I want you to read Deuteronomy 6:1-12.
For a few moments, I want you to remember God with me. Too many of us have forgotten!
This will be a two part article. This first part will be today.
I will give the second, and final part, next week.
After 40 years of being a Christian, and a preacher, I want to share with you four things about God of which I am absolutely certain:
First, God is faithful. In all of our struggles, God is Faithful! This fact should give us a great measure of of peace in our daily lives. His faithful presence brings peace (John 14:27; 16:33; 20:19, 21, 26). A troubled fearful heart is the opposite of the peaceful heart that our faithful God wants us to have.
Do you Remember the Storm in Mark 4?
The disciples were terrified! In Mark 4:39 and 40 we read that Jesus calmed the storm, and then asked his disciples why they were so fearful. They (as a group) had a fearful heart....both during the storm, and after the miracle. WHY? They were not trusting Jesus. Jesus asked them, “How is it that ye have no faith?” But REMEMBER, they were just as safe during the storm as they were after the miracle. The secret to peace in the storm is to remember Jesus’ faithful, caring heart and presence. They had forgotten this (Mark 4:38).
Second, I am convinced that his word is unfailing. Also in the book of Mark, chapter 4, we see the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed is the Word of God (v. 14). The Word of God is powerful (Hebrews 4:12), but watch this! In this parable, Jesus is showing us the things that can happen with the word as it is sown in our hearts.
The word can be stolen by Satan (represented by fowls - Any fowl - teaching that the Devil has many ways to steal the word from our heart).
This theft happens very quickly. We must be careful when hearing the word of God. There is no problem with the word, but Satan hates it and will try to steal it out of our heart.
Next, the word is merely enjoyed by others (16-17) These are the stony ground hearers. They received the word with gladness, but THEY had no root in themselves. There was no problem with the Word. The problem was with them…NO ROOT (in themselves). Earlier Jesus said that they had no depth of earth - There is no depth of conviction or belief....They just think receiving the word was a fun / neat thing to do! When affliction or persecution came they were “offended,” and they defected; not because of a problem with the word, but rather a problem with themselves....They were finally tripped up and trapped in their own foolishness.
Thirdly, the word is choked in the lives of others (18-19). Jesus said there are three things that can choke the word out of your life: The problems of this life, which can create anxiety and worry can choke the word; Also, money, and the desire for it can steal away the work of the word in your life; and thirdly, lust (longing for and desiring things in such a way that the desire for them replaces your desire for God)! These things choke the word.
You may say then that the word in not unfailing....it failed here. No! The word did not fail. The effect of it failed in these particular lives but that was not because of an inherent weakness in the word. The problem was in themselves, because when the word fell on “good ground (v. 8), it produced fruit! Is the good seed of God’s word producing fruit in your life?