Friday, December 31, 2021
There are two little words that have been spoken to me far more than I can count or care to admit. I’m sure these words have been thought multiplied times more than they have been spoken. If I would just heed the advice in the words then maybe they would stop. It would be nice to not hear them quite so frequently, or even not at all. Maybe the day will come when I have earned the right to not be told, “grow up!“
Yesterday in our devotions we introduced four goals of a Godly life: Grow, Be Strong, Be Wise, and Be Filled With Grace. Let’s dig deeper into what those all mean. Here’s a thought to get you started: immaturity never produces quality fruit.
Luke 8:11-15 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 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. Those on the rock 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. 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. 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.”
Look at the meaning of the parable of the seed that Jesus told in Luke 8. The purpose of seed is to produce a plant that will grow to maturity and multiply itself, producing a harvest of seed after its own kind. The point of the parable is that we are the seed, and we will only produce a harvest if certain things are true of us:
- We will produce a harvest when we do not allow Satan to destroy the work of God in our hearts. We are productive when we continue to believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation.
- We will produce a harvest when we do not fall away from God when the going gets tough. We become fruitful when we trust the faithful and powerful and loving hand of God even when the circumstances of life are beating us down.
- We will produce a harvest when we do not let our focus become one of self-sufficiency and self-preservation. We become mature by keeping an eternal perspective. The real enemy to maturity is pride – pride in solving life’s worries, pride in gaining life’s riches, and pride in experiencing life’s pleasures.
- We will produce a harvest when we make sure we have a noble and a good heart that is determined to obey the Word of truth we have heard and not let anything keep us from our God-appointed task.
At least one of the four statements above defines your current condition. It would be wise for you to consider where you are on the road to maturity and set some goals for the new year that produce more fruit for the King. Every one of us is producing some kind of fruit after our own kind – it is the law of reproduction created in all of nature by God. One aspect of seed planting we mist consider is this – the seeds we plant in the lives of others will produce fruit, and will be an indicator of the nature of our seed. The fruit being produced in the lives of others may be the result of seeds we planted there. If the product of the seed being planted is not Godly righteousness, then we’d better evaluate the seed. Maybe we need to mature in our faith so our seed bears better fruit.
There are eight references to maturity in the New Testament. Each one says something specific about what our lives should be like as fruit-bearers for the King. This will be a great way to start the new year on Monday. Let’s study maturity, and how we can be used by the Holy Spirit to plant seeds of righteousness in the lives of others and watch the Kingdom of Jesus Christ grow.