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The Mustard Seed

April 26, 2022

“And He said, ‘How can we illustrate the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use to describe it? It’s like a mustard seed that, when sown in the soil, is smaller than all the seeds on the ground’” (Mark 4:30-31, HCSB).

I am presently in another state catching up at a medical educational conference. As I walked through the airport and now sit among so many people from so many places, listening to their conversations and concerns, I am struck by an overwhelming sense that winning the world for Christ is impossible, that few people are really that interested, some are hostile, and I am such a small person amid so many who care so little. Is it really worth the effort?

Most of us, as Christians, are immensely important to a few people, moderately important to a larger group of persons and modestly important to a few others. When we look at humanity, we really don’t influence that many people, but God loves them all and tasks us to bring the whole world home to Him.

We truly are mustard seeds in this world, so small that few would even notice our presence if we were trapped like a pebble inside their shoes. And yet, we have this magnificent mandate to win the world for Christ.

When I walk among groups of people I do not know, I realize that most of them are not followers of Christ, and most would have little interest in words I might speak about Jesus. The task God has given us is too big. We should consider giving up at the absurdity of it.

But that’s assuming something as magnificent as salvation lies within my power. It is all His power, all His Spirit that touches others and brings them home. My task seems to me as miniscule to God’s great redemption plan as a single brick layer building the Notre Dame Cathedral. But again, such a comparison is false pride, as if I was the only brick layer or the only Christian redeeming the world for God, as if my power meant anything, even in the saving of one soul.

Thank God His mustard seed will grow to become “the largest of all garden plants” (March 4:32, NIV). Thank God He oversees the task He has handed us. Thank God it is His wisdom and His power that will succeed instead of mine. Thank God for His kindness in giving me a part to play in this greatest of all life missions. My job is minor, though sometimes not easy. I am to obey the commands He has set before me, to move my feet, to work with His church, to speak the gospel and touch in love, to place my bricks properly in the small corner of His cathedral where He has placed me. If we each do the same, that mustard seed of His will win the world.

Dear Father,
Thank you for trusting me with the task. Give me the faith to know that your power is sufficient to complete all that you have started.

Al Weir, MD

Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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