Spiritual Vitality at Wellington Square
In this time of spiritual struggle, Wellington Square has developed a series of questions and verses to keep our congregation grounded throughout the week.
Growing Strong in Christ
Week 3 Doing YOUR PART!
Passages Matthew 13:18-23
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
“Jesus describes the soil conditions necessary for all His promises for us to be realized. It is dependent on three factors. He yields results in our lives when we perceive His Word, when we persevere in His Word during troubles and prioritize His Word in our lives. The promise He makes is conditional, it is based on us doing our part”
Because Jesus explains the parable to his disciples, it is a way to highlight the importance. Jesus really wants us to understand we have a part to play flourishing.
First part! Understanding His Word. Now I argue that He is the Word. John’s gospel does the same. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. So, putting two and two together. The seed is HIM being sown into our hearts. Understanding the Word means to let His Life be sown by faith in your soul.
“It’s like this, I know many of us have had our vaccinations recently. We’ve sat down in a chair, allowed for a needle to penetrate our skin and a substance to enter into our body. We are told this will trigger an immune response that prepares our body to fight the corona virus. Jesus is saying, the message of the Kingdom is to sit down, allow Him to penetrate into our heart and allow for His Life to come to life in YOU.
That’s what seeds do, they reproduce themselves. Jesus is the seed, the DNA, the word made flesh, that by faith as we say YES to HIM, He enters into us, destroys all that is destroying us and is changing us into Christ’s image. The perfection of health, helping us to be born again, a new creation.”
Second part! Persevering His Word in US! Here I say that one sure way to know He is alive in us is that people start treating us differently. Some people like us and others not so much. Paul says that the life in Christ is an aroma to those in Christ. It’s a beautiful fragrance and those who are not, it’s a stench. So, we become a stench to others and we need to be aware of that. To not abort Jesus’ life from us when we are enduring pushback because of His life in us.
Third part! Prioritize Him in your life! A simple question by a godly mom to her son “What prospers your soul?” “What is it that helps the life of Christ thrive in YOU?” As the answer emerges, prioritize this in your life, gather others to intentionally keep this question at the forefront continually sharing with one another new discoveries and encouraging one another to keep nurturing the life of Christ in you.
There is a cost we must be willing to pay so that Christ’s life thrives in us. To wrestle in His Word, till we understand and receive Christ into the soil of our souls, to endure loss of friends and esteem because of His life in us and to make constant choice to put Him first.
These are real costs.
But so are the rewards – to experience your life change, to becoming light, love, wisdom. To be an honoured daughter/son of God, gifted eternal life, made perfect through and through, forever! To experience the peace that passes understanding all the while walking with deep fellowship with the Holy Spirit, getting called to amazing adventures as you work alongside Jesus advancing His Kingdom, totally worth it!
What cost is Jesus asking you to make so His LIFE PROSPERS IN YOU.
So you can live a flourishing LIFE IN HIM?
German Theologian, Dietrick Bonhoeffer observes:
“To be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ is not an ideal of realizing some kind of similarity with Christ which we are asked to attain. It is not we who change ourselves into the image of God. Rather it is the very image of God, the form of Christ, which seeks to take shape within us. It is Christ’s own form which seeks to manifest itself in us. Christ does not cease working in us until he has changed us into Christ’s own image. Our goal is to be shaped into the entire form of the incarnate, the crucified, and Risen One.”