Leveling Up with the Word Series Recap #1

by Rick

I trust you have enjoyed the “Leveling Up with the Word!” series.  We have studied the parable of the sower for months.  We will wrap up the series this week.  This is the first recap.

Jesus said:

(Mark 4:13-20 ERV)

The farmer is like someone who plants God’s teaching in people.  Sometimes the teaching falls on the path.  That is like some people who hear the teaching of God.  As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them.

Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground.  They hear the teaching, and they quickly and gladly accept it.  But they don’t allow it to go deep into their lives.  They keep it only for a short time.  As soon as trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up.

Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds.  They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want.  This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.

And others are like the seed planted on the good ground.  They hear the teaching and accept it.  Then they grow and produce a good crop—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more.” 

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  The power that lies within the Word of God will work for anyone who receives it, believes it, and applies it.  The parable of the sower put a tremendous amount of emphasis on God and His Word.  This emphasis is justified because our lives should be All About Him and what He speaks to us!

2.  The power that lies within the Word of God will attract opposition from the enemy.  When the Word of God is sown into your heart, you should not be surprised when opposition comes because of it.  Satan is not going to idly sit by and watch as you maximize the Word God spoke.  No.  We have an enemy, and he will do everything he can to get YOU to give up, cave in, and quit.  Satan knows he cannot stop God, nor does he have any power of God’s Word, but if he gets you frustrated while you are waiting on God, he knows you may give up.  If you give up, satan did not stop you.  YOU STOPPED YOURSELF!  So please don’t be surprised when the opposition comes.  If the Word is a significant Word from God, then you should expect significant opposition from satan.

3.  Understanding the Word of God is critical.  You will never maximize what you do not understand.  The good news is that the author of the book lives INSIDE every Born-Again believer.  So ask the author, the Holy Spirit, to explain His Word to you.

4.  While the same Word is sown into many people by the same God, the results will vary based on the person who receives it.  This is both a warning and a source of encouragement.  It’s a warning to every believer to be good ground every time you hear the Word.  It’s a source of motivation because it means the condition of other’s hearts will not impact the harvest the Word produces in your life.  The Word will only be limited or enabled by the state of your own heart.

5.  In a time when minds are constantly distracted, the focus you give the Word matters.

— The youth of today are accustomed to doing multiple things at once.  They watch television, play a game on their tablet, and text on their phone simultaneously.  It seems like it’s hard for them to slow down long enough ONLY to DO ONE THING or to give their ENTIRE FOCUS to one thing.  But this is exactly what the Word of God requires.  The distracted mind is likened to the unproductive soil in the parable of the sower.  Don’t be distracted.  Give the Word of God the priority and focus it deserves.

— You must develop the discipline required to give God and His Word your undivided attention.  Divided attention is not the type of attention God is looking for.  You must make time to give God your attention.  It’s much better to GIVE God your attention than for Him to have to GET it!

— In this season, please rediscover the power of a focused mind and heart.  The more focus you give God and His Word, the greater the level of clarity you will have for life and living. 

6.  Faith comes in response to grace.

— It’s okay to come up with ideas.  God has graced us to be creative.  I am not telling you to stop making plans.  What I am teaching is that we, as believers, must present our ideas to God.  We must ask Him for clearance before we move out.  We need to know if the idea we have in our minds lines up with His will for our lives.  We need to know if the idea was birthed in His heart or if it’s a distraction that will take us away from His best.

Adam and Eve were drawn away by good and not evil.  When Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, they were not looking for evil.  They were pursuing the “good” part of the tree.  They wanted to be like God.  (As a side note, they already were like God, but they were deceived to believe they were not).  My point is that Adam and Eve missed God because they pursued something they thought was GOOD, but it was not GOD!  Unfortunately, satan traps many believers with the same scheme today.  Countless believers pursue GOOD projects, but just because the project is GOOD, it does not mean it is GOOD FOR YOU!  If the project is not part of your purpose, it belongs to someone else, and if you get involved, you will waste valuable time, energy, and effort on something you were never supposed to be doing.

— Living by faith does not mean you get to pursue anything you want and then add scripture to it and an “In Jesus’ Name” to the end of it.  No.  Living by faith means you are led from the inside out to release your faith for the things God has already provided by grace.  If God’s grace is not there, your faith cannot be there.  You can try, but it won’t be faith; it will be self-effort.  In other words, you can’t make God give you something He did not already give you from the foundations of the world.  You can pursue something outside of God’s will with your own effort.  But please don’t call it faith.  Faith comes in response to God’s grace.

— Where there is no grace, there can be no faith.  Faith begins where the will of God is known.  In order for you to release your faith you must be able to discern what God has already given you by grace.  Grace precedes faith!  The soil does not produce whatever IT wants.  The soil only produces the seed sown into it by the farmer (God).  There was some soil in the parable that had selfish desires.  This soil had “other things” growing alongside the seed of God’s Word.  These other things became weeds, the weeds choked out the Word, and all the soil had left was a life full of things that God never intended for the soil.  Don’t let this be you.  My mantra, “The Grace Life,” is a reminder that when you focus on God and His grace, you keep your life ALL ABOUT HIM, and you avoid the trap of competing priorities.  I don’t have priorities that compete with God.  All I want is what He wants for me!

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith

Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me!  The harvest You want to produce THROUGH me is tied to the seed You sow IN me.  So I thank You for taking the time to sow Your Word in my heart.  I declare that the power of Your Word is unleashed in my life because I give You and Your Word the right level of focus and priority.  I meditate and medicate on Your Word day and night.  I allow Your Word to go DEEP into my life.  As I do, I live life with divine clarity, focus, direction, and purpose.  Living this way, my faith taps into Your grace, and as a result, GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word!  Apply it and Prosper.

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