like John the Baptist’s ministry in 6:14-29) [The preaching of the gospel is life to some and death to others (2 Cor 2:15-16)]. This reality of God’s unstoppable Kingdom growth is a needed balm when we are discouraged–God is still growing His Kingdom even when we cannot see it! This reality is also a humbling elixir when we’re feeling puffed up after “success”–the growth is ultimately from God!
If your small group feels very small or no one seems to be responsive to your ministry, remember this: the Kingdom of God still grows with an unstoppable growth. If your ministry is huge and everyone wants to be a part of our what we’re doing, remember this: God is the One who grows His Kingdom. In the end, God is the one who gets the credit and the glory.
Let us strive for the Kingdom that is unstoppable. Let us trust in the King and His perfectly timed growth of the Kingdom among us!
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens and His Kingdom rules over all (Ps 103:19).