what Christians need to do as Christians …

(Jeremiah 29:11-13)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

This message from Jeremiah has been quoted frequently for encouragement.

It is still an effective message for people seeking directions in life.

But this message was first proclaimed during Israel’s dark history, perhaps their darkest moment in time. Israel was severely judged and punished, suffered humiliating defeat at the hands of their enemies from all sides.

 

Imagine ourselves in very difficult situations.

We know we need solution, practical solution that will bring peace and blessing to our daily life.

What do we do?

In our time and generation people move from place to place in search of better life, better future.

But that message from Jeremiah with promises of peace and blessing from God did not indicate a specific location where we can find on the word map. And if people in the world knew where on earth to find true eternal happiness, that place would have been overcrowded by now!

That message from Jeremiah have a completely differently approach from what we would have expected to find a better living environment.

 

God’s promises of peace and blessing are no fairy tales.

All of God’s promises are yes and amen.

God is faithful, and He will deliver what He promised.

So what was THE plan of God for them and for us to find true peace and blessing?

 

(Jeremiah 29:13)

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 

Long story short, straight to the point, the key to eternal peace and blessing is in finding God and keeping our covenant relationship with Him.

But how?

How is it possible to have a covenant relationship with God?

If God is almighty and created the heavens and the Earth, where and how could He be found?

 

In the history of human civilization, very few people can claimed they encountered God. And even if they did we need to make sure they are referring to the true and living God who is the source of eternal life, peace and blessing.

Well there is such a person we can trust

 

(John 14:6)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

We know who Jesus is.

The world knows who Jesus is.

Even non-Christians know who Jesus is.

His name and life here on Earth is recorded and studied even by non-Christians scholars and historian.

The world knows Jesus was crucified and died on the cross in Jerusalem.

People know Jesus was resurrected from the dead, never to die again!

The only people who do not know Jesus are those who have yet to hear about the Gospel. Therefore Jesus commanded His disciples to go and preach the Gospel to every nations, tribes and tongues.

 

What is the whole point and purpose of proclaiming Jesus and magnifying His teaching and commandments?

That men and women everywhere may find the true and living God who is the source of eternal life, peace and blessing.

 

The message of Jeremiah was to a nation who lost their peace with God.

The message of Jesus is to a world of lost people who are in search of peace and blessing that will last for all eternity.

 

(1Timothy 2:5)

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

 

How do find peace in a broken world?

How do find peace in broken relationship?

How do we restore blessing to our societies that have gone through so much bloodshed violence and abuses?

 

We need a mediator, and we need one who is effective and will deliver.

 

In our world today we have all kinds of mediators but Jesus is the best of the best.

Because Jesus is mediating for us peace and blessing of eternal values, and we know Jesus never fail.

 

How do I know Jesus never fail?

Did you notice, even people in the world outside the churches, people who do not identify themselves as Christians, they know Jesus is returning in person.

Therefore what do Christians need to do as Christians?

Let’s look at Jeremiah message again

 

(Jeremiah 29:11-13)

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

 

What we need to do day after day, continuously till Jesus return

… Stand firm on our faith that God do care for us and He wanted us to be in peace

… Call upon the name of Jesus and pray everyday

… Seek after the true and living God who is the source of eternal life, peace and blessing, through observing Jesus’s teaching and commandments

 

(John 14:6)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

 

In-His-Service

David Z

 

Heart and Soul – Jesus and Us

In the Parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-8), Jesus disclosed to us the four different types of soil which refers to four different characters.

Focus on the one that is fruitful

 

And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 8:8)

 

Jesus is showing us what kind of a person will be fruitful

He who has an ear let him hear”… are we paying attention to what Jesus said?

In the kingdom of God, the first principle of being fruitful is to pay attention to what Jesus actually said and taught to us, and be receptive.

Jesus Himself emphasis that when He explained the parable to His disciple –

 

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:15)

 

So we need a good heart and to keep the word of Jesus in us with patience.

We knew that already, but we are living in a modern society full of distractions and diversion.

Furthermore our society today have burden upon us so much expectation and demand to preform and deliver results, very often we feel pressured.

 

My message today is not to tell you to do thing differently, not to tell you to pause and stop.

My message today is how to be more fruitful with less effort …

To be precise..

How to be more fruitful for Jesus with less human effort

 

First Important Point about this Parable of the Sower

The word of God

“A sower went out to sow his seed …” Luke 8:5

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.” Luke 8:11

Jesus is the word of God.

Our fruitfulness is completely and absolutely dependable upon Jesus the word of God.

If the truth and revelation of God’s word is not sowed and planted in us, there is nothing of value to the kingdom of God which can grow out of us.

 

I want to put this message into context today.

You are aware how people in the world turn to spiritual gurus and all sorts of mediums for instructions and help. Eventually they reap what they sow but not of value to the kingdom of God.

Therefore as sons and daughters of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus, we need to learn to continuously let the truth and revelations of God word being sow into our hearts and keep it. We want to produce fruits that are of value for Jesus and the kingdom of God.

In Matthew 13 where Jesus’ same Parable of the Sower is preached, Jesus spoke another parable which appears to connect very well with the parable of the sower

 

Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. (Matthew 13:24-25)

 

I am sure most of us already knew what this parable is about.

But my emphasis is about our own choices of seed. Means to say who we believe and trust, and what kind of seed do we allowed to be sowed into our hearts.

When we open our hearts and mind to Jesus the word of God, we allow His truth and revelation to be sowed into our hearts and minds. And as we keep the word of God within us, with patience and with a good attitude, even as Jesus promised, we shall be fruitful.

 

Second Important Point about the Parable of the Sower

Being fruitful is not an option but a necessity of being in Christ.

Jesus warned us not to be lazy.

But fruitfulness can be measure by various human standards and expectation. Efficiency, productivity, numeric growth, quantity growth, so on and so forth.

For now I want to shift your attention away from our human idea of fruitfulness based on performance.

Let’s consider what Jesus said about being fruitful in John 15

 

(John 15:1-4)

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

 

In the kingdom of God, our basic principle of being fruitful is in relationship and connectivity.

Let me put this into context today.

When we feel we are not being productive and effective in what we are doing.

How do people response?

Check our methods? Did we do it the right way?

Even in Christian ministry, what do people do?

How often we want to find solution in methods and program?

But based on what Jesus said in John 15, our fruitfulness has everything to do with our connectivity, communion and union with Him.

 

Imagine a person going from …

Faith to faith

Strength to strength

Because the Lord is with this person

Because this person is in consistent communion and union with Jesus

 

Third Important Point about the Parable of the Sower

So how do we ensure our consistent abiding in Jesus?

A word of caution here … I am not teaching people to be fruitful based on their own effort.

I am not teaching people to do this and this that, do step one and step two, do thing in a systematic order and you shall be fruitful.

I am teaching people to trust Jesus in the most practical way forward –

 

(Philippians 1:3-6)

3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

 

God is faithful, we know that and if you don’t, today is the day and now is the moment to trust in the Lord!

It is God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who are working in us and through.

You know the meaning of let God be God.

This has everything to do with trust and obey.

 

Let’s pray

 

In-His-Service

David Z