And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
Colossians 2:6-7 NLT
Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and as the master of your life, or does that seem burdensome since it might require “giving up” some things? I’m just asking real questions, because these are the questions that will reveal what kind of “belief” exists. And there has to be true, “saving Faith” for growth to continue. The seed of the Word of God needs to have not only been planted, but it must have burst through the shell in that good soil to grow up, and continue to rise above the weeds, and bear much fruit for the glory of God.
Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 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.” 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. This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says, ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand. When you see what I do, you will not comprehend. For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes— so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them.’ “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it. “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!”
Matthew 13:1-23 NLT
The good news is that even if you have backslidden, even if you have never yet had Faith in your heart that empowered you to walk in a new way, even if you are just now for the first time realizing that you truly need God in control and leading you in the way of righteousness, salvation is available to you today. I don’t care what religious rituals you have been through in the past — because I don’t want you to set your Faith in some past religious ceremony or ritual. I want you to trust God, be restored to a right relationship with Him, follow Him, and grow in His way. He tells us to call on the name of the Lord and we will be saved. He tells us that today is the day of salvation and that we must die daily to ourselves so that we can walk with Him in spirit and in truth. He tells us that He will come and live in us and guide uggs in all things, convicting us against sin and growing us up in truth and in love. He tells us that He has a purpose and calling for our lives to send us out to a world in need of Hope, Faith, and Love.
Rise up, you who were once dead in your sin and know life abundant in Christ.
Rise up, you who had fallen asleep by the wayside, and receive the breath of life that fills you up and makes you whole.
Rise up, army of the Lord, children of God, to see the battle already won by Jesus Christ, the mighty warrior, the consuming fire, the one true and living God, God come in the flesh to live among His people, the only name by which salvation comes.