Family Devotion Idea: Mustard Seed

*About twice a month, we try to post the outline of a family devotion that you and your kids can do together. Carve out some time with your kids for a fun and creative discussion this week!

Teaching Goal:
In God's Kingdom, small is big and weak is powerful.

Mark 4:30 - {Jesus said,} “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest seed you plant in the ground. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade.”

• Water
• Vase or large mason jar
• Measuring cups: 1 cup; ¼ cup and teaspoon
• Food color, dark

Lesson and Discussion:
*Words that are written in bold are when you, the parent, are speaking.  Feel free to use your own words.

The Kingdom of God is different from the kind of kingdoms we read about in stories and see in movies.  Leading characters in earthly kingdoms are often the most powerful, rich, strong, brave, pretty and popular.

In the Book of Mark, Jesus compares the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed!  Invite a volunteer to read Mark 4:30.  Although a mustard seed is very small it can grow into a huge plant.  God is using this example to illustrate how He uses small things to build his kingdom on earth.  

ACTIVITY:  We are going to calculate how many drops of water it takes to fill this vase with water.  Use the eye dropper and measure how many drops in a tablespoon.  Then multiply the cups of water you put into the vase by 16 which will give you the number of tablespoons in the vase.  Multiply the number of tablespoons by the number of drops in a tablespoon for the total number of drops in the vase.

2 tablespoons  =  1 ounce;  16 tablespoons = 1 cup

One at a time, place 10 drops of food color into the clear, glass vase.  Do not stir.  Continue talking as the food color spreads through the water.

In the Kingdom of God, one decision can have a powerful impact.  In the Kingdom of God, one regular person can have a powerful impact.  Share personal stories from your own life how someone made one comment that changed your life for the better.  Stories about one person who had a powerful impact on hundreds of people.

Can you think of some Bible stories where regular, seemingly powerless, unimportant people were used by God to do amazing things?  Listen to answers.  The boy who gave two fish and five loaves that were used to feed 5,000 people.  No soldier from the army would go fight Goliath but the shepherd boy David did and he won.  Jesus built the church on the leadership of Peter, a regular fisherman. 

Mordacai Ham was the preacher used by God to reach Billy Graham the evangelist.

See how the thousands of water drops have been impacted by the 10?  In the same way, one word or one Godly choice could have a powerful impact.  How might God use you and me to have an impact on his kingdom?  Listen to answers and encourage discussion.  One kind word to an upset student could keep them from fighting and hurting other students.  One kind act while driving could avoid an accident.  Introducing a friend to Jesus could be passed on to future children and grandchildren of that friend. 

Building the Kingdom of God does not depend on popular celebrities or powerful businessmen.  God welcomes but does not need a Kobe Bryant or Tiger Woods to lead the way.  God welcomes but does not need Oprah Winfrey or Donald Trump to give a million dollars to Africa.  The Kingdom of God will come when regular people like you and me take time to listen to God and faithfully do what he teaches and says.  Do not under estimate the power of one word or one action! 

If you liked this devotion idea, there are hundreds more available from Family Time Training. See the link on the right side of this page for more information.