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Monday, August 29, 2011

Doubt in the rocky places

 Lessons from the seed falling on rocky ground

 "...the soil was so shallow and held so little nourishment and moisture, the heat of the sun soon withered the sprouting seed so that it died. It is always easier to begin a thing than it is to finish it." Barclay commentary on Mark 4:5-6  1  
Such it is with writing, including blogs, discipling new believers in fact anything of importance started.

What is the key that keeps us from finishing? ( I have many unfinished, unpublished blogs this year)

"Others, like the seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root they last only a short time and when trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away." Mark 4:16-17 NIV 
Why does "joy fall away?"

 “If for any cause whatsoever we doubt His (unconditional) love, then our joy be darkened….” 2
The "rocky place", where "trouble and persecution come", has to do with doubt and doubt takes away joy.
"Don't doubt that love, know that He loves us unconditional. You just need to bring worries, sins, inabilities, anxiety and guilt to Him"  The Lord Prays for His Own, p. 242

 Do you believe:
  1. That  God is sovereign in dark, troubled and persecuted places.
  2. That God has a plan to bring you and I through any difficulty.
  3. That He can give us the ability to meet His calling.
  4. That God might not abandon us when we most need Him. 
In what circumstances of your life do you need to have Jesus turn doubt into joy?

Listen to what he has to say to you, let Him heal you and set you free.

1. William Barclay, The Daily Study Bible Series, The Gospel of Mark, (Philadelphia: The
Westminster Press) p.92
2   Marcus Rainsford, The Lord Prays for His Own, (Chicago: Moody Bible Institute, 1978), p.240-241

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The well worn path needs a change

Pansy (Panola Beaconsfield) seed on path

"Some people are like seed along the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them." Mark 4:15 NIV
 Here are some insights to help you sprout, thrive and bear more fruit.
  1.  Step out of the box off the trodden path Birds devour seed that falls on the wayside, the well-worn and hardened path that we all travel. It is where we have traveled most of our lives, routine, comfort in sameness, stability, solid ground beneath our feet, no chance of slipping up, going the wrong way. So we think. God's word has no meaning on this hardened ground. Heal us from the fear of change and the wounds that keep us hardened.
  2. Till our soil. Only Jesus can till up the soil to make it good. It is painful I know. Comfort goes when we can't travel that same path again. Help us let go of regular routine, find a different one that honors You Lord. Better yet, show us the different path to trod and make our way straight and stable.
  3. Bear good fruit.  But You, Lord, say that You are the seed* that flourishes in the right soil, not us. Help us humble ourselves so You can work through each of us. Help us to empty our seed container and let you in. We cannot bear fruit without you for sure.

"God's mark is on everything that obeys him." Martin Luther

What routine do you need to examine in order to bear fruit?

*"holy seed" Isaiah 6:13