SEED FOR THE GROUND
WORDS FOR THE HEART
(Mark 4, Luke 8. Matthew 13)
Those only partially acquainted with the Bible will perhaps nevertheless remember the Parable of the Sower.
The thing that has always struck me about this parable that communicates to us in narrative form, using the metaphor of the earth into which the sower sows his seed, is an ingredient that I look for in all those I encounter in the journey of life.
That ingredient is sincerity. (I mention this in my ABOUT)
noun [ mass noun ]
the absence of pretence, deceit, or hypocrisy: the sincerity of his beliefs is unquestionable.
But nowhere in this authoritative dictionary definition do we read that the sincere person is always right.
Sincerely wrong is more than a possibility, in fact considering our track record – we have all been sincerely wrong on innumerable occasions, but with our sincerity intact.(?)
When people share their honest point of view, they usually engage in what is sometimes referred to as ‘debate’.
* a formal discussion on a particular matter in a public meeting or legislative assembly, in which opposing arguments are put forward…
* an argument about a particular subject…
* argue about (a subject), especially in a formal manner: MPs debated the issue in the Commons: members of the society debated for five nights.
* consider a possible course of action in one’s mind before reaching a decision: he debated whether he should leave the matter alone or speak to her.
The whole idea of debate, can have very negative connotations. The pointing of the finger and the speaking vanity (malicious talk) – as the scripture puts it. (Isaiah 58/9)
Discussion is a friendlier word. As our debating can include biting and devouring one another. (Galatians 5/15)
On another page-post I refer to the ‘sincerity’ factor (see The Real McCoy).
But sincerely wrong, is what I consider to be the mistake of many, when they do not accept Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world.
Now those who are already acquainted with this blog, would expect me to make this statement anyway.
And hopefully there is already enough in the Pages ‘section’ of the blog to prompt you to investigate Christian teaching.
But it’s worth noting that I (in one sense) was where you are at.
If you are yet undecided about the Gospel you are where I once was. I was a non-Christian, now I stand converted.
If someone pontificates about how wonderful it is to go visit the Bahamas, because they have been there and experienced it, – because I have not, – they quite simply – have a great advantage over me.
Concerning the Bahamas, I have no problem admitting they have this advantage, indeed it goes without saying. And as a result, I do not immediately think of them as superior to me, or even knowing better in a self-righteous manner.
I have never been there. So it should be expected of me – to listen and consider* what they say especially if I was planning to go there for a visit.
I have no barriers to get past in accepting their views as being more worthwhile than my own.
Because they have experienced the Bahamas.
That’s all anyone can ask for (listen and consider)* from their ‘audience’ when they preach the gospel.
Unfortunately we don’t always get it. Clearly illustrated by the ‘first’ Christian Martyr Stephen.
We read of him in (Acts Chapter 6 and 7.)
See how he was responded to. Consider if the treatment he received was just in any way (?).
Consider (I give you the benefit of the doubt) how you would not respond in such a mindless manner, namely stoning the man to death.
But please consider too, if the end result – would not be the same, if his audience was listening to me? i.e. Rejection of the Gospel message he preached.
The challenge then for all believers in Christ, is to know how to share the message without entering into debate and arguments that profit nothing.
Some Christians might prefer the arguments, rather than be ignored.(?)
But God only needs a sincere listener and He will reveal Himself to them.
He doesn’t dupe or deceive, He simply presents Himself as the Saviour of the world.
God the Holy Spirit draws near to the enquiring heart and is willing to open our understanding.
He doesn’t need to ‘win the argument’ because this presupposes that you or I would somehow have an opinion superior or challenging to His.
Or that, because we are debating – somehow we could teach God a thing or two, if only He would listen.
Just as Jesus spoke what He heard from God the Father, So Christians speak what they hear from Jesus. So that you in turn might hear what God says as it is passed on to you.
That calls for a sincere unpretentious listening approach to the gospel message, when someone shares it with you.
Jesus speaking of his mission and of His Father says this:
I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.
There is an invitation to accept Christ as Saviour that is responded to and activated by a sincere prayer.
But it entails making an extremely earnest and important decision that entails a turning away from sin, and a turning of the life over to Jesus Christ.
Not to be entered into lightly.
It would be remiss not to offer help to the sincere seeker of this relationship. Please feel free to email me at this address: