Today I visited Metro Life Church in Orlando, which is part of Sovereign Grace Ministries. This is the home church of blogger, Jesse Phillips, and is led by Danny Jones, Senior Pastor, who is a part of SGM’s apostolic team.
The venue was very nice, and as the worship began I felt very comfortable, having been warmly welcomed. The worship time was upbeat, and the modern songs were carefully chosen for their rich theological content. There were several prophetic words—given mostly in the first person rather than reported in the “I feel God may be saying” style. There was a time of prayer ministry following one of these. Individualized prayers were offered and hands were laid on a number who responded to a call to acknowledge they were battling against fear in their lives.
Benny Phillips, Executive Pastor at Metro Life and father of Jesse, preached on Mark 4:26-29 on the way in which the gospel works progressively, slowly, but unstoppably. Benny explained that the Word of God is a seed that is doing the work. It can take years, but will produce fruit. Sometimes in our lives a period of harvest comes suddenly, but will be the result of years of faithfulness to God’s Word.
He highlighted the fact that God’s methods are different than ours, and that his glorious future victory has implications for the here and now. He shared the following quote, which explains this well.
“The kingdom which is to come . . . has, in fact, entered into the world in advance in a hidden form to work secretly within and among men.”
— George E. Ladd
He applied this to both our own personal lives and to the spread of the gospel evangelistically. He then drove home two questions: “What kind of soil are you?” and “Is the seed in you?” He argued that if the answers to both questions are correct, there is a guarantee that fruit will indeed be produced. The Word of God will permeate and have its effect. God’s intent is our salvation and our sanctification. We have to be patient like the farmer who sows the seed and waits for it to do its work. It is God’s miraculous work to build a kingdom into our own heart.
“The Lord is not slow to fullfill his purpose as some count slowness, but is patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9