What Are We Sowing? (Reblogged)

“Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear” (Luke 8:8 NIV)

Jesus said, when seed (The Word of God) falls onto good ground, it will yield a crop (growth) a hundred times more than there once was. He also goes on to say, “he who has an ear to hear, let him hear.” So why does Jesus relate this parable to his disciples and how does it apply to us today? The point being made here is two-fold; both on a spiritual level, but one pertaining to the wealth that God has entrusted us with and the other, the wealth of souls that God has entrusted to us. If we misunderstand God’s intent, we sow discord and doubt into the midst of the congregations and fuel the unbelievers’ attempts to thwart the Word of God.

First, we must understand that the resources (money) that God provides to us are to be used as seed to be sown in good ground. If we are sowing seed (giving money) to churches in which there is no growth and in fact is being used to promote man’s kingdom instead of the kingdom of God, we do God a disservice. We are to be good stewards—weighing carefully how we use the resources God gives us and making sure that our use—will eventually bring glory to God.

We need to make sure that we are wise teachers (sowers) of the Word and our only agenda is to win souls to Christ; not to us. We must make every attempt to fulfill the commission given to us to go out into all the world, teaching the Word, baptizing in Jesus’ name so that all can come into the knowledge of the Truth (God’s truth, not ours).

The flip side of seeing growth and maturity is to see stagnation of both money and people. Misusing the resources will eventually feel like money placed in pockets with holes—steadily being lost along the way. Manipulating the Word for selfish gains will eventually see more space and vacant seats in churches as people leave. For those who have an ear to hear, let them hear.

We must be good stewards of what God has given us. Are we promoting the Gospel of Jesus Christ (salvation, forgiveness, and love) or are we just having church? Are we utilizing the monetary resources to assist the poor and the needy, to promote the Gospel, or are we just having church fundraisers? Church leaders must be accountable to the Word. Church members must be accountable to the Word by studying for themselves. Remember, he/she who wins souls must be wise. They who anticipate seeing growth/increase must make sure they are sowing (or watering) in good ground. We must be willing to do deep soul searching and introspection to make sure we are doing everything we can to glory God. He that has an ear to hear, let him hear.

What are you sowing? Are you sowing in good ground?

(Revised and re-blogged from 12/13/12)

Let Them Quibble!

“Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly” (2 Timothy 2:16 NIV).

When I hear someone or see someone use scripture out of context, I am so tempted to jump right in and correct them. The same is true when people attempt to attribute certain things to God or to belittle what God has said. I have come to the conclusion that when people want to be ignorant, there is nothing anyone else can do. So, instead of engaging in unproductive conversation, I pray for them and when opportunity presents itself, I let them know I’m praying for them.

If we engage in stupidity, we tend to become like those who initiated it and the more we talk, the leverage we give them because they know we are easily swayed. Our role, when we hear or see foolishness, is to walk away and pray. As hard as that sounds, we must make it happen. We do not wish to give the foolish, fuel to use to ignite godless chatter because that is what it will be if we engage.

A fool is known by their inability to stop talking about foolishness. Are we fools–other than for Christ? I’m not. If we simply limit our Godly conversation about His love, mercy, and grace–we have opened the door–hopefully for another opportunity to get more involved in a conversation that will yield or produce interest in someone hearing more. If we simply attempt to beat people over the head with enumerating their sins, we open the door for them to attack–with godless chatter–in defense of their behavior and we lose ground if we engage. If we really want people to receive the Good News, we need to use a balanced approach–share His love and then tell them how to be a recipient of all He has for them.

First conversation with limited time: “Hello. How are you today? May I have a few moments of your time? I’d like to share the love of God with you. God loves you and wants only the best for you.”

First conversation with more time: “Do you know the Lord as Savior? Would you like to know more? He loves you enough that He died for you and wants to make sure you have opportunity to enjoy the abundant life He has in store for you.”

Of course, these conversations will vary, but hopefully, they are enough to open the door for anyone to share the Good News. We must all remember that, “one who wins souls, must be wise.” Exercise wisdom in all things and don’t become an antagonist trying to win someone to Christ. When we become the antagonist, we give Satan opportunity to win, not us.

If people do not want to hear what we have to say, thank them for their time and move on. If they engage in ungodly conversation, let them quibble; walk away and move on. If they choose to listen, then captivate your audience with God’s love and plant a seed or water one and see God’s Kingdom grow.

Remember to Tell Others!

“After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel” (Judges 2:10 NIV).

I’ve often wondered (now that I know for myself) why people take the stance they do in opposition to God.  Then, when I read passages from the Old Testament, I am reminded that this current trend to oppose God is just history repeating itself.  When Joshua died and the generation after him died who had first-hand knowledge of what God had accomplished for the Children of Israel, the people (another generation) forgot to keep telling it to others and they chose to do what they wanted to do.

What happened to the generation who didn’t know the Lord?  They served idols and did what the other nations did who did not know God.  Then, God became angry and allowed them to suffer at the hands of the other nations and when He made Himself known to this generation, they repented and once again knew the blessings of The Lord.  And as long as they remembered to tell those who came behind about the great things God had done and were obedient, He continued to bless them as a nation (until He relented to their constant grumblings about having a king, but that’s another discussion).

For those of us who are concerned with this generation and their opposition to God, we need not worry. God is not a god of trends.  What He has done in the past, He will do again.  When people–as a nation–realize that He is not pleased with their trends (idol worship, doing things their way), and get tired of suffering, they will hear God’s messengers, repent, and He will hear their cries and heal the land.  We must remember to tell others about all God has done–His love, mercy, and many benefits for all who receive what He has to give!

The ultimate sacrifice has been made–(Jesus on the cross) there is no other sacrifice needed to get God to smile upon us other than–obedience in being a witness--telling of His goodness!  Hallelujah!