New Bible studies and devotionals sent to your email. The first one includes a free gift!
What have you done since you were saved? I like to make the statement that “salvation is a free gift that will cost you nothing. But you will give everything.” The Bible says that if you are forgiven of much you will love much. So how have you shown your love?
When we come to Jesus and are born again a lot changes. We suddenly desire His word and begin to grow in our faith. Of course that is what happens when it is real. Some people never think anything more of Jesus and being a Christian after saying a prayer. That is because all the prayer was to them is a ritual incantation to recite in order to get “fire insurance”.
But if it was real then you are growing in your faith daily as you take in the scripture and learn from God. So lets talk about what happens after salvation.
If Jesus saved you in order for you to be close to Him then why do you think He kept you on earth after you were born again? I have heard people that believe they are here to “occupy” the earth until He returns. Rest assured that He has bigger and greater reasons for letting you live on earth instead of going right into the throne room of God than to simply take up space.
John 17:15-16 and 18
15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.
We can see through scripture that we do not belong here because we are no longer a part of this world. The world is full of death and we are full of life. But Jesus said He was sending us into the world the same way He had been sent. So if He came with a purpose there must also be a reason for us to remain here too.
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Looking at the reasons Jesus was sent to the world we can understand why we are here and what God wants from us. Jesus came to call people to repentance and a life lived with God. Is it any surprise then that we are still here?
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
If we were not here who would tell the lost how to be found? Jesus raised the dead, healed the sick, and gave sight to the blind. Yet He said we would do greater works than those (John 14:12)! What could be greater than what Jesus did? He left us here to do the work of reaching the world for Him.
So now that you know what your purpose on earth is how are you going to live it out?
Sometimes it is as simple as telling your friend that you are a Christian. The doors may open wide for you to speak to them about Jesus. Sometimes it isn’t quite so easy. But it doesn’t matter. The job of reaching the lost isn’t just for your pastor. It is for you.
Too often we sit by and try to live our lives here just waiting to go home. Then we wonder what the point of it all is. Well it is time we understood that just living our life isn’t enough. Jesus said go into all the world and open your mouth to tell them about Him!
Some people are called by God to do nothing but ministry. They are asked to devote themselves to the work of God and let that be their occupation. Others work in grocery stores, restaurants, and other places of business. But all of us have been asked to be a light and share Jesus.
Jesus explained evangelism as a sower (or farmer) casting seeds out. Lets take a look at what He says and how we can start living out His words.
5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.6 And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. 8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Jesus cried out…He let out a gut wrenching plea for people to hear what He said. This parable was so important to Jesus that He cried out with a burst of emotion and pleaded with us to hear it. We would do well to understand why this is so important to Him.
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
There are too few people reaching out for the lost. And even less who are trained in how to reach them. I believe this is why Jesus cried out for us to hear. This parable will teach us how to sow the seed and reap the harvest. So lets look at how Jesus broke down the parable to the disciples when they asked about it.
11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
If you read further you will also see in verse 18 that Jesus says we need to take heed to how we hear the word. In other words we should pay attention to the type of ground the seed lands on. This is not only true about our own selves but also true in that we need to be aware of what type of ground others have when we try to sow the seed in their lives as well.
There are four types of ground. As laborers in the Fathers field we need to understand how to work the land.
The Way Side – The hearts of people along the wayside are not able to believe the word of God. Telling them about what is in the Bible isn’t going to do much good because Satan is right there telling them lies. For every seed of truth you share there will be a lie that will take away the truth from them.
These lies may be saying the Bible isn’t true, they are not worth God’s love, or even that Christians are the worst and most uncaring people on earth. Make no mistake, Satan is here to steal, kill, and destroy. Lies are his favorite method of attack.
So what do you do to help this type of land be protected from the birds (Satan)? You shelter the land and chase the birds away.
Song Of Solomon 2:4
4 He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
When God wants to nourish us and protect us He brings us into the banqueting house and raises a banner of love over us. How often do we think that arguing is going to help stop the lies? There is a never ending flood of lies though. If we want the seed to grow in their lives we don’t need to focus so much on that as we do on stopping the source of the lies.
There is only one thing that defeated Satan. That is the love of Jesus.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
It was love that Jesus used to save us. It is what made Him lay His life down for us. Love is what stopped Satan from dragging us to Hell!
So when we show love to people that have this type of land we start to push Satan away. The lies become less loud and the word of God can get through to feed their soul.
The Stony Ground – People with hard hearts of stone fill the church every Sunday. They look like good Christian people. They will walk to the alter and profess their hearts belong to God…but their hearts are far from Him!
The problem with this type of land is not that the word isn’t received. In fact Jesus says it is received with joy. The problem is that these people don’t value it as much as they should. They take it in and do nothing with it. They do not continue to water and care for the seed so that it can take root in them.
Their heart must be broken up to see the value in helping the seed take root. Have you ever tried to pull a plant up by the roots? You end up getting a lot of dirt and a huge hole left in the ground. It’s because the roots are a part of the soft dirt. They actually hold it together when things dig at it.
When people are broken and fall apart they start to look for something that can hold them together. So how do you work on this type of land? You have to find a way to break the ground up.
Jesus encountered this type of person a lot. They were called Pharisees. How did He work on their hearts? Jesus would always give them sharp rebukes and show them how filthy they really were. He offended them at every turn. Sometimes it hurts to have your heart being broken. But even as He spoke the scriptures and showed them how they were not following God it was done in love. Tough love.
The Ground With Thorns – Sometimes people don’t receive the word of God because they would rather have something else. If God says do not lust and you want to look at things you shouldn’t then you are going to have a choice to lay down the world for the word of God or you can lay down the word of God for the world.
This type of land must be cleared. The person needs repentance (to turn away from the world).
4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
If we can help them to experience the goodness of God then they will repent. There is an old hymn that says, “turn your eyes upon Jesus and the things of earth will grow strangely dim.”
Sadly there is only one way to clear the land of thorns and thistles. It has to be cut down and burned. Are there ways that we can do that though? How do we bring the proud down into the dust?
Our God is a consuming fire and His word is a sharp sword. We need to use the sword to divide the lies of the world from the truth of God. We preach the truth and let men choose who they will serve. God will consume the thorns in the end if men choose to grow that from their heart instead of good fruit. We just need to prune and cut away at the dead as much as we can by preaching the word.
Now that you know what type of hearts people have you can do something about it. Jesus explained how to reach them. When you use the methods of a farmer you will see their hearts turn from a harsh and unforgiving land into good soil to plant God’s word in.
With so few who know how to reach others the training you have just been given through the word makes you a vital part of the harvest. Now go and work in the field to bring people home to Jesus!
July 13, 2015 at 6:25 pm | | No comment