These thoughts flowed from my heart to a Facebook status today. It asked what was on my mind, so I wrote.
A few words jumped out at me in this passage in the parable of the seed sower from Luke 8.
Believers and professors of faith in Christ Jesus— take a look at verse 14 and see if you can catch the key words. See if you can relate to them or recognize them in what you read or hear today.
Verse 15 offers the remedy with other key words that might be challenging, especially in trying times. But these key words have proven and will continue to be reliable. These times call for professors of these Words to be reliable witnesses. Since we know by the word we will fall into harder times, it would be good to apply the truth say we would…
>>> give our lives to defend.
Yes, if called on the carpet, we have professed our faith as truth we will defend to our dying day.
14) A third group hears the message, but as time passes—
the daily anxieties,
the pursuit of wealth, and
life’s addicting delights
[My note: think of what we missed most this spring… that our flesh desired. Pursuit of wealth speaks for itself. Anxiety is not just prevalent, it’s rampant!]
Continuing with Luke’s message:
…outpace the growth of the message in their hearts.
Even if the message blossoms and fruit begins to form, the fruit
never fully matures
the thorns choke out the plants’ vitality.
15) But some people hear the message and let it take root deeply in receptive hearts
made fertile by
honesty and goodness.
With patient dependability,
they bear good fruit.
Flip back to Luke chapter 6–
This one is marked a lot in my bible because what flows from my mouth reflects deep-set roots that have produced bitter fruit. I have been digging deep to extract them.
43) Count on this: no good tree bears bad fruit, and no bad tree bears good fruit.
44) You can know a tree by the fruit it bears. You don’t find figs on a thorn bush, and you can’t pick grapes from a briar bush.
45) It’s the same with people. A person full of goodness in his heart produces good things; a person with an evil reservoir in his heart pours out evil things. The heart overflows in the words a person speaks;
your words reveal what’s within your heart.
46) What good is it to mouth the words, “Lord! Lord!” if…
you don’t live by My teachings?
47) What matters is that you come to Me, hear My words, and…
actually live by them.
Above I put a line break where it says “give our lives to defend”. Our lives… before our lives might come our comforts, challenging limitations we’ve given ourselves, we may even lose some of our liberties as the world passes away. But we should never lose our witness for the sake of anything that is >>> of this world. Every >human< being has the potential to bear good fruit. My heart is burdened to find those struggling to fill their inherent need but do not know there is hope no matter where they are, who they think they are, or what has been done to them.
Ephesians so clearly tells us our fight is not against flesh—- meaning, against one another. But we have taken up arms against one another. AGAINST ONE ANOTHER.
Even in our homes, we fight these silent battles instigated by the enemy with sarcasm that feeds the beast rather than love that will bring light, resolve, and peace. Guilty as written and now we are fighting the real darkness to glorify God with our lives.
What will it take to salvage us? Our family has to let go of self-sufficency and pride. To put grace and love in the forefront and see the best in one another and seek the best for one another. Same in the world, near and far.
Evil is drowning out voices desperate for peace. The Good Book we thump for our own causes is filled with advice to get us through dark days. We are to rise up to see beyond the diabolical schemes that distract us to find those who are fighting the same fight for justice and mercy. We believe in the One who will vindicate and who’s justice is pure, not corrupt.
True peace doesn’t come from comforts and complacency in things >>> of this world
but from knowing we have done our best for all humankind, not just those who look like us or act like us. Christ got in the trenches and took a lot of heat for fraternizing with unsavory people. From what I’ve read, we are called to do the same. If what we see in the world today is hard to witness, ask Him to show you what He sees. Don’t ask those to your right and left what they see, ask Him— with His vision to know the hearts of everyone He created. He knows our hearts and abilities as well.
One of my daughters best public school teachers taught her this lesson. When he had a difficult student, he prayed a prayer— “God, show me what you see so I can be a light in their life.” Oh, how I wish I had learned this lesson of grace then. Even so, it’s not too late. I’ve been recalling it more than ever lately, and recalling Ephesians 6 as well, knowing the dark schemes will increase as time passes on.
I hope what I have written comes through with love from a sister rather than rebuke. Simply put, I can’t bury my head in the sand and let politics, religion, current events, and other controversies divide my friends. What good is my faith if I’m not applying it as written— all of it—- not just selected verses applicable for my personal mood or cause.
God bless us, EVERYONE.
Love one another.
If you believe in God, He was clear where our allegiance needs to be. Love Him above all rulers and things of this earth (not above all people… things are things, people are not things.)
LOVE one another.
I love you and want the world to change too. I hope these words are an encouragement, not to debate or dispute. I say I love you, and I mean it.