Archive for March 25, 2011

The Big Picture – Part 15

Harvest Time, Separation Time

“But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Matt. 13:23-30

The good ground is marked by one unique virtue — fruitfulness. It is not that good ground may not have stones or thorns in it — it may, but that the stones and thorns will not hinder and prevent the seed from bearing fruit — it will produce. As I have stated before “good” is another way of saying that something (or someone as the case may be) accomplishes the purpose for which it was created. If a saw cannot cut wood, it is no good. If a seed does not produce the sought for fruit then it is no good. Remember the fig tree that Jesus cursed, it did not produce fruit so He judged it.

Again, “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” Luke 13:6-7.

The good ground is the heart that hears.
There are those who have ears to hear yet do not hear. How is it so? Those who have lazy ears, lazy eyes and a lazy heart are wicked and lazy servants. They do not stretch forward. Paul said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philip. 3:14. God wishes to bestow His gifts on those who will invest them and bring forth a return. Those who bury their gifts and do not place them into good use will have them taken away.

The good ground is the heart that understands.
But is understanding not a matter of ability? No, not only, for those who train themselves may understand. It is a matter of wanting to understand. God gives
deep spiritual understanding to those who are diligent to seek it. He gives good gifts to all without finding fault. We are told to ask for wisdom, to express a desire for it. Wisdom and understanding are ours if we will, by faith and sincere desire, but ask, seek and knock.

The good ground bears fruit.
As I have already stated that is what makes the ground good. It is performing according to its intended purpose.

As stated previously the seed is perfect, incorruptible, the fault lies only in the ground, the heart into which it is planted. A man, Jesus Christ, sowed into his field. He owns the land, it is His by virtue of purchase and care and deed of right. Yet another, His enemy (and yours by this very fact) came while you slept, while you were not keeping watch, and sowed a pernicious, malevolent and unproductive thing in the very self-same soil. Now we shall see which shall prevail. Again, it is not the seed but the soil that will tell.

So this is very disturbing and dangerous to the success of the field and the householder knows it to be so, but He is patient and waits for the harvest. For it is always too premature to make a judgment about the nature, whether it is a wheat or a tare, until the very last day when harvest is come. The thing about tares is that they appear just like a wheat, even an expert can not tell. Only time will tell if it will produce fruit, for this is the thing that tells all — fruitfulness.

What is the desire of every father? Is it not that their children would love them in return, that they would recognize the great personal cost and sacrifice that they made out of love for them and return to them with a thankful heart, a heart that desires to be with them and to be like them, giving themselves, trusting him, loving unconditionally.

Yet there is the seed that the enemy planted in their heart. The seed of doubt, suspicion, self-protection, self-advancement, self-deception, will work its roots deep if you nourish it in the darkness of your heart. Oh, be very certain it was planted too, alongside the seed of the truth is THE lie — your father does not love you.

What does the seed of the Tree of Life need to grow? It needs truth, the water of the Word being poured into it, washing away the doubt and the fear and the deceptive lies that surround it. It also needs the sun and the Son, yet Truth again in abundance. Sometimes water is not right there in the soil, oftentimes it must be sought out diligently, purposely, with focus of intent and desire. Oftentimes the sun is not seen yet but only a shimmer of the heat of the sun is felt above us. It too must be sought out by the continual pressing toward it. We must seek the Son while He may be found. Truth is the key to nourishing the seed of the Tree of Life. Reason and feelings are the stuff that grows the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and evil.

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.

Seek the water of the Word and the face of the Son, they are Truth and Life to you and will make you to grow and be fruitful. You must desire this though, no one can decide your will for you, it is a matter of your heart, a matter of your soil.

“Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”

Harvest time is separation time. Anybody going to the barndance? Dad is hosting a hoedown for us, celebrating the harvest of souls, the fruit of His field.

Quote Title Quotation Source
Saving Power is Staying Power The spirit is saved through Christ bearing the cross for me; the soul is saved by my bearing a cross myself. The spirit is saved because Christ lays down His life for me; the soul is saved because I deny myself and follow the Lord. The spirit is saved on the basis of faith: once having believed, a matter is forever settled, never again to be shaken. The soul is saved on the basis of following: it is a lifelong matter, the course to be finished. Watchman Nee – The Salvation of the Soul, © 1978 Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc.
Be Doers, Not Hearers Only Many take the promises and blessings of God very seriously meditating, memorizing, encouraging one another, claiming them as truth and a right from God. Many of these same people would do well to take his command “Be ye holy as I am holy” just as seriously. Tom Van Hoogen
Faith is Active when Prayer is Active Never let us forget that the greatest thing we can do for God or for humanity is to pray. For we can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work. Prayer is omnipotent; it can do anything that God can do. When we pray God works. All fruitfulness in service is the outcome of prayer of the worker s prayers, or of those who are holding up holy hands on his behalf. We all know how to pray but perhaps many of us need to cry as the disciples of old did, Lord teach us to pray. Unknown Christian – The Kneeling Christian, circa 1890, © 2007 Bidge-Logos.
Silent through the Slaughter When God starts to deal with your old nature He heads straight for the center of all that you hold most dear. Allow Him to bring you the cross in the very center of who you are. Don t grumble and become agitated when the process starts: Silence and peace will help you much more than being upset. Fenelon – The Seeking Heart, circa 1690, copyright Christian Books Publishing House
The Stainlessness of Saintliness A sheet of white paper can be soiled, a sunbeam cannot be soiled, and God keeps His saints like light. Oswald Chambers – The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers
The Failure of Work and the Work of Failure There may be a great deal of religious work that is the result of human will and effort. But there is little true worth and power, because the divine life is weak. When the believer does not know that Christ is living in him and does not know the Spirit and power of God working in him, there may be much sincerity and diligence, with little that lasts for eternity. On the contrary, there may be much external weakness and apparent failure, yet results prove that the life is indeed of God. Andrew Murray – God’s Plans for You, circa 1890, © 1983 by Whitaker House
Fightings Within Repentance that is sweet? Confession of sin that brings love and tranquility? If you have never been instructed in such matters, you will naturally want to resist this love. You will, instead, have a human inclination to try to produce a sorrowful, contrite attitude before God…. But consider this: Trying by your own effort to produce a contrite heart causes you to lose genuine repentance. What is genuine repentance? Have you ever had the experience of real, genuine repentance? Think back. Was it not a deep feeling of love working itself out within you? Jeanne Guyon – Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ, circa 1680
Onward and Still Onward Christian Soldier Commander Peary has taught us that the really successful man is a man who knows to keep on failing. Failure is lifes high art. He who knows how to fail well will sweep everything before him. Peary kept on failing until the silver crept into his hair; and then, when well over 50 years of age, on stepping-stone’s of his dead self, he climbed to higher things. Through what Disraeli would of called “the hell of failure” he entered the heaven of his triumph. It is ever so. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the persistent take it by storm. The convert is, as Wellington said, the man who never knows when he is beaten. The dust of defeat stings the face of the Victor at every step of his onward march. F. W. Boreham – The Luggage of Life, 1912, published by Kregel Publications
Paradoxical Ponderings I confess that this was very disappointing, for I had expected something altogether different. It seemed to me exceedingly incongruous that a religion, whose fruits were declared in the Bible to be love, and joy, and peace should so often work out practically in an exactly opposite direction, and should develop the fruits of doubt, and fear, and unrest, and conflict, and discomforts of every kind; and the result is possible to find out what was the matter. Why, I asked myself, should the children of God lead such utterly uncomfortable religious lives when He has led us to believe that His yoke would be easy and His burden light? Why are we tormented with so many spiritual doubts, and such heavy spiritual anxieties? Why do we find it so hard to be sure that God really loves us, and why is it that we never seem able to believe long at a time in His kindness and His care? How is it that we can let ourselves suspect Him of forgetting us and forsaking us in times of need? We can trust our earthly friends, and can be comfortable in their companionship, and why is it then that we cannot trust our heavenly Friend, and that we seem unable to be comfortable in His service? Hannah Whitall Smith – The God of All Comfort, circa 1890 – 1956 Edition Moody Publishers
The Least is Greatest in the Kingdom We are told (Matthew 18:3), “Except ye be converted, and become as little children,” etc. As if he had said, you strive for preeminent and worldly greatness in My kingdom; I tell you My kingdom is a kingdom of babes, and containeth none but the humble and such as are little in their own eyes, and are contented to be small and despised in the eyes of others, and do not seek after great matters in the world. — Thomas Manton Charles H. Spurgeon – The Treasury of David abridged by David Otis Fuller, circa 1880, © 1968 by David Otis Fuller, Published by Kregel Publications
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