The Parable of the Sower (Part 3)

The parable of the sower

So far we have learned, that the parable of the sower a is very important parable in the bible and explains very much. In the first part we have seen, that God distributes the seed and it brings fruit, thirty-, sixty- or a hundred fold. In the second part we have seen, that we human beings distribute the seed, which also brings fruit. In both parts we have looked at the seed as the word of God. In this third part I would like to go on a step further and show, that this principle of sowing and harvesting has also its validity in other areas of life.

Not only the word of God is a seed, but also everything else, which you give, is a seed. In this sense the Bible speaks too:

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets (Mt 7:12).

Here we see how accurately this principle of sowing and harvesting is. What you give or do is actually, what you want that others do or give to you. A couple of years ago the post in Switzerland had a slogan, which said: If you want a letter, then write a letter. That’s exactly how it is. In the area in which you give, you will also receive. Therefore, when you write letters, then you may also receive letters in return. You can give love and you are going to receive back love. You can also give material things and you can receive back material things, because the seed reproduces what he represents. When for example you give chocolates, then you should not expect, that you later receive for it apples, but you will get chocolates later. Out of my own life I can pass on the experience, that as a child I gave soaps or candles as a present. What I go later? – Correct, I have candles and soaps given as a present. Or I gave a ball point pen and I get always ball point pen as a present. By this I have not to buy myself a ball point pen any more, because the harvest comes in. Also money is a seed. In Malachi 3 God says very clearly to his people, that they rob him with tithes and offerings. In verses 10 – 12 we can read on:

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that [there shall] not [be room] enough [to receive it]. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

This scripture in Malachi will be often used for money (but can be used also for other things). If we give God the tithes, which of course belong to him, He will open the window of heaven and give a blessing (harvest), which exceeds our capacity to keep it (see also Proverbs 3:9-10). He promises also, that he holds back the devourer, that is everywhere we can suffer loss. When you discover, that in your life items go broken or you lose them, then check, if you give the tithes regularly. When you give it, then God will help you, that you get no damage. Also if the tithes wholly belongs to God, we have to give it of all our hearts and with joy and he will give us, because he has a heart of a giver.

In every area of life we can sow seeds. I have heard a story from a person who had big debts and who gave a large amount at an offering at a convection. Thereby he has said to his amount of money, that it is a seed in order to get out of the debts. The debts were a multiple bigger than the amount, which he has given. God has honoured this and has brought him out of debt. This does not mean that God opens the window of heaven and let money pour down. Because this would be counterfeit money, instead God uses people or opportunities (do not limit God). God brings finances in your life on ways, which you cannot imagine yourself, and God will help you out your situation. It may even be, that debts will be pronounced non-existent. When you give an amount at an offering, then you can name this amount (it becomes a seed). By this you sow a seed and this seed will bring fruit.

As we have already seen, if we sow, then also comes a harvest. This harvest can be very big. The Bible speaks of thirty-, sixty- or a hundred fold. The harvest can also be bigger than you actually have utilisation for. Or rephrase: where you sow, you will harvest and where you harvest, you become rich. This does not mean, that you adopt resp. accumulate material goods by sowing and reaping, but as already mentioned on another place, God gives seeds to the sower for food and for sowing. This example we can take and place it in a financial or material environment. God allows you to purchase certain things by sowing and reaping, but also to pass on to the one who is in need. Then you can give in liberty. Through this passing on you sow again. Through the sowing again a harvest comes and with the harvest financial goods that you can pass on again. This should be a continuous process. It is important that we as Christians and as the body of Christ get material and financial goods, as good stewards like the Bible mentions it again and again, because we stand shortly before a big revival. Such a revival is also a harvest time. One who works in the agriculture knows, that the harvest is the most expensive season in the year. Likewise it is true in the kingdom of God. In the coming revival lots of finances will be needed to spread the gospel and meet the need of needy people. So the good news will spread, not only the word with nice words and consolation, but that also the needs of people will be met. I know a project, which is called „Feed the Hungry“, where to the people food will be given, but also the gospel. Both goes hand in hand. Not only give the gospel, but also care about the needs of people. Thereby our Christian testimony will be true, respected and accepted. That is why it is important, that we do not look of the sowing and harvesting as personnel enrichment, but that also parts of this harvest goes out again, so that the kingdom of God will be built and enlarged.

This is part three of three. Did you miss part 1 or part 2?

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Humility! What you should know about it

One of the main virtues in the Christian faith is humility. Humility is often understood wrong. Out of it peculiar patterns of behaviour arise, so that fellow men cause to make a wide curve around the person, because they do not want to come close to them. True humility has nothing to do with self contempt, but should be a lifestyle which fellow men admire.

What is humility?

There are Christians, who consider it as very godly look when they are humble and say, that they can do and are nothing. With excrescences it can even become self contempt. This has nothing to do with the humility how God looks at it, but is negative pride, because it refers to ME. I CAN nothing and I AM nothing. It is right that the bible tells us, what we are in Christ and what we can do in Him. Nevertheless, God has given us a dignity, that we should keep. After all we are ambassadors for Christ and represent God and his kingdom on this earth. Therefore, it is important to understand what humility really is.

First, we must know, what God demands:

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God (Mi 6:8)?

This is God’s condition, that we humble ourselves before him. Nowhere in the scripture stands, that we should humble in front of people. Let me explain this: the meaning of humility after the Hebrew word anav has different meanings. E.g. humiliate oneself, chastise oneself, hard bypass with oneself, humble oneself, subdue oneself in the sense of submit oneself, bate. I would like to draw your attention to the meaning of subdue oneself in the sense of submit oneself. If we humble ourselves in front of God, then we submit ourselves to him. This is what God wants. He wants that we submit ourselves to him, his lordship, and his will. I consider it very important, that we think about ourselves the same as God thinks about us. I think, that there lies the big strength of humility. To become the image of God, which means to become the image of what God thinks about us. There are some Christians, who are wrong this area, because they think about themselves too little or too good. But it is important, that we have the thoughts about ourselves, which God has about us. That we see us how God sees us or how God has called us. God has given each one of us a call and this call has to become second nature with ourselves. It has to become a part of us. We should think about what God’s call or task in our lives is.

Paul writes in Romans 12:3:

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Many take this text and say, that one should be humble in front of the other. Wrong, it is written to think of oneself better or worse, but such as it is fit. Not too much or too little. In Colossians 3:12-17 it is written:

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

In verse 12 Paul encourages us to put on humility. To have humility is a decision of the will. In the following verses we see, how humility has its effects: we forgive each other, we have love and this love is like a band of perfection wounded around us and God’s peace governs us. Even when the word of Christ lives abundantly among us this is a consequence of humility. The highest possible form of humility is, when all we do is done in word and deeds in the name of the Lord Jesus.

As already said humility is important and we will find it in the Bible again and again, sometimes it is not named obviously, but we see can how people humble themselves by submitting to God. Beside Jesus for me the greatest model of humility is David. Our first example is written in 2 Samuel 5:19 where David is in a difficult situation:

And David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.

So we look up different scriptures where David was in a difficult or even a hopeless situation and he did not forget to inquire God. No, it was even his desire to inquire God. How would we react, when we are in a desperate situation? from where would we get help? In David we see the tendency of very practical humility. In the epistle to the Philippians it is written that God will meet all our needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. If we do not only read and cite this text, but claim it in our everyday life, it means that we are humble. we do not bring to pass the solutions convulsively, but we inquire God. Because he meets all our needs, we can go to him with all our needs. How many needs are all needs? ALL. Whatever your needs are, it makes no difference in which areas, God wants to meet your needs. You must accept, that only God can help you. Another example of David we see in 2 Samuel 5:23, 2 Samuel 21:1 and 1 Chron 14:10 and 14.

God not only requires of us that we are humble as an end in itself, but he has also given us promises. Humility is a prerequisite for blessings in our lives. E.g. in Proverbs 15:33 and 18:12 it is written everytime that humility goes before honour. In proverbs 22:4: By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life. When we receive God’s riches, honour and life, then we got the only true thing (the real thing). When God gives us this, then we may appreciate, accept and enjoy it.

In Zephaniah 2:3 we will be asked to look for humility:

Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.

If we should look for it means that it can disappear or get lost. Suddenly you can start with: I AM a good Christian, I AM humble! This is actually not correct anymore. You think you are well, but pride has crept in. therefore the request to look for humility is written.

I would like to encourage you to go deeper into this topic and to really understand, what humility is, what the bible tells us about humility. Take the concordance and look up the numerous scriptures about humility and let you be presented of what God wants to tell you. Apply this in your live and you will have a blessed life, because God resists the proud, but he gives grace to the humble. Everyone likes to be presented by God. God shall elevate us and not people. When God honours us it will remain. When people honour us we do not know their motives behind, they might be good but the people can drop us. Then is the fall great. When God gives us grace and raises us, this will last. It is an honour for us to be raised by God. Thereby we can be a testimony for him in this world. Humility is not an end in itself, but a way how we can build God’s kingdom at the place where we are.

, ‚One of the main virtues in the Christian faith is humility. Humility is often understood wrong. Out of it peculiar patterns of behaviour arise, so that fellow men cause to make a wide curve around the person, because they do not want to come close to them. Humility has nothing to do with self contempt, but should be a lifestyle which fellow men admire.‘,

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Take God’s Word for it

How can we take God’s Word for it? With people, that is simple. With God, we have some difficulties. The following implementations should help you to really take God’s Word for it.

If a human being tells us something, we hear it and we take this person’s word for it, because we trust that he or she tells the truth. However, this sounds quite simple. If I write now, that this works the same with God, I will hear many buts and ifs. These buts and ifs are a consequence of our understanding of God’s Word, the Bible, and how He talks to us. First of all the authority of the Bible serves as a basis. As I already said, the Bible is God’s Word. Unfortunately, many parts from the Bible are, figuratively spoken, cancelled from many pulpits. If one would print this „revised version“, the outcome would be a thin little book. Fact is that the whole Bible (without apogryphs) is a writing inspired by God.

„All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly equipped for all good works (2 Tim 3:16-17).“

The Bible is all we need, so that we can be perfect as a child of God. If we „delete“ scriptures from the Bible, we rob ourselves. There are mainly two methods of „deleting“ or „making invalid“ Bible scriptures:

  1. tradition
    Traditions can either be passed on over generations or simply creep in into the life. The Bible warns us of traditions: „Thus have ye made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition (Mt 15:6).“
  2. intellectual judgement
    That is when we judge things after our level of knowledge, be it school knowledge or knowledge from experience. However, the Bible is no scientific book but must be judged spiritually: „These things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Spirit teacheth, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Kor 2:13).“

A very important prerequisite to take God’s Word for it is that we grant the Bible the authority of the writing that is inspired by God in the whole scope. Not traditions nor experiences curtail the scope of the Bible or cloud the understanding of the Bible. God should be able to speak to us unfiltered.

Consequently here is the first way how God can speak to us. It is the Bible. The Bible is not simple a history, law, or textbook. It is a book, that can give us information. However, it is also a book, through which God can give us revelations. It is a piece of information, that Jesus was on this earth 2’000 years ago, did good things, died at the cross and rose. Somebody may read these information in the Bible and suddenly may recognize that this Jesus went on the cross for his/her sins. Information became revelation (it dawned or the I see effect). The information in the Bible will always remain the same, but revelations can emerge from the Bible your whole life. Therefore, it is important to read in the Bible, on a regular and frequent basis.

With the study of the Bible, we get to know God better. We learn to know His will and His character. We learn to better understand through it how God can speak to us. We must be capable to recognize God’s voice in every situation, because we do not always have the Bible with us or not in every situation we have the possibility to take a Time Out and find out the right scripture. Therefore, Joshua got the following command:

„This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein. For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Jos 1:8).“

Do you take this scripture as piece of information and assume it that Joshua was so successful because of the compliance of this commandment? Or do you claim this scripture for yourself and live after it because it turned into a revelation and you want to live after it. However you looks at this scripture, God wants to see what He has spoken to Joshua, in your life, too. There are so many scriptures in the Bible, that we can simply look at as a piece of information or really take God’s Word for it and apply it in our life.

The Bible is of full promises or prophecies. Many prophecies are already fulfilled, some are about to be fulfilled and some more still wait to be fulfilled. We can call on promises, but necessarily doesn’t have to. It is up to us what we do with them. Which reasoning do we admit? Are the promises only for the person, to whom it was directed? Before God, all people are the same, therefore we can call on every promise personally. This happens with simplicity, if we completely trust God and His word, the Bible. Maybe you still hear the echo of the question in the garden Eden: „Did God really say?“ Does not the devil try to question God’s statements still? Adam and Eva had not given any verbal answer to this question. Only Jesus answered the question when He has been tried by the devil. Three times, the devil tried Him. Three times, Jesus answered: „IT IS WRITTEN!“ Jesus didn’t discuss with the devil but stood on the Word of God and made clear what is right. The devil had to capitulate after three attempts. God’s Word is a mighty weapon against the devil. Therefore, the devil tries to take away the strength from God’s Word, in that he waters down the Bible, withholds it from the human being (as it was in the Middle ages) or lets question parts of the Bible.

If Jesus already had to stand on the Word quite clearly, how much more we. If we take God’s Word for it, we can put the devil to flight in our own lives and can do big things for God. Peter needed the invitation of Jesus in order to go out from the boat and go on the water. We too are asked to go out pictorially from the boat again and again, to go on God’s Word and to meet Jesus. I wish you many exciting experiences with God’s Word and if you like, you can tell me about your experiences.

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