Tuesday, March 24
God's Word: Risk
Did you know that the word of God can change some people and not others? Did you know that in the same exact setting (at church or a retreat, etc.) the word of God will change some and not others? Did you know there is RISK every time you hear the word that it will have no effect and be of little benefit to you?
Did you know that you can read the word, get excited about what you read and still be unchanged? Did you know that satan has a staked interest in you not growing from the word when you hear it?
Consider the following from Jesus regarding the risk of the word of God in your life.
Read: Luke 8:5-15
5“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the road, and it was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the sky devoured it. 6Other seed fell on rock, and as soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. 7Others fell amid the thorns, and the thorns grew with it, and choked it. 8Others fell into the good ground, and grew, and brought forth fruit one hundred times.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
9Then his disciples asked him, “What does this parable mean?”
11Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved. 13Those on the rock are they who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; but these have no root, who believe for a while, then fall away in time of temptation. 14That which fell among the thorns, these are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15That in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it tightly, and bring forth fruit with patience.
What does the seed represent (v.11)?
What type of audience does the word of God have when it is communicated?
1. Closed: rejected (v.12)
2. Closed: shallow (v.13)
3. Closed: divided (v.14)
4. Open: eager (v.15)
Kind of scary to think that ¾ of folks listed in the parable are actually closed to the word! They cannot or do not really take it to heart. That’s sobering!
Two of the folks (#2 & #3) seem open initially but something comes up. Think of the “Christian” folks that you have known for more than 10 years. If you hang around long enough you can actually see folks fall into these 2 categories. Some (#2) get real excited about God and His love and the fellowship of others. They hang on for a while until difficulty comes and they are gone. Still others (#3) just cannot get to the place where they truly and fully learn to trust God with their lives. They are worried, obsessed with stuff and want pleasure more than godliness. This is sobering!
Finally, look at the description of the Open and eager person (#4). What is the difference? What do you think it means that they are “honest” (v.15)? Is it that the word is only for good and honest people or do you think it is that they are honest about their real condition and need? (See Matthew 5:3)
What does it mean that they bring forth fruit? And what does patience have to do with it?
Examine your life today! Which person are you? You have heard the word and you have had a response to it. Are you closed or open? How do you know?
How is your love of this world? How is your love of God? Are you worried consistently about money? Are you seeking pleasure as a goal? Did you start with a lot of joy and zeal and are losing grip?
Pray to God for a good and honest heart to hear His word and bear fruit. Repent if you sense you have missed it with God.
Take time and memorize Hebrews 4:12 this week. Write it on a 3x5 and stick it in your car, on the fridge, on your mirror …. wherever. Memorize it in a translation that you are used to and read on a regular basis.
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.