Saturday, January 9th
You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we were exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father would his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory. For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe. 1 Thessalonians 2:10-13 (NASB)
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
We have looked closely at the various soils this week and the ways people are similar to them. From this close look we have gained insight into the cost discipleship. Simply stated, soil will not be good soil unless the problems associated with the bad soils are overcome. This means change and change has its cost. We will not be like good soil with lives that "produce a huge harvest" unless the hard work of getting on track and staying on track takes place. Real soil doesn't decide to respond to the seed that is sown. Real soil is what it is, either good or bad and the outcome of the seed sown on it will exactly correspond to what kind of soil it is. We are different because we have wills. We can desire to be like good soil and be open to change. We can desire and be open to good outcomes and not a bad ones. We want to conclude our week by focusing on the "seed" the sower sows because good outcomes can only come from God and his word.
How we view the "seed" is of paramount importance. We may want to change and we may be open to outside input, but what kind of change we pursue is determined by the kind of input we are open to and let into our lives. In reality, it all begins with the view of Scripture (the Bible) we really have? Today's Scripture includes these words, "when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe." Notice the three components of how "good soil" people view Scripture: (1) they do not view the Scriptures as the word of men; (2) they accept the Scriptures for what it really is, the word of God; and (3) they believe the Scriptures will perform its work in them.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
The work God's word is intended to perform is threefold: germination and life, roots that go down deep, and shoots that grow up tall and strong. God back over the Devotionals for this week and let God show you the specific changes that are needed in your life. Write out your own prayer response to God that expresses all that is on your heart. The hope and prayer of our church community is that you "would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory."
Posted on Sat, January 9, 2016
by Alan Porter