Real truth hard truth Part 3
The first week we talked about, while it is hard we must stand for truth but we must do it by first making sure our hearts are right full love and humility
Last week we talked about surrendering our whole heart and being to Christ…he is standing at the door knocking and he is wanting to pour out blessing on our lives but only if we will trust Him with everything
Today I want to share with you challenge in our growth and why so many struggle in their faith
Once we make the commitment to allow the Lord complete control we have one heart with him and one heart with each other and God can move powerfully in that environment
Psalm 133:1, 3b
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!
….For there the Lord commanded the blessing
That doesn’t mean stuff doesn’t happen bear with me as we very quickly look at a passage I need us to understand
24 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. 25 Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. 26 But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. 27 When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.”
Before I get into the main teaching today I need us to see something in this passage
Jesus said those who honor his teaching and those who don’t will all go through the same things….rain, floodwaters, and hurricane winds
But the one who honors his teaching, stands on His word will never fail no matter how hard everything comes after them they will always stand
But those who hear it and reject it will never be able to stand strong
We can’t take God’s word lightly, well we can but the outcome will always be destructive if we do…loving God and loving people requires us to continue to grow in him and not stagnateso lets get to the meat of the teaching today
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: 5 “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. 6 Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. 8 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.”
We don’t understand the full impact of this story because we don’t live in an agrarian culture anymore but if a crop failed in Israel at this time it meant financial disaster, poverty, potential enslavement and/or starvation. Jesus was stressing that seed not growing is a very dangerous life-changing situation
Luke 8: 11-15
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. 12 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 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.
We need to realize God’s word is all around us…let me explain my process…I am praying for weeks asking the Lord what he wants me to bring to you…when I get the idea…I pray more specifically and begin my research….I generally spend 30-40 hours researching studying praying and then writing the sermon so I know what I am bringing to you is to the best of my ability what the Lord wants and the way he wants it.
On top of that, you will have teachers on Wednesday night doing a similar thing
You have a Bible in your hand you should be reading every day.
You have my thought for the day when originally written would take a couple of hours each day
Christian radio, TV, book, and magazines all there planting seed in your life.
The seeds are being sown all around us very few have any excuse for not hearing but we know according to this story that even though God loves everyone some will choose not to live a life of freedom, hope, love but instead will choose slavery to the world and the world system
This story also warns us to be aware of the things that will try to entrap us or trip us up
13 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.
How does this happen? First, everyone can be tempted, the temptation is not a sin it is giving in to this temptation that we have to deal with.
Our roots are not deep because we don’t know the word, the Bible, the scriptures, God’s love letter and heart for us
Here is what God spoke to Jeremiah 17:8,9
But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
Our hope and confidence builds to trust because we are daily in the word and prayer without this we are shallow and little heat, any little temptation and we go back to or former life without hope
Think about when difficulties come your way, temptation comes your way….. are scripture verses and/or the Lord’s heart the first thing that comes to mind…or even what would Pastor Tim do or any other Christian who is maturing
We spend our lives fighting bad attitudes, addictions, overcoming wounds, rejections we know the floods, winds, and rain will come but do we run to God? Is His word deeply embedded in our hearts so at a moment’s when the temptation comes to revert to our old self or new battles…without a daily deepening relationship through knowing God’s word and time in prayer, many have been taken out this way. Not knowing the word is not the only thing to trip us up
14 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.
What are the cares of this world?
Most of them are good things but if they take priority over Christ then they steal your future and blessing from you and fear and wounds take over
Finances – God wants you to be a good steward of your finances but everything you have came from him and if you know and are living by God’s financial principles you will never worry about finances again
Children – we want the best for them but we must remember that the best for them is God first…we must teach them to pray, be in the word, bring them to church, be the example of a Christian man or woman make their relationship with Christ the priority then everything else secondary…sports, dance, cheerleading, band, will come and go with their interest and age but Christ and a Christ-filled life will guide them and be with them forever
Health– John tells us that we will prosper and be in health even as our souls prosper….in other words worrying about our health and the things of this life doesn’t help us it only hinders but if we trust in the Lord seek Him first then we will have what we need
Future – Everything is in God’s hands Remember the scripture from Jeremiah? If we put him first and keep him first it doesn’t matter what goes on around us even if there is drought everywhere…if we learn to lean on God’s word get to know him better each day through prayer and the word then we will always be taken care of
This leads me to the last verse
15 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.
Want God’s blessing?
It is not a matter of allowing Him in to have complete control but daily choosing to read God’s word, know God’s word, and live God’s word…it doesn’t happen all at one time…Jesus is telling us with patience we will be overly blessed
Paul said he would “die daily” meaning he would surrender to God’s will every day
Jesus told us we must “take up our cross daily” same thing choosing every day to be in the Word, put God first and trust him by being in the word and prayer
If you want God’s blessing the key is consistency through the daily disciplines of Reading and applying God’s word, prayer, and choosing to live it out
God brings the harvest so there is no fear, anxiety, worry, hurt, but love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, meekness, kindness, and self-control
Are you willing to commit to this for the success of your life?
Selling out to God like we talked about last week, requires our choosing to live this life daily….that is the hard truth, it is not politically correct but once you know God’s word you have a standard to live by and prayer makes the relationship real and current