THE PASTOR'S PEN
STUDY TO SHOW THYSELF APPROVED!
The writer raises a profound question in our text: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? It's a question that all should consider. What does man possess that would cause the sovereign God of the universe to give his only begotten Son as a payment for the sins of all of humanity?
We should consider first some truths about man:
But what is man at the very source? Strip away the flesh and what can we see? The answer to that question is found in the first verse we cited... At the very essence of man lies a soul. The soul is the immaterial aspect that gives man his ability to connect to his surroundings through emotion; its where thought, reason, and rationalization takes place. The soul is what makes us who we are both male and female. The body (flesh) is the vehicle to which our soul moves around in the world. The spirit is the immaterial aspect that allows man to be connected with God. That spirit is born dead in sin, but quickened (made alive) at the time of salvation. So with that in mind; God sees a soul. If we are to be true in our witnessing and spreading the gospel message of Christ we must see the soul of man in light of how God sees the soul of man and at that point we can see why God would love us so much he would give his only Son in our stead. So consider this about the soul:
So in closing; man is a living soul. When you encounter people, look not on their outward appearance but remember that beneath all of what we can see lies a soul in need of salvation!
In this particular passage of scripture we are met with the parable of the sower. Jesus begins to introduce a man who went into the field to sow seed and gives a description of certain types of ground the sower would encounter. We understand that the primary teaching of Christ in this parable relates to the uncultivated heart of man, but I am interested in the secondary application; the intention of the sower.
1) THE SOWER'S MISSION FOR THE SEED (v.3)
The sower has one desire as he enters his field and that is to get his seed into the soil. He wants to plant his crop so that he can reap the harvest in due season. I would like for those of us that are saved to realize that God didn't give us the gospel for ourselves only, but that we might take the seed of the message of Christ and enter the field of this world and sow seed. We are commanded of God to do so: Mark 16:15; Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8.
2) THE SOWER'S METHOD OF SOWING SEED (v.4-8)
As you read the parable you will see the sower casting his seed into the field. As he goes about there's no place he doesn't sow. Even though he knows there's stony places, thorny places and even places were the fallowed ground had not been broken up he still takes time to cast seed. The lesson to take away is; there's not one place we will go or one person we will meet that doesn't need to hear the message of gospel.
3) THE SOWER'S MEASURE OF SUCCESS (v.9)
It's apparent at the beginning of the parable that the sower had lost some of the seed and it simply fell by the wayside. Other seeds fell in places where no fruit ever flourished. Does that mean the sower failed? Absolutely not! The success of our individual ministries is not based upon how much of the seed becomes fruitful; but our success is based upon how much of the field got covered. The bible tells us that one man soweth and another watereth BUT GOD GIVETH THE INCREASE! Our job is to simply get the seed in the ground and God will do the rest.
Another year has passed and with the beginning of 2019; January 6th marks our first Sunday. It also marks the time when our church will endeavor to lay hold on a general theme for the coming year.
After much prayer and consideration, the theme for 2019 comes from the great story of the book of Nehemiah. A man raised up by God to empower and excite the people of God who had returned from Babylonian captivity to build again the walls of Jerusalem that had been destroyed. It is a story of building and battling; a story that every church and christian can relate to.
Make plans to come and be apart of our first annual, Yearly Theme Adoption Service this coming Sunday, January 6th, 2019 during our morning service that begins at 11 am.
Ecclesiastes 12:12 "And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh."
One has said, "the bible is the best commentary on the bible and the bible is the best dictionary on the bible..." and rightly so! For with every page we read of the divinely inspired book comes the leadership of the Holy Spirit to guide us into all paths of knowledge and understanding in the bible. But! One must realize and admit, we have some who have trodden much closer to the Savior and therefore plowed more fields and gleaned more of the harvest of understanding than ourselves. To say we have nothing to be learned is to automatically reject the grand blessing of those whose spirit's are more tender, eyes much brighter, minds ever the more saturated in the things of God and who can shed light on the deeper, more astounding precepts of God's word. Men to whom we owe a debt of gratitude and thanks for their weary work of much study in providing us with books wherewithal we may, too, be saturated in the understanding of the Holy Book.
2 Timothy 4:13 "The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments."
No doubt Paul was not only a writer, but also a great reader. A scholastic mind, he was, when it came to the understanding of God's infallible word. He gave instruction to young Timothy to bring with him, the books. Books are not the foundation of the believer (the bible is), but they may be the steel used to strengthen the mud to which we build our knowledge on. The bible is, as Author William Evans penned, "the great anvil that has wore out many hammers." The bible is our sole authority in faith and practice, but what better way to dig deeper into our faith and practice than to glean from the spiritual giants who have penned volumes of great material. Simply put, we should ever be ready to "study to show thyself approved..." Below I have given a list of authors whom have greatly influenced my understanding of the bible (please note: this is not a full endorsement of everything they have written or teach. Simply a guide for those looking to broaden their library of good books).
While this does not exhaust the extend of my library, it is however, a starting point for anyone looking to add to their own list of "good reads." Others we didn't mention would include: Andrew Murray, Watchman Nee, William Evans, Oliver B. Green, Charles Ryrie, John Gill, William Blackstone, Paul Chappell, John R. Rice, Dave Hunt, J.M. Carroll and many others.
James 4:13-15 "13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that."
Alfred Nobel, a Swedish chemist known for inventing dynamite once arose from sleep to read the published headline in the local newspaper, "Nobel dies having invented the single most deadly weapon of all time..." The newspaper had mistaken him for someone else; but having had the opportunity to read his own epitaph he purposed he would not allow his invention to define the rest of his life. He decided to spend the remainder of his days striving for peace in the land. He once said, "I believe every person should have opportunity to read their own life's story as told by others so that they may then decide what changes to make before they die."
I want you to notice some truths about time as it relates to periods or moments of life. First, we cannot go back in time and relive the good moments of life. As much as we would all like to go back and live again those moments of great joy and happiness, it is impossible to do so. Secondly, we cannot go back and redo the moments when we had a lapse of judgment and made silly mistakes. Some of us may have even made great mistakes, but it is impossible to go back and fix those actions, words or missed opportunities. Lastly, and most importantly, we can redeem the time (Ephesians 5:16). We can take the time we have left and make the very most of it fulfilling the will of God for our lives.
I also want you to notice exactly what time is as it relates to the word of God:
Time is -
With every tick and tock of the clock time moves forward. With every passing moment we all move ever closer to eternity where time will seize. Time waits for no man. I pray that everyone that reads this post will be reminded of how fragile life is as it relates to time.