Infinite Access - GROW
Read the bible verse below to begin with...
I love this parable, it is a beautiful story and it has many layers. I also love the fact that the explanation is included so we can understand it exactly how the 1st century Jews would have done.
The farmer sows the seed, he sows it all over the place, without a care in the world. If you were a farmer listening, you would have thought this was stupid… why not sow all the seed on the good soil, then you are guaranteed a good harvest and you don’t waste any money?
What is going on?
The seed is the word of God.
So while Jesus was on earth, he didn’t just go and speak to the people he knew would listen, he went and spoke to everyone. He made sure everyone had an opportunity to hear the good news.
And so should we.
How often do we decide for someone else that they wouldn’t want to come to church?
How often do we not tell someone about Jesus because we don’t think they want to listen?
Are we sowing seeds in just the good soil or are we sharing it with everyone?
The next part of the parable talks about the 4 different types of soil.
The rocky ground.
The thorny ground.
The good soil.
The seeds that land in each place are the same. The environment and weather are probably very similar if not exactly the same and the farmer is the same.
The only difference is the soil.
The soil is our heart.
The seed is the word of God.
So 3 different types of soil stop us from producing a crop and the 4th enables that.
Which one best describes your heart?
Does God have full access to your life?
Do you allow his word to penetrate your heart, to break through the hard outer shell and transform you deeply on the inside?
If all we ever do is let God change the outer, we are never fully transformed. It will be stolen by the birds.
If all we have is an outer faith, a faith that we show other people we become very “good” Christians, who always smile and give and come to church every week, but who are not being transformed by the Holy Spirit. I have been there, it feels safe, it feels comfortable, but it doesn’t change your life.
God words needs to go deeper than the surface, it needs to change your heart. But in order for that to happen, it needs to be planted there.
The Rocky Ground
How are your roots? What foundation are you developing? How deeply do you know Jesus?
When we hear the word, but we aren’t going deeper. We come to church each Sunday, maybe a connect group every couple of weeks, but we aren’t building our secret life with Jesus.
Like all plants, what we see above the surface is only a reflection of what is happening below. You don’t have a 100 year old oak tree with no roots. What is below the surface determines what happens above.
How is your secret life? What are doing to grow your faith that no one else knows about? How are you roots?
Are you sitting with God? Are you reading the bible daily? Praying? Practising sabbath? Fasting? Spending time with Jesus? Are you putting foundations down deep?
Or are you too busy? Are other things more important? Is sleep more important? Is Netflix more important?
How are your roots?
The Thorny Ground
What are those things that stop your growth? What does the world offer that distracts you from God is doing?
Maybe it is Netflix, Instagram or something else.
Maybe it is your job or a relationship.
I don’t want to stop watching that program because everyone else watches it and ill miss out.
I know I shouldn’t do that at work, but everyone else in the company does it so its okay.
I don’t want to break up with them because they make me so happy, even though they lead me away from God.
We allow God into our lives and we begin to make changes, but pressures from the world and distractions from culture mean that our growth is stunted and we quickly return to the old way of doing things.
What is it that is distracting you?
What are you doing that you know is stopping you from being transformed by the word of God?
Where do you need to do some weeding in your heart?
The Good Soil
Where we are all striving to get too. It takes time. It is a process and there is grace.
But imagine if the seed was only sown in the hearts of those who had good soil?
No one would hear the gospel.
Jesus didn’t die just for those who have good soil, he died for everyone.
The good news is for everyone.
So regardless of where you are in this process remember that you can be transformed by the love of Jesus if you are open and willing to lay some things down.
We all need to do some gardening.
For some of us we need to do some ploughing. Breaking the hard ground and allowing God into every area of our lives.
Others may need to remove some stones and take up some new spiritual disciplines allowing our faith to go deeper.
Some may need to do some weeding. Removing some things from our lives that restrict our growth and pull us away from Jesus.
In all these things God sows the same seed. But we need to open, willing and ready to receive it and allow it to change our lives.
When you begin to put these things into practise it might be difficult, it might be painful to allow God in, some weeds might leave massive holes in our hearts when we pull them out, but through it all God will be with you. He wants to best for you and He wants a relationship with you.
As we pray to finish, Spend a few minutes asking God to open your heart, to show you what he wants to say to you and to allow him to begin to change you from the inside out. Maybe write some of the things down that he says and try and spending 10 minutes a day with God, allowing him to do what he needs to do in your heart.
God, thank you that you want to speak to me. Thank you that you love me so much that you would die for me even when I didn’t know you. Work in me in pray. Come into my heart, I open myself fully to you, even the parts that are uncomfortable and messy. Thank you that you love me as I am, but you so much that you don’t want me to stay the same.
Show me what is restricting my growth. Help me to make the changes in order to allow you to speak to me.
Be with me I pray and help me to trust you in all things.
Lord, I want to grow. Create in me a heart that is ready for growth.
In you name