This is what God gave me today in His word
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. (Luke 8:5-7)
I wonder just how many “Christians” have had this happen to them. In fact, the seed of the Gospel which has been planted in our own hearts, may be withered away, choked out by any number of things, even now. The problem is, everyone seems to have a tendency to consider just about everything as being more important than the Gospel: pastors stand up on Sundays and preach a bloodless “Gospel”-a “Gospel” where we save ourself by our own works, but where Christ doesn’t really play a part. Worse though, is it seems people genuinely enjoy hearing this. But, preaching which does not contain the Gospel, almost always chokes out the seed of the Gospel in a new believer. (The Devil, in this example, is actually working through a pastor that refuses to preach the Gospel).
More often than the above happening, though, is when the word of the Gospel fells upon rock. Where, though it tries to grow, it’s inevitably stopped by someone’s unwillingness to give up sin. (No one whose trying to stop the work of the Gospel in their life by holding on to sin will ever stand up in times of trail.)
Still more common than this happening, however, is when the seed of the Gospel is trampled, and then completely annihilated by the Devil. The worst thing about this, is that we are, more often than not, the ones doing the trampling! We trample our own seed of the Gospel when, after hearing and experiencing Jesus’ power at first, we then proceed to ignore it completely; we trample it when we try to limit the power of Jesus to something which makes someone a Christian, and nothing more, when in reality the Gospel not only save us (though that in of itself is huge), but also gives us strength and power to overcome the Devil. Which is why, after we trample the seed of the Gospel, we don’t have any strength to resist the Devil, which is why (like a bird), he swoops down and devours it.
But, how can we prevent those things from happening to us, and if our seed of the Gospel (which is the word of God) has already been devoured, how can we possibly receive it back?
We can prevent ourself from loosing sight of the Gospel, by, (simply put) never loosing sight of it. If we make Jesus, and His death and Resurrection for us the center of our thoughts and actions, we will never lose it. As for the second question, that has three separate answers:
In the first case, the Gospel has been choked out by the belief that salvation rests upon our ability to obey the law. In the second case, someone is unrepentant, and so the Gospel withers away. In the third case, the Gospel is trampled by an ignorant belief that Jesus’ death and Resurrection; his Power, makes someone into a believer, and nothing more.
To solve the first problem is fairly easy; one most only read the Bible, and discover that the Gospel is God’s free gift to man, and that we cannot earn our own salvation.
The solution to the second problem is somewhat harder, as it involves our need for repentance, and humans, as you and I both have no doubt discovered, have a very difficult time admitting that they have done wrong of any sort. And in fact, it is only by looking to Jesus, and seeing His utter perfection, that we can truly understand our own wickedness, and repent.
The solution to the third problem is hardest of all, because once we get into the rut of ignoring the Jesus’ power to help us in every matter of life, it can be difficult to get out. However, God has provided us a way out here too: by looking at passages like Jesus’ temptation in the desert, and how He resisted; and by realizing that if we are believers than that same Jesus lives in us, we can see that Jesus not only saves, but also sanctifies.
You are Loved!