Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Good Ground!

About a third of Jesus’ teaching was by parables. A parable (a casting alongside) is a brief story told by way of analogy to illustrate a spiritual truth. Jesus places a special emphasis on a particular parable. “But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them ‘Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?’” Mark 4:10, 13

Jesus makes it clear that unless this parable is understood it is not possible to understand any of the parables. This then, is a great motivation to study it. That is exactly why we are spending four weeks going through this parable in our series “Where Are You?” This parable is also told in Matthew 13 and Luke chapter 8. The key to understanding it is found in the 15th verse of Luke chapter 8 where Jesus says: “But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.” Good ground is a good heart! God wants each of His children to be moving down life’s road toward a “good heart.”

What does that mean? That we will never sin? No, the Bible says that there is no perfect one, no not one. Sinless perfection isn’t possible this side of heaven. Even Paul acknowledged that he tried to reach this status - but wasn’t able to. (Philippians 3:12-14)

He admitted candidly that he was aiming for perfection - but he wasn’t there yet. But that didn’t mean he would stop trying! Refusing to allow yesterday’s failures to discourage him or tomorrow’s challenges to intimidate him, he would make it his life goal to strain and press toward the mark. The Bible urges all of us to mature in our walk with the Lord - and especially in our love for others. This “Telos” perfection is explained in Ephesians 4:13 “Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [Telos] man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

That’s a long way to go and a long way to grow. It is a step-by-step journey enabled by the gift of God’s grace and the faith that He gives to every believer. In fact, God is jealous that we walk in this direction - hour by hour, day by day, year by year.

Are you willing to allow the Lord to perform a work in your heart?