Numbers 15:39 NLT
When you see the tassels, you will remember and obey all the commands of the Lord instead of following your own desires and defiling yourselves, as you are prone to do.
Yes, the Lord knows very well that we are prone to following our own desires instead of being surrendered to His will. Yes, we are little children, prone to defiling our garments.
I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.
Yet there are some in the church in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes with evil. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine.
A reputation amongst men for being alive in Christ doesn’t mean anything if you are really dead inside. The dead worship the dead and give honor to each other because they are blind, lost, and naked, stumbling together in the darkness. So having a large gathering of corpses standing around one’s feet in a building built by the hands of men earns no credit in the eyes of God.
Matthew 7:21-23 NLT
“Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter. On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
ONLY THOSE WHO DO THE WILL OF MY FATHER IN HEAVEN WILL ENTER.
This is pretty important stuff, especially for me, who fell into the “get out of hell Jesus prayer, once dunked always clean” camp when I was young.
You see, those things can be empty religious practice and ceremony that was never a true surrender of our life to Christ. It can be an emotional response that leads to us jumping up and reacting to some seed being thrown our direction, but it may not result in our becoming rooted, because we may have never believed – we may have just reacted.
If we are without repentance, without surrender, without change, without the light and the love that is Christ who lives in us – how can we say that Christ lives in us? Are we so deep in darkness that we can’t smell the poop filling our own pants? Are we so used to the smell of our own filth and sin and rebellion and disobedience that instead of despising it, we are growing comfortable sitting in the warmth of our mess?
Matthew 13:3-9 NLT
He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
Our season in life matches one of these pictures of seed. We are either dead, destined to die, or producing a harvest. And it comes down to whether we are seeking our own desires or if we are listening for His will, if we are seeking the Kingdom of God.
His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.
So what is He talking about? If you’ve read this far, friend, I can see that you are seeking, so I trust that you are one of the few who actually reads what I share from time to time. I want to thank you for putting up with my poor delivery, because I fear that I get in the way of the message a lot more than anything else. So in this case, the pearls aren’t even my own observation. They are Christ’s explanation:
Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Is about hearing, listening, understanding, and truly believing. True belief results in change. It results in a surrendered and fruitful life.
And what fruit should we be growing?
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
So let’s examine our branches, friends. Let’s be honest and truthful with ourselves about where we are in our walk. Let’s make sure that we aren’t soiling our garments. Because a Child of God bears fruit, not the sickness and death of sin.
You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
We need to examine ourselves and all ourselves, what kind of life am I living today?
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
If it is not a life surrendered to the will of God, I encourage you to ask for forgiveness, and to surrender it all to Him tonight, friend. He will cast your burdens of guilt and shame away, and He will break those chains of slavery to sin. Put on your new, clean garments, and quit sitting in your filth.
It’s time to quit pooping our pants.