But remember the result of the seed into the 4th soil?
Which leads me to your homework for the week:
Find a quiet 1 hour of time during the day . It has been my experience that morning is best but you pick what works for you.
Start with prayer and ask God to reveal any sin, then pray diligently that He would open your eyes in such a way that you would desire His word. Don't rush this part of getting your heart right before the Lord. This needs to be unhurried time as you sit quietly before Him.
As you sit down be sure to have Bible, notebook, highlighter and pen with you.
Now read the section of Scripture and be very attentive to a word, sentence or chapter that God may impress upon your heart.
Highlight certain areas of Scripture that specifically speak to you. Remember the word "rhema" that we talked about yesterday. This is a specific word from the whole word of God.
Write down any thoughts or impressions from what you read. What is God saying to you and what are you saying to God? Just write!
Close with a prayer of thanks and ask God to continue transforming you through His word into the likeness of the Lord Jesus.
Amos 8:11 "Behold, days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "When I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, But rather for hearing the words of the LORD. 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled , they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,
2 Timothy 3:1-5 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;
Matthew 24:3,4, 11-12 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you. "Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold.
The Knowledge of the Holy – A. W. Tozer The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking worshiping men. This she has done not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic. The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking. With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence.
The Knowledge of the Holy – A. W. Tozer We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The words, “Be still and know that I am God,” mean next to nothing to the self-confident, bustling worshipper in the middle period of the twentieth century.
The Knowledge of the Holy – A. W. Tozer What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. … We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that compose the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God.
Willow Creek Community Church Few would disagree that Willow Creek Community Church has been one of the most influential churches in America over the last thirty years. Willow Creek, through its association, has promoted a vision of church that is big, programmatic, and comprehensive. This vision has been heavily influenced by the methods of secular business. James Twitchell, in his new book Shopping for God , reports that outside Bill Hybels’ office hangs a poster that says: “What is our business? Who is our customer? What does the customer consider value?” Directly or indirectly, this philosophy of ministry—church should be a big box with programs for people at every level of spiritual maturity to consume and engage—has impacted every evangelical church in the country.
Having put all of their eggs into the program-driven church basket you can understand their shock when the research revealed that “Increasing levels of participation in these sets of activities does NOT predict whether someone’s becoming more of a disciple of Christ. It does NOT predict whether they love God more or they love people more.” Speaking at the Leadership Summit, Hybels summarized the findings this way: Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.
Having spent thirty years creating and promoting a multi-million dollar organization driven by programs and measuring participation, and convincing other church leaders to do the same, you can see why Hybels called this research “the wake up call” of his adult life. Bill Hybels confesses: We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
In other words, spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships. And, ironically, these basic disciplines do not require multi-million dollar facilities and hundreds of staff to manage.
Luke 24:38 - And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?
Luke 24:44 - Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled."
Luke 24:45 - Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures
What is a phrase we hear the Lord Jesus speaking through His public ministry?
Have you not read?
“ Have you not read?” Matthew 12:3,5,7 But He said to them, “ Have you not read what David did when he became hungry, he and his companions, “ Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? “ But if you had known what this means , ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.
“ Have you not read?” Matthew 19:3-4 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, Matthew 21:16 and said to Him, "Do You hear what these children are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes; have you never read , 'OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF'?"
“ Have you not read?” Matthew 22:19, 31 “ Show Me the coin used for the poll-tax.” And they brought Him a denarius. “ But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: Luke 10:26 And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.