Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – April 10, 2017
His disciples asked him what this parable [The Sower] meant… This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Luke 8:9, 11
Below is not meant to be a definitive description of spiritual stages or neat categories for us to judge ourselves and each other, but a way to better understand Jesus’ very practical parable.
Ponder and pray over the four spiritual heart conditions Christ describes:
An Almost Christian Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Luke 8:12
An almost Christian hears the truth, but the enemy—the devil—quickly snatches the word of God from their heart and replaces it with lies—the word of disbelief. A hard heart is unable to receive Scripture into its proud, fallow soil—only by humility and faith is it softened. A teachable heart treasures the truth and protects it from Satan’s deceptive tactics of doubt. The only hope for this unsaved soul is surrender to Jesus in contrition to moisten a heart of belief.
A Convenient Christian Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. Luke 8:13
If it’s convenient—I’ll say I am a Christian, if it’s not convenient—I’ll act like I’m not a Christian. This is the motto of men and women who only use Christianity to further self-interests. Joy is the reaction of those who first hear about Jesus, but when their emotional foundation is tested, they fall away—faithless. They may say the right words, even attend church, but their heart is far from God. A convenient Christian is a counterfeit—there is no true belief rooted in conviction.
An Immature Christian The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature. Luke 8:14
An immature Christian is still an infant in their comprehension of righteousness. Worry, money, and pleasures have all stunted their growth in God’s grace. They know the Lord—they have been saved, but they only snorkel at the surface of their salvation—these babes have yet to scuba dive by plunging into the depths of God’s love, comfort and fellowship of suffering. Mature faith perseveres through pain and has the discipline to enjoy pleasures without worshipping them.
A Growing Christian But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8:15
Honorably, a growing Christian guards their heart with the peace of God. Suffering softens their heart and success humbles their heart—thus seeds of truth establish deep roots. The word of God rarely grows old, only richer—wisely, they discover new ways to be more like Jesus—growing a crop of character, with a hearty harvest of souls. A growing Christian retains truth by meditating, memorizing and applying the Bible. They stop growing when they stop breathing. Growth means change, change takes grace, grace comes from God and God gives grace to the humble!
“And he [God] gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6, NLT).
PrayerHeavenly Father, by Your grace, make me into a growing Christian, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWhat is the spiritual condition of my heart? Where does the Lord want my heart to aspire to go?
Related ReadingMatthew 7:21; Acts 24:24-26; Ephesians 4:14; 1 Peter 5:5
Post/Tweet todayMature faith perseveres through pain and has the discipline to enjoy pleasures without worshipping them. #WisdomHunters #spiritualheart
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