37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. — Matt 13:37-39 NIV
We are warned over and over in the Bible, that as the end draws nearer, there will arise more and more false prophets even in the church. They will seem genuine to those who do not have the Holy Spirit abiding in them and therefore, have no discernment. They will preach and teach a “cheap” grace. A grace based on head knowledge and not on what we have in our hearts. They will expound doctrines that do not require holy lifestyles or they will add man-made rules that require more than the Bible requires for salvation. Whether they add to or subtract from the Biblical requirements for salvation, they are both wrong. When we have truly accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and He gives us the Holy Spirit, we are saved. We are clothed in His holiness and righteousness. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves more holy or more righteous than He made us. A Christlike lifestyle is the external proof of what we believe in our hearts not what we know in our minds. Our thoughts and actions are the fruit of the Spirit, a good tree will bear good fruit and a bad tree will bear bad fruit. It is a natural and a spiritual law that we cannot change. For fruit trees to bear an abundant crop, they require a lot of care. So, everyday, fertilize the tree with scripture and wash it with the water of the Word.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.
— 1 Cor. 3:7 NLT
Paul compares our salvation to a seed that is planted. When a seed is planted in dry ground, it must be watered regularly and continually. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, He plants a seed of His love in our heart. For that love to grow, it needs to be watered by the washing of the Word on a regular basis. The soil needs to be exposed to the sun so it will be warm enough for the seed to germinate. The seed that is planted in us must be exposed to the Son for it to germinate. If we spend time in the Word, God the Holy Spirit will cause that love to grow. Our hearts will become more tender toward God and our fellow human beings. How fast this change takes place depends on how much time we spend taking in the food and the water of the Word. If God is the one who makes the seed sprout and grow, then doesn’t it make sense that the seed has to be exposed to God on a regular basis. We do that by spending time alone with God. While the names of the people that we allow to plant and water the seed are not important, their words and messages are very important. Be sure the seed is good (only the name of Jesus) and that the water does not contain impurities that will hurt the young plant.
12 Afterward Mordecai returned to the palace gate, but Haman hurried home dejected and completely humiliated. — Esther 6:12 NLT
We are familiar with the story of Esther and how God exalted her to the position of queen in a most unlikely situation. Besides Esther, there are three other people God had positioned strategically for this particular time. God needed a man with the the authority to make things happen so He had positioned Xerxes as king. He needed a villain, He chose Haman for this role. Haman was the perfect villain for this time, he hated Mordecai and all of the Jews. God needed a hero, someone who would refuse to bow to the villain and with the backbone to stand up for God’s people. He chose Mordecai who had a little known history with the king. In the past, he had warned the king about a plot to kill the king and for this he had never been rewarded (at least not in earthly ways). Mordecai was also a man of compassion. We know this because he had taken his cousin, Hadassah, also known as Esther and raised her as his own daughter after his uncle died. God had prepared and positioned each of these people to carry out His plan to free His people and destroy the enemy. God is preparing each of us to do the same thing today. Are we ready and willing to do our part when all the people involved come together? If not, how do we get ready?
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. — 2 Timothy 2:15 NLT
29 “The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions. — Deut 29:29 NLT
Mark Twain once said “It ain’t those parts of the Bible that I can’t understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”. How true! We are accountable for everything we understand about the Bible and we are accountable to learn and understand everything we can about the Bible. We are also accountable to teach those truths to our children. God has given us the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth. As Paul directed Timothy, we are to study and work hard so we can present ourselves to God for His approval.
15 Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. — 2 Tim. 2:15 NLT
Ephesians 1:9 tells us that God has revealed to us “His mysterious plan regarding Chirst” and in 2 Timothy 3, He tells us what that mystery is:
16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
Christ was revealed in a human body
and vindicated by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels
and announced to the nations.
He was believed in throughout the world
and taken to heaven in glory.
There are still mysteries to be revealed at a later date, but there is enough revelation available to us now to keep us busy learning, understanding and telling it to the world. That is what we will be held accountable for and that is our misssion. If we do this, God will get the glory and that is our purpose int the world — to give God the glory.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love..— 2 Peter 1:5-7 NIV
We have accepted Christ as our Savior, what now? We are now new creatures in Christ Jesus and the new creature needs different food. Our fleshly desires will want us to continue in the old ways consuming the same old garbage, but these ways will not satisfy the new spiritual man. There will be a hunger and a thirst that we have not known before and that hunger and thirst can only be satisfied by the goodness of the Word of God. We need to add some spiritual food to our daily diet. Here in these verses, Peter has made us a short list of what is to be included. The list ends with love, which holds all the others together and without love, the diet would be incomplete and ineffective. We have been saved by grace through faith, now we need to add goodness and the knowledge of God. This is done by studying and meditating on the Word of God. It also includes prayer and conversations with other Christians. God has called each of us to a work that He planned for us long ago. But, first we need some training because God will never send us where He has not prepared us to go. We are sent to make disciples, but first, we must become disciples.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 NIV
This verse must become alive in us and be the force that drives us to be a disciple. It can only be accomplished through “the power of God”.