Luke 14:25, 26 “Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, ‘If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” Many people are fellow travellers with Jesus today. They are in churches throughout the world. They are following in His company. They are celebrating the miracles He performs and are just excited to be in the crowd amongst those that are in with the “right crowd”. Jesus always directed serious discussions to His disciples while parables were said to the multitudes. The multitudes ate fish and bread; the disciples participated in the working of miracles. Jesus never told us to generate followers but disciples. Discipleship is costly; followers follow excitement and can easily go away when their physical needs are no longer met. Followers follow the crowd, disciples follow the Master. It is not wrong to be a follower, just don’t stay there all your life. Move into being a disciple.
The parable of the sower teaches us how the Word is the seed and the goal of the sower is 100-fold return. The sower went sowing in spite of poor yield from various soils. The heart of man is the soil. A brief review of the various soils will help us see the hearts of various types of people: see Mark 4:3-20.
Road side folks - these hear the Word and the enemy comes immediately to steal it. Hearing and receiving are different things. You can listen to a song and enjoy the melody but not understand or appreciate the content of the lyrics. “What a wonderful message, what a wonderful response. See how the people follow Him.” These people hear but are too carried away by external things that they do not receive what they heard. Satan easily steals from such people. They really have not made a conscious connection with the Word.
Stony heart - they heard but had no root in themselves. They heard but did not understand what was said. They are excited about what they heard and when persecution arises for THE WORD’S sake, they are offended (at God) because the Word did not seem to produce the desired result but something negative happened after they heard it.
Thorny heart - these heard and understood but allowed other things to choke the Word. These things according to the Amplified Bible are the anxieties of the world, the distractions of the age, the pleasure and delight and false glamour, the deceitfulness of riches and the craving and passionate desire for other things. These choke the Word and it becomes fruitless.
Good soil - they heard, understood, persevered and brought forth fruit 30-60-100 fold.
Steps to cultivating a closer walk with God
1. Recognise the centrality of the Word of God.
2. Cultivate a real relationship with the Holy Spirit.
3. Create the time for worship and intimate communion with God.
4. Pray for others, yourself, the Church of God, family members, your Nation, etc.
5. Stay sensitive to God’s Spirit in your heart by the words you speak, your thoughts and your actions.
6. Be quick to repent and forgive.
7. Be quick to obey the promptings of God inside your spirit
1. Recognise the Centrality of the Word of God
Every Word of God carries a dimension of God that can impart something of God into your life and future. You cannot relate with God based only on your experiences or opinions. There is more to God than what you presently know. Whatever you can discover in His Word will lead you to RECOVERING that thing from Satan. Satan’s assignment is to steal, kill and destroy, John 10:10.
We are meant to cast down anything that raises itself against the knowledge of Christ, 2 Cor. 10:3-5. What if we do not have the knowledge of Christ? We will not even recognise any high thing that exhorts itself against the knowledge. The Word must be central — not feelings. You have been stolen from. Recover what is yours after you have discovered it in the Word. In this day and age we have our minds bombarded with all sorts and we need the stability that the Word of God gives. It is an anchor for our souls in this world of ours. Our experiences and observations also need not become our basis for relating with God. The Word should be central. If He healed them all in the Bible, He is still capable of healing them all today; our experiences of seeing some healed and some not healed, will not change Him. He is the constant — we are the variable.
The respect we have for God must be reflected in the respect we have for His Word. He and His Word are one! John 1:1-4, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”
Hebrews 4:12, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword”.
Mark 4:24 “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.” The measure of thought and study we measure to the truth we hear will determine the measure of virtue and understanding that will be measured back to us. God deals with us according to the measure of respect we have for Him and His Word. Satan’s greatest fear is when believers come into truth. He will do everything and anything to stop it as we have seen. The entrance of the Word gives light. In the Word is life and the life is the light of men (John 1:3). Satan is the prince of darkness so he hates it when light comes on. We are the light of the world. When you got saved you received the life of God and that life is the light. The Word also has life and the light in the life is released as we receive the Word into our hearts. The Word of God contains the grace, power, love and anointing of God. As we respect and receive the Word, the grace and love in the Word will flow into us and equip, strengthen and prepare us to do His will. Keep the Word central.
To be continued…
The Lord Bless and keep you!
Rev. Kola Ewuosho
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