It all is determined by what sort of soil we are…
So let us come to the Living Water that nurtures our spiritual life.
“Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24)
We all go through dry seasons in our life, those wilderness periods that we read about in the Bible.
Nevertheless God has given us His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us; and that He will complete the work that He has begun in our lives.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
The Holy Spirit will make changes in your life far beyond anything you thought was possible, but they’re not going to happen overnight.
God the Father’s ultimate purpose in all of this is that we be conformed into the image of His Son.
Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.
30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself).
And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].
So the question is would you rather be an oak tree or a mushroom?
An oak tree takes about 60 years for it to mature, whereas a mushroom will mature in just a few hours.
It’s during the dry seasons of that oak tree’s development that it must stretch its roots down deeper into the soil, to where the water table is; and it’s in that process that the oak tree gets stronger.
The same is true of us who are Christians, in that during the dry seasons of our life we also have to stretch the roots of our faith down deeper into the soil of our life, in order to get to the Living Water which nurtures our spiritual life.
Jesus gave us the parable of the sower which describes this situation,
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places . . . Other seed fell among thorns . . . Still other seed fell on good soil.” (Matthew 13:3–8)
Although this is often known as the parable of the sower and the seed, it can also be said this is a parable about the soil.
All four types of soil are essentially the same dirt but are in different conditions and respond in different ways to cultivation.
What made one soil more responsive and the other less?
When the New Testament was written, communities were agriculturally based.
A family would be appointed a section of land to farm, and every farmer’s plot was adjacent to their neighbor’s.
In order to get to the fields, the farmers would walk along the boundaries bordering each field to avoid stepping on the growing plants.
The “path” was held in common by all the farmers and over time, the soil on the path would compact.
It was never plowed and never fertilized.
In the parable, the seed that is sown on the path is not able to penetrate the ground because of the constant use.
The condition of the first soil is hard and impermeable.
The second type of soil mentioned in the parable is the “rocky” places” or the shallow soil where the plow didn’t cut deeply enough to break up the shale or hard ground just below the surface.
This soil produced only plants with weak, shallow roots.
The third type of soil mentioned is the thorny soil, most likely found in the corners of the field where the plow couldn’t reach; here, weeds overtook what was planted.
All the types of soils mentioned here are actually in the same plot of ground with one major difference:
Only one area was fully yielded to cultivation, to being changed and prepared for planting. That area was called the good soil.
The greatest amount of fruit produced was not determined by how rich the soil was, but how yielded to the plow it was.
The soil in each condition received seed, but not all produced quality fruit.
As Christians, everyone of us receives seed, which is the Word of God; and everyone of us has the potential for a great harvest, in living a fruitful life, but the ones who will produce the most fruit will be the ones most yielded to cultivation.
The Bible tells us to, “Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:24 NLT).
The ground first has to be prepared in order to receive the seeds that are sown in it.
And in order for those seeds to be fruitful the Bible tells us that we must be attached to God’s root system.
Jesus put it like this:
The True Vine
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
The goal is that we be conformed into the image of Christ. . .
And the apostle Paul says, “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him”
(2 Corinthians 3:18 TLB).
Fri, December 10
by Two Listeners
THE QUIET TIME
“My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
— Song of Solomon 2:10
There may be many times when I reveal nothing, command nothing, give no guidance.
But your path is clear, and your task, to grow daily more and more into the knowledge of Me. That this quiet time with Me will enable you to do.
I may ask you to sit silent before Me, and I may speak no word that you could write.
All the same that waiting with Me will bring comfort and Peace. Only friends who understand and love each other can wait silent in each other’s presence.
And it may be that I shall prove our friendship by asking you to wait in silence while I rest with you, assured of your Love and understanding. So wait, so love, so joy.
Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
— Jude 1:24-25
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