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The Word's Mysterious Work


The Word's Mysterious Work

[The] way that the Word works is beyond human understanding. This lesson is drawn from the last part of verse 27: the farmer-man “sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how” (italics added). Ponder those words: “he knows not how.” The farmer-man doesn’t know how the seed grows in the ground, but he knows that it does. The preacher-man doesn’t know how the Word grows in the heart, but he knows that it does. But the inner-workings of the Word in the human heart are mysterious to him. 

The Word goes into a young man like George Müller, whose story I briefly recounted two weeks ago, and a deceptive schemer becomes a devoted servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Word goes into a sixteen-year-old Henry Varley, whose story I touched on last week, and in due course he grows into an evangelist who preaches the gospel throughout the English-speaking world. The Word goes into a young and desperate Ravi Zacharias, recovering after a failed suicide attempt, and he becomes a beloved evangelist who takes the gospel all over the world. The Word goes into a tenured feminist professor like Rosaria Butterfield, and she falls in love with Jesus and becomes a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, and foster parent. The Word goes into Mary Magdalene, afflicted by seven demons, and she becomes a gracious disciple who uses her resources to support the work of the gospel (Luke 8:1-3). The Word so works in a creative young artist like Lilias Trotter, that she is compelled to walk away from the promise of a successful career as an artist and instead becomes a Christian missionary to Algeria. And what about you? Perhaps you were eighteen or twenty-eight or fifty-eight years old and you were wasting your life, but then the Word went into your heart and it changed everything.

How does the Word do that? How does the Word accomplish these things? The point, of course, is that the work that the Word does is nothing less than the miraculous and supernatural work of God. The work of God’s Word is hand-and-glove with the work of God’s Spirit. Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) According to John 3, God’s Spirit creates spiritual life. According to 1 Peter 1, God’s Word creates spiritual life. God’s Spirit and God’s Word, God’s breath and God’s speech, always travel together – the two wings of God’s power. And this spiritual and supernatural work of God’s Word in the depths of the human heart is beyond human understanding. The Word “sprouts and grows,” but we “[know] not how.”

From "The Growth of God's Kingdom–Part 1: An Exposition of Mark 4:26-29," March 8, 2020

NOTE: Header Image/Featured Image Photo by Peter Kleinau on Unsplash


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