Leveling Up with the Word Series Recap #4

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 are wrapping up the series this week.  

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 grace of God does not exonerate you from your personal responsibility in your walk with Christ.

— If you have read or listened to me for any length of time, you know about God’s grace.  My mantra is “The Grace Life!”  God’s grace empowers us to do what we could never do without God.  

— Not only is God’s grace amazing, but it is also FREE!  God’s grace is unmerited, unearned, and in most cases, clearly undeserved.  Thank God for grace!

— When you read the parable of the sower, you see how the soil did nothing to earn or deserve the seed.  The sower (God) freely provided seed (His Word) to each type of soil.  The sower initiated the contact, He sought out the soil, and He provided the seed.  This is a picture of how God pursues us by His amazing and unearned grace.

— The grace of God provided the seed, but the grace of God did not dictate the results.  The condition of the soil dictated the results.  This is a critical point.  The grace of God is made available to all men, but we still have a role in how we respond to God’s grace.  The results we experience will be contingent upon how we respond.  

— God does all He does by grace.  However, as His children on this planet, we are NOT called to live by grace.  The Bible is clear that we are called and commanded to walk and live by faith.  God’s part is grace.  Our part is faith.  Our faith must respond to God’s grace, no matter how impossible the call of grace is.  Faith sees the invisible.  Faith believes the impossible.  This is how our faith taps into God’s grace, and we experience God’s best.  The supernatural becomes natural when we live a life of faith.  

— Instead of allowing jealousy to get ahold of your heart when you see God bless others in a way you desire to be blessed, take self-inventory and consider your ways.  In most cases, if you are honest, you will realize that you have not appropriated God’s grace in a way that would yield the results you are looking for.  So instead of blaming God, you have to take responsibility for not cooperating with Him to the level where He can fully operate in your life. 

Say this: “God provides the grace — which is free, unmerited, and undeserved.  I provide the faith.  My faith taps into God’s grace.  Living this way, I can do all things through Christ who empowers me to do what I could never do without God!

2.  Please don’t waste God’s grace!

— God provides the grace (which comes unearned and undeserved), but you must provide the faith.  Your faith taps into God’s grace.  If you don’t provide the faith, God’s grace will be available, but it won’t work in your life, and it won’t be God’s fault.

— The sower provided the seed, but the soil had to provide the conditions for the seed to cause growth.  God is the sower, His Word is the seed, but your heart is the soil.  God is doing His part.  Are you doing yours?

— In the parable of the fig tree that I shared with you yesterday (from Luke 13:6-9), the owner of the land (God) came looking for fruit from the tree (you and me).  He did not find any.  The landowner stated that the tree was “wasting the ground” (Luke 13:7 ERV).  In yesterday’s message (the video version), I kept telling you NOT to waste God’s grace.  In three of the four types of soil, you can argue that God’s grace was wasted.  God provided the seed, and He put the power to produce IN the seed, but He received ZERO harvests on His investment.

— If you look at the parable of the sower literally and you do the math, it means that God is sowing seed into all people, but 75% of the people are not doing anything with His investment.  They are wasting God’s grace.  And then, with the 25% that is left, only one-third of those see a 100 fold return.  This tells me that even within Christiandom, most believers don’t hold on, in faith, long enough to see the fulness of what God promised.  They get a 30 fold or 60 fold return, and they settle for less than God’s best.  

This reminds me of something Paul said in his second letter to the believers in Corinth.  He wrote:

(2 Corinthians 6: ERV)

We are workers together with God. So we beg you: Don’t let the grace that you received from God be for nothing. 

(2 Corinthians 6: NLT)

As God’s partners, we beg you not to accept this marvelous gift of God’s kindness and then ignore it.

— God wants to partner with you to perform His will on this planet.  You are the conduit through which He manifests heaven on earth.  He provides you His grace so you can do what you could never do without Him.  Please don’t waste God’s grace!  Don’t let God’s grace towards you be in vain!

— God has given You His Word, which is an incorruptible seed.  He has given you His Spirit, who lives inside of you every second of every day (if you are Born-Again).  He even breathes afresh on you, with fresh infillings of the Holy Spirit as you walk with Him.  He has given you everything you need.  He is not expecting you to do the impossible.  You can’t.  But He can do it through you.  He lives in you.  He will give you the words, and He will perform the work (John 14:10).  But you must believe.  He has provided the grace.  You must now provide the faith.  If you don’t, God’s grace towards you shall be in vain!

Declaration of Faith

Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me!  I LEVEL UP in 2021!  You have been better to me than I deserve.  Your amazing grace is always available to me.  You made plans for me before the world began, and Your grace is already there for me to walk in those plans.  My success has already been mapped out.  Your grace has already stored up everything I need.  Now You are looking for my faith.  You are looking for me to tap into what You have already provided.  Your part is done.  Your grace is already there.  I declare that my part will also be there.  You have provided the grace.  I WILL provide the faith every day of my life!  Your grace towards me shall NOT be in vain!  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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