My dearest friend's husband died Saturday night after a long illness. He was a unique, amazing, godly man. It seems trite to say "he will be missed by all who knew him" but you couldn't know Michael without being won over by his wit and slightly warped sense of humor. He planted many seeds and God used him to reaped a bountiful harvest. He's lying his crowns at the feet of Jesus.
Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "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…when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:3-9
"The enemy will attempt to uproot, choke, and scorch our budding understanding of our infinite potential in Christ and our inestimable worth in His eyes." Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick
Do you see the correlation between Steven’s words and Jesus’ parable? Steven reminds us that, even as believers, Satan uses the same old tricks to cripple our security, joy, and service.
UPROOT: The birds came and ate it up. Have you ever doubted how much God loves you?
Too often, I listen to Satan’s lies:
- “Look at you! God can’t love you.” He yanks up my peace.
- “Are you sure you’re God’s child?” Out goes my confidence.
- “That’s the last straw! You just sinned once too many!” He tears out my security.
When we run to God’s Word, He strengthens the roots of our faith:
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
“I [Jesus] tell you the truth, whoever hears my work and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” John 5:24 (Emphasis mine.)
SCORCH: the plants were scorched, and they withered. Do you doubt God’s healing presence?
Why is it so easy to let the enemy singe our joy and thankfulness?
- “This sorrow will soak into your bones and never leave.”
- “Things will never be any better. God doesn’t care.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
CHOKE: thorns…grew up and choked the plants. Fears, worries, confusion – Satan assaults our minds with these to choke our service.
- “You aren’t good enough – God can’t use you!”
- “You might as well not even try. You’ll only fail.”
Let God’s truth free you: His grace works within you and He will never fail! You are cleansed and perfected in Jesus.
How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! Hebrews 9:15
ABOUNDING HARVEST: Seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop. Jesus’ words end with such power and strength for us. Satan might throw doubt, fear, and accusation our way but God’s grace will flow through us to produce an amazing harvest. In His love we flourish and bear fruit.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8
Grow in His Love.
Rejoice in His sweet hope.
Abound in His service.