What the Bible says about light and seed

The True Light "In him, (the Lord Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world,…the world didn’t recognize him." John 1:4,9.

The Good Seed and the Weeds “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seeds in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. Matthew 13:24,25.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Seasons in the Life of a Christian- Brokenness - Chapter I. Preparing the Ground. (1,2,3)

Written and published by Jean-Louis Mondon. http://thelightseed.blogspot.com
(To read the preceding and following chapters, click on the left lateral bar on the numbered chapters under the title "The Seasons in the Life of a Christian" - Brokenness.)

I. PREPARING THE GROUND

It is important for a farmer to follow a series of successive steps in preparing the ground in order to ensure a plentiful harvest in the end.
Likewise, in our efforts to evangelize, we sow the seed of the Word of God to all who will listen. If we expect to gather a harvest of lasting fruit as a reward of our labor, we have to follow the same plan of action written for us in our instruction manual, the Bible. According to John 15:14-16, Jesus said to his disciples:

“You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (RSV)

1. Plowing with the Word, prayers and tears  


First, the farmer must plow the land. His purpose in doing this is to plant, not to plow continually because his final goal is to harvest an abundant crop. (v.23,24).

Can we recognize the infinite wisdom of God in this and learn from it? How many times do we have to plow the ground (the heart) with our prayers and come again and again when we see that the ground (the heart) is still hard and dry until we get discouraged and confused because we think God is not answering our prayers. 

Are we using the sharp edge of the plowshare (the Word of God) which can keep our line straight, which goes before us and shows us the way, which tells us when to start and stop, how far and how deep to plow? 
Are we so connected to the plow that we can feel when the sharp edge goes over a stone? Or has the Word of God in us lost its sharpness because of disuse, mishandling, or our lack of trust in what He declares such as:
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out of my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”  (Isaiah 55:11 NIV)

It might be that we have not shed enough tears with our prayers to soften the ground. Remember the tears that our Lord shed over Jerusalem in looking at her during His triumphal entry as He said: “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.” (Luke 19:42) and the sorrow He felt when He declared later on, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! (Matthew 23:37).

May we understand the purpose of God in breaking us and pray that the tears that come from the afflictions we suffer (“That we may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” [Philippians 3:10]) may be used to soften the hard ground to make it receptive to His Word (the good seed). 

Are we crying for our family, our friends, our enemies, our city, our country and the world? If not, let us ask the Father to reveal to us the inclination of His heart toward His wayward children and the world that He created and that He loves.

2. Healing the bitter waters and the unproductive land

 In 2 Kings 2:19-22, there is an interesting story about the way God chose to heal a town water supply and the surrounding unproductive land.
“ And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. And he said, Bring me a new cruse, and put salt therein. And they brought it to him. And he went forth unto the spring of the waters, and cast the salt in there, and said, Thus saith the LORD, I have healed these waters; there shall not be from thence any more death or barren land. So the waters were healed unto this day, according to the saying of Elisha which he spake.” 

Without wrenching these words out of their context, may we find a parallel with our present situation and spiritual condition. Have we blocked the flow of the water of life in us which is supposed to overflow to others, by quenching the Holy Spirit, thus allowing our inner life to become stagnant and polluted while at the same time keeping the trappings and external appearances of religion? 

Have we like the people at the time of the prophet Isaiah “ stored up water in the Lower Pool, counted the buildings in Jerusalem (our city?) and torn down houses (households, families?), and built a reservoir (church buildings ?) between the two walls for the water of the Old Pool, not looking to the One who made it or have regard for the one who planned it long ago. The Lord, the Lord almighty called on that day to weep and to wail…, ” (Isaiah 22:9-12 NIV)

(Look up the whole chapter and compare verse 22 with Matthew 16:19, 18:18, John 20:23 and Revelation 3:7-13 for a better understanding of who has and delegates true spiritual authority, to whom and what happens when the leaders become corrupt.


3. New bowl, sacrifice and salt 
  

Back to Kings and the prophet Elisha, let’s consider the Lord’s remedy if we have eyes to see our present situation and are willing to apply God’s Word in order to receive healing. In 2 Kings 2:20 the prophet says: “Bring me a new bowl and put salt in it.”

Note that the bowl is new. The old bowl will not do. Jesus said in Matthew 9:17 “Neither do men pour new wine into old wine skins”.

If the individual Christian is unproductive, the Church is unproductive in the sense that it is not working at full capacity. Remember the sin of Achan that caused the temporary defeat of the children of Israel, but also in contrast remember the love of the Good Shepherd who went to seek the lost sheep. Our Lord is interested in the condition of His flock as a whole, but also in the condition of His individual sheep. 

We need to be cleansed, dedicated to and consecrated by the Lord. We need to present ourselves to the Lord to be cleansed that we may be fit for His service. The new bowl must contain salt. What kind of salt? Jesus in Luke 14:34,35 declares that: “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is fit neither for the soil, nor for the manure pile; it is to be thrown out.” Look at verse 33 just above what Jesus is saying about the cost of discipleship: “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he cannot be my disciple.
(The disciple) “Lord Jesus, surely you do not mean relinquishing the right to nurse my own pain and the suffering from the affliction that I have to endure; to know for a season the bitterness and resentment that I feel because of the hurtful actions and words of others, causing my bones to be a source of agony, my heart to burst because of the pain and my mind to know no peace; do I have to give that up also in order to be your disciple?


(A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22).
“Yes, answers the gentle Savior, that too; in front of sinful men, they bruised my flesh, they beat up my face beyond recognition, they jeered at me, the perfect, sinless Son of God, I could not even see their faces because the blood from my forehead was mixed with the tears that I cried for them, but the Father would not allow their anger, their contempt, their envy, their blind ignorance to break my bones. In the garden when “my soul was overwhelmed to the point of death” and I carried that bitterness for you, the Father did not allow it to break my bones. On the cross even though they mocked me, I drank the bitter cup to the end and finally when they pierced my heart, my Father did not allow them to break my bones. Yes, my son, my daughter, I want you to lay this on the altar, as well as your personal aspirations, your dreams, your goals, your skills and everything else, just as I did in loving, willing submission to my Father, so that you will know my perfect, good and acceptable will for your life”.
(These things happened so that the scriptures would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken” John 19:36)

In Romans 12:1, Paul exhorts us to “offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, holy and pleasing to God, as our spiritual act of worship.”
Our bodies contain a lot of salt. But you may ask, what does that have to do with plowing, sowing, sacrifice and harvest? In Leviticus 2:13, the LORD told Moses “Season all your grain offering with salt. Do not leave the salt of the covenant of your God out of your grain offering; add salt to your offering”. Salt so valuable for its preserving and antiseptic qualities was a symbol of constancy, fidelity and purity and as such was used to typify the eternal nature of the covenant between God and Israel. 

We have seen above that salt fit for the soil is salt that has retained its saltiness. In Israel, salt was used in a mixture with gypsum, a rock with a bitter taste that served to make plaster to cover the house roofs. That may be what Jesus had in mind when Matthew added to the verse about the salt of the earth, “and be trampled of men” in Matthew 5:13 since a great part of the Israelites’ life was spent on the roof of their houses.

To be continued. Next Chapter: https://thelightseed.blogspot.com.br/2013/01/the-seasons-in-life-of-christian_8167.html  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment is appreciated and helps me in choosing various subjects for my posts. Thank you. Ce blogger apprécie vos commentaires qui l´aident à choisir de nouveaux thèmes.. Seus comentarios são bemvindos e ajudam este blogger na escolha de uma variedade de temas.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...