Happy Saturday! As Rip and I were reading in Luke 8 this morning, we both loved knowing that what we were reading is the exact story Jesus Himself told His friends and a group of women who were just standing around with him….
Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons; Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.
One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:
‘When they look, they won’t really see.
When they hear, they won’t understand.’
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. Look 8:1-15
Before we begin learning about 7 habits of a HAPPY household (being born into the household of God Ps. 116:16), let’s spend some time this weekend really taking Jesus’ story to heart. Our Farmer is the Lord Himself and He is always scattering and planting seeds of truth, promise, hope, joy, intention, guidance, and love in our lives.
Have you made choices in your life that revealed a corrupt character? Have you given in to temptation? Have you spent way too long allowing the devil to snatch away all truth God was bringing to you? Are you weary from living an “unrooted” life, experiencing more spiritual defeats than victories? Are the cares and riches and pleasures of this life choking out the hope and truth and INSPIRATION of God’s Word in your life?
There is an answer – a gracious opportunity from God – repent. One of the sweetest words in Scripture – a word that allows NEW LIFE – NEW Beginnings – 2nd chances – and a remarkable indescribable and inexpressible intimacy with God.
Will you turn away from what is in your life now competing with your living a noble life with GOD! Instead, long to cultivate such character that God’s heart begins to beat in you. Ask Him for it! Seek His mercy. He will grant it. But turn away from what is seriously damaging your relationship with God. He’s arms are wide open to you. He forgives. Scripture says He delights in forgiveness so that we keep (in reverence) serve Him. That doesn’t mean He will remove certain consequences that your sin may have brought on, but HE WILL be with you in those consequences. He has promised NOT to abandon you. Did He abandon David or Moses when they sinned? No…He actually continued using their life and said of David, “He is a man after my own heart.” There is nothing you can do that will overwhelm God – but His grace and mercy WILL overwhelm you!
Bottom line…are you wanting to cling to the Word of God and it cling to you through a life of obedience, so that He is allowed to produce a HARVEST through you?
Let’s think on these things this weekend. We will receive so much more out of this series WHEN… we ask Him to help us cultivate a character that He can do so much with!
With Happy Heart,