Google+ 01/18/2014 Clear, Cut, and Cultivate!

Luke 8:13-15

 

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.

 

In the final chapter or our ten-part devotion series entitled, "Whither or Grow...Our Choice!" Luke quotes Jesus in one of the most important and familiar parables the Bible has to offer us.  The big question for all Christians is summed up completely in these three verses.  Who will grow and who will whither?  Do we have any control over which one will happen to us?  Today's Scripture says an emphatic, "YES!"  Stay out of rocky soil and thorns.  Temptation and testing will come to each of us in our lives, and I even dare say, frequently.  If we do not grow our roots in Christ, temptation will over take us and we will fall away from God quickly.  This is why new believers leave the "new habit" of going to church after no more than nine weeks.  They have no "roots" and when the enthusiasm wears off, they disappear.  Those who hear God's Word, in the midst of the world, have no chance of obeying if they don't make some tough choices.  We must give up the old cares, pleasures, and riches of a life without God.  All of them?  Yes, because the danger of keeping even one of them, will lead to our lives being overgrown with "thorns."  When we invite new people into our fellowship, contact them every day.  We all have come out of the darkness into the light.  It takes a while for our eyes to adjust.  Lead those "new seeds" away from the thorns and rocks.  Where should we lead them?  Lead them to the good soil where they can hear God's Word, cling to it, and produce a huge harvest.  This is not easy nor is it a short process.  Remember, Jesus spent every waking moment with His twelve disciples for 3 1/2 years!  He was Jesus and was standing right in front of them!!!  What was the result?  One betrayed Him and eight others fled.  Only one disciple was at the cross.  If this was the track record of the greatest evangelist and teacher who ever walked on the earth, what might happen to us in our quest to grow the church? As we walk the path to Jesus with others, let's stoop down and pick up the stones and remove them from the path.  Let's get out the "weed-whacker" and cut the thorns out of the way.  When we find "good soil," stop, put down roots, and wait patently for an abundant crop.  It truly is a three-step process.  Make sure that we always, "Clear, Cut, and Cultivate!"