Sunday, November 22, 2015

Keeping Up with the Joneses or with Jesus

By Allen White

“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:18-23

Two different groups of people heard the parable. Only one group got the explanation. The crowd heard the story, and then went home. The disciples stayed around and asked questions about what Jesus meant.

The crowd was made up mostly of the hard soil. The seed of God’s Word was sown, but they didn’t understand it. It was snatched away.

The disciples, however, came out of the crowd to get the meaning. They asked the question and got the answer. They were fertile ground. They were teachable – not distracted, not uninterested, not lacking understanding.

Most of us understand the Parable of the Sower as each person representing a small plot of soil – hard, rocky, thorny or fertile. Hard soil would be atheists. Rocky soil would be people with big problems that keep them away from Jesus. Thorny soil represents people with too many toys or misaligned priorities. Then, there’s fertile soil – church-going, Bible-believing, dynamic, exuberant believers like you and me. Are we?

Most of us are probably more rocky or thorny than we care to admit. Don’t get me wrong. There’s good soil in there. But, we’ve allowed problems, worries, possessions and recreation to get in the way.
What’s getting in the way of you fully embracing the Truth of God’s Word in your life and putting it into action? If reading the Bible has become yada, yada, yada, maybe it’s time to hear things from a different angle.

Let a book like Radical by David Platt or Crazy Love by Francis Chan give you a new point of view on God’s Word. If you’re focus is on keeping up with the Joneses rather than keeping up with Jesus, it’s time to weed your garden.

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