This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on December 12th 2021 by Navaz D via zoom. For the audio & video please click here. To listen to the worship please click here.
Luke 8:14 NIV - The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature.
We should not let life’s worries, riches and pleasures choke the word we receive from the Lord. We should be doers of the Word and not just hearers of Word.
Luke 6:46-49 NIV - 46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like.48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”
Luke 8:4 NIV - While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:
Luke 8:9 NIV - His disciples asked him what this parable meant
Disciples received the meaning of the parable because they sought it.
Everything in the bible is not plainly revealed to everyone. Many of the things are revealed when we seek its meaning diligently with the help of Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 25:2 TPT - God conceals the revelation of his word in the hiding place of his glory. But the honor of kings is revealed by how they thoroughly search out the deeper meaning of all that God says.
God is pleased when we diligently seek and find the deep things hidden in His word. God wants us to value His word and do them. He does not want to give pearls to pigs. Mary treasured the words that God spoke about Jesus through Angel to Shepherds.
Luke 2:18-19 NIV - 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
We should value God’s word. Not only His words from the bible. But also, when God speaks through dreams, visions, and prophetic words of other believers provided you feel it is from God and does not contradict His written word.
Application - Words written in the Bible doesn’t have power unless we open them, read them, understand them, do them and persevere. We should be diligent seekers of God’s word.
Remember – Seekers Finders. Finders Keepers.
2. Seek God’s presence.
John 1:38 NKJV - 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
These disciples wanted to know Jesus and to fellowship with Him. They were seeking His presence.
Psalms 105:4 AMP - Seek and deeply long for the Lord and His strength [His power, His might]; Seek and deeply long for His face and His presence continually.
1 Corinthians 3:16 says Spirit of God dwells inside us. Then why should a new testament believer seek God’s presence?
It is the manifested presence of God that we are seeking. If we say we love God and does not seek His presence, then there is something wrong.
James 4:8a NIV - Come near to God and He will come near to you.
Application - We should have intimate alone time with Him seeking His presence, hearing His voice, Adoring Him, Thanking Him, Praising Him, Worshiping Him. Not as a religious duty. Not to receive something. But because we are a people whom He loves so much and has already blessed so much.
3. Seek God’s church.
When we diligently seek God’s word and God’s presence, we will become people after God’s heart. God’s heart is for His church.
Matthew 16:18 NIV - And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
Jesus came to build His church. Church is not a building we go to. Church is not a club or an organisation where we take membership. The Greek of the word ‘Church’ used here means ‘Assembly’, ‘Congregation’. We, the body of Christ are actually His Church (Col 1:18, 1 Cor 12:27).
How do we seek God’s church?
(i) By assembling
We are an assembly. So, we should assemble. We should meet together and build each other.
Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV - 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Application – We should not give up meeting together. We should attend Sunday meetings and at least MicroGYM meetings if not other meetings during the week and encourage one another.
(ii) By joining.
Assembling is not enough. There should be a joining of minds.
1 Corinthians 11:17 NIV - In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good.
Paul said the meetings of Corinthians do more harm than good.
We should seek to build relationship with each other. We should love one another, help one another, encourage one another, forgive one another, comfort one another, bear one another’s burden and do all the other [one another]’s in the bible. These are the true expressions of loving one another. We should seek joining of minds.
God wants His children to live together in unity. This is what gives the Father immense joy, and this is where His blessings flow.
Psalms 133:1-3 NIV - 1 How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! 2 It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. 3 It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.
If we do not live together then there is no question of unity. Unity is not tested when we don’t live together. Unity is not absence of conflicts or disagreement. Unity is when we manage conflicts in godly way agreeing to disagree for the kingdom purpose loving one another forgiving each other having one mind. When arguments or fights do happen see what you have to change instead of seeing what others have to change.
Application – Call people if you cannot meet them because of COVID especially those who live alone, offer help to those who are in trouble. Send food to those who are sick. Forgive others when they hurt you. Give to others what you would like to receive from others.
(iii) By witnessing.
We should partner with God in expansion of His church by sharing Gospel.
Jesus asked us to ‘GO’ and make disciples (Matthew 28:19 NIV)
We ‘GO’ when we understand the great commission from His word and seek to do it. We ‘GO’ with His great power when we spend quality time in His presence.
Application – Invite your non-believer friends and family to Christmas Carols evening. Do not worry whether they will accept. Inviting is your part. Leave rest to God. Seek for opportunity to share Gospel with others. Pray for opening of doors.
When we seek God’s word and His presence, we get to know Kingdom values and Kingdom purpose. Advent like I said in the beginning means coming. Jesus came first time 2000 years on a Christmas night for us. But Jesus is also coming second time on a day we don’t know. But He is coming for sure with our rewards that matter in eternity. So, let’s not be people with myopic vision. But people who has a vision of eternity.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.