Are you Growing or Dying inside? 21 truths about Spiritual Maturity.
- Fighting hopelessness: the bully that kills you from...
Feeling hopeless is like a black cloud of despair choking the life right out of you. You need a positive change, but yet you are living as if your life is being sloshed through in vain
- Compassion brings hope to helpless people
God uses our hard times to build our strength, teach us patience, perseverance and compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves.
A parable revealed
When I was a child, there was always one scripture in the Bible that always left me confused. As the years went on, I had felt drawn to do my own in depth study of these scriptures and apply them to my life. Though I faltered many times one truth still remained deep within me.
There is a huge controversy over the word of God today. If you really study the Bible, you will see a striking resemblance between our inner selves and the scriptures God displayed throughout his word.
First of all, the seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11).
"Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. (Luke 8:12). In other words, they have heard but fail to apply truth to their daily lives. Let me break this scripture down and make it easier to understand.
The path on the way side
-a path/road, the way instructed and approved of God, access to the Father, a highway, a journey, to go forth, a great way off, a passage, to go on ones way
-to hear a voice but no listen to it, to hear without taking heed, to neglect what has been heard, disobedience
-lay hold of, a corrupt action, temptation or the power of
-to catch, take up or away
Everyday, we see people who see a truth. They may even experience God's blessings, mercy and provision. But they refuse to acknowledge him in their lives, and they are the type that cram spiritual corn cobs in their ears so they do not hear what God is saying.
"They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy, and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away." Luke 8:13. In other words, these are people who let hard times keep them from serving Christ.
-a stone that might be thrown early or moved, "spots", or conduct dangerous to others, shallow soil, rough places
-Again, they have heard the truth but will not listen
-In contrast to giving, to take, to accept, being impartial
-gladness, delight, object of Christ's joy, connected with falling into trials, persecution, christian sympathy
-evil things, love of money, bitterness, offspring, to root out or up
-trials with a beneficial purpose and effect, divinely permitted or sent
-believers are commanded to pray not to be led into such forces beyond their own control (Matthew 26:41, Mark 14:38, Luke 22:40,46).
-carelessness, disobedience, a trial that leads to wrong doing
-a false step, a blunder, a trespass, to stumble, to sin, apostasy from the faith, falling morally or spiritually
-a ship not under control, believer who is warned lest he fall away from the course (responsibility) in which he has been confirmed by the word of God
-a snare, defraud, destitute
As Christians, it is a fight to live holy in a wicked world. We will fight the war until we take our last dying breath. Sometimes we fall. Sometimes we never get up again. But God is greater, and it is important to know that he does have a purpose divinely instituted for each and every life, so long as we chose to accept his purpose.
"And they which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection." Luke 8:14. In other words, these are people who allow worldly lusts and pleasure to seduce them. They are luke warm.
-a divine curse on the ground, a twig that is flexible, physical, painful, humiliating, a divinely permitted satanic antagonism
-a constantly repeated attack, and the acuteness of the suffering and its effects
-to perish by drowning, crowding out to prevent growth, to suffocate to death!
-to be anxious about, having anxiety, to distract or draw in different directions
-without carefulness, seriously misses the point, having affection for something other than what is most important
-material riches used evily, false sense of enlightenment
-gratification of the sinful and natural desires, enjoyment, to please, lovers of pleasure
No fruit, unfruitfulness
-a conduct unto death, activities resulting in a state of alienation from God
This is not a good place to be. If you fall for a sin and keep indulging in it, never forsaking your fleshly desires and giving your life to Christ, eventually you will die. Your choices and lifestyle will consume you and you will never have seen the glory of God's mighty purpose for your life.
"But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience." Luke 8:15. This is where we should be in life, regardless of what hardships and desires come pecking at our doors.
-being good in its character or constitution, beneficial in its effect
-a moral sense, morally honorable, pleasing to God; Christians are to prove it, work it, follow it, be zealous of it, overcome evil with it, imitate it
-that which is well adapted to its circumstances or ends, right, noble, honorable, not to be weary in well doing
-easy, beautiful, good desire, kindly disposition towards others, to bestow a benefit, to do good
-a thing perceived, to obey, listen attentively; intimate fellowship of the Son with the father, receiving of a message
-making a decision to obey
-a mans entire mental and moral activity, hidden springs of the personal life which represents the true character
-the understanding, faith, the heart as the sphere of divine influence (Romans 2:15, Acts 15:9).
-to watch over, preserve, keeping the faith; protection, keeping guard, to be strong
-to abide under, grows only in trials; patience perfects christian character to endure
"My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God and do it." Luke 8:21.
Trials, circumstances and hardships will refine you to the glory of Christ. They will teach you to trust God. They will prove your faith, and if you have none, they will strengthen it. It develops Godly character that encourages, strengthens, honors and glorifies. It builds you up so you can be a light to others and the world.
We have to die first, so we can live.