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Monday, April 9, 2018

Developing Spiritual Roots

In review of Luke 8:13 it says, “The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don’t have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. As soon as life gets hard, they give up” (CEV).

In Luke 8:9-15, Jesus explains to his disciples his parable of the four seeds. In the parable, the seed is God's word. Seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the enemy come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. Seeds on the rock represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when the face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all to quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasure of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. All the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God's word, cling to it, and patiently product a huge harvest.

"Footpath" people, like many of the religious leaders, refuse to believe God's message. "Rocky soil" people, like many in the crows who followed Jesus, believe his message but never get around to doing anything about it."Thorn patch" people, overcome by worries and the lure of materialism, leave no room in their lives for God "Good soil" people, in contrast to all the other groups, follow Jesus not matter what the cost.

During the springtime, all the grass in California turns green, the wildflowers bloom, and it’s really pretty. But once the rains stop, everything turn brown again. This is because the grass has no roots. It can’t go down deep enough to get water from the springs that are deep beneath the ground. When there are no roots and a plant is in shallow soil, it may initially sprout and look good, but it doesn’t last. The plant withers quickly because it doesn’t have roots.

Luke 8:13 says, “The seeds that fell on rocky ground are the people who gladly hear the message and accept it. But they don’t have deep roots, and they believe only for a little while. As soon as life gets hard, they give up” (CEV).

There are times when I hear God’s Word and get excited about it, but then I don’t allow it to change me. I act superficially. I react emotionally. I’m moved impulsively. But I don’t take the time to really let it sink in.

I’d really rather be a person with deep spiritual roots so that when recession comes and lasts several years, I’ll be able to keep bearing fruit. This way when the rough winds come and somebody in my family gets sick or a close friend dies, the trial doesn’t blow me away, because I’ve got roots.

To develop spiritual roots I need to continue having a daily time with God and add in a weekly small group time with other believers. I’ve got to spend time alone with God, and I’ve got to spend time with other believers.

If I don’t spend time with God on a daily basis, I’ll dry up and blow away when the pressure is on. I won’t be able to handle it. Therefore it’s important for me to make time to listen during a daily time with God. I have to sit and be quiet. I need to read the Bible, talk to God and journal. I need to do Whatever it takes to keep the focus on God.

I also need a weekly small group. Nobody has a complete perspective on life. Everyone wears blinders. The people in my small group can see things in your life I can’t see. That’s why we need each other! I’ll learn from the people in my small group as I encourage others.

Bottom Line:
Regardless of what’s going on, don’t give up, but apply what your hearing.

What this means to me:
It doesn’t do me any good to hear a good message that I agree with, but because of life’s circumstances not apply it. Work to apply what I hear regardless of what’s going on around me.

In my own life, I’ve done pretty well with having a weekday quiet time. While I read, study and journal, I do not spend much time being quiet or just talking with God. I need to include this in my morning routine. Also today I received another important reminder to be part of a small group. Being part of small group will just a more conscience effort on my part to leave work earlier, put up with more traffic just so that I can spend time, or give up sleeping in on Saturday’s and join the men’s group that meets then.  Today, I pray Father that you will help me free up my schedule and give me the extra push of motivation to re-join a small group. I also pray Father that you will help me conduct my day in peace and not get upset about work requests and demands that come in today. Lastly I ask for your guidance in how I handle work tasks and interactions with others.