There are so many obvious reasons to Love our God. Our lives have been through so many changes, so many difficult times and so many challenges… yet, here we sit today, gathering in Christ’s name and wanting, or needing, to hear His word.
As we have spoken about in the past… we are different than many others in this world. Whether we choose to believe and realize that fact is up to us but, clearly, God has impacted our lives in some way, shape or form.
I would like to talk about this subject again today and, after sharing some of my own viewpoints on the topic, I would love to hear from each of you, or even one, that can tell us all how our Lord has made a difference in your lives.
We Have Heard His Word
Jesus spoke about hearing God’s word in many parables. There are many in this world that simply have not heard. For them, we should have pity and, more importantly, help them when we can that they too might hear the words that we have heard and bear witness to.
The Parable of the Sower
Matthew 13:1-9 – “That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.’”
His words confused many, including His disciples. He went on to tell them, still in Matthew 13, “Though seeing, they do not see; through hearing, they do not hear or understand.”
If you had heard this parable, would you have understood? I didn’t really understand myself until Jesus went on to explain this parable as this…
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.”
For us, I would hope that the seed has fallen on the “good soil” for that is where our faith will grow and prosper and our relationship with God, the Holy Spirit and The Son will surely blossom.
We Are Different
Let’s face it, we are different. Now let’s take a little time to look at some of the things that I believe “make us different.” Hopefully, you will add to these with me this morning.
Looking at Ourselves
I can remember, before turning back to God, how I felt about myself. I was always in competition with my neighbor; constantly wanting to “out-do,” “out-earn,” and “out-live” anyone else around me. I wanted the better job, the better house and the better car so people would look at me in jealousy and envy my accomplishments.
This wasn’t an easy task at all. As a matter of fact, it was extremely difficult as this was the same thing that everyone around me was trying to achieve as well.
In turning back to God, I finally realized I was going about it all wrong…
1 Peter 5:6 – “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
I soon came to understand. All that I “truly needed,” if I trusted in God, would be mine if I left it up to Him.
How do you think God sees you? What we need to understand is, while we stand in front of a mirror, ashamed and embarrassed at what we see… our Lord sees us in shining armor, glistening in gold as warriors sent to spread His word.
Looking at Others
How do you look at others? When you see people acting inappropriately and misbehaving, do you condemn them? I know I did before finding my way back to God. I was always quick to criticize.
Not today. Today I look upon those people with sadness… in that they have not yet heard God’s word or come to understand what He has in store for us. Today, instead, I think of Ephesians and say to them…
Ephesians 1:17 – “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
This, we know as children of God, is what others need and we have already learned. So, until they have “heard the word” and as a seed “let it fall on the good soil,” we feel sorrow for them with compassion and understanding.
We have talked about facing difficult times and criticism just recently. I think it is safe to say, if our messages reached out to you, as Brothers and Sisters in Christ… we know what challenges are and how we should understand what their purpose is to us.
Everything put before us is done so to help us grow; to make us better people, understanding God’s greater purpose for us, and realizing our challenges are “temporary” as is told to us in…
2 Corinthians 4:17 – “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
This is what OUR challenges are all about and we, being children of God, surely understand this lesson.
This is a difficult one to try and explain to non-believers. We face death differently as we understand… death is not an ending but a new beginning with God.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 – “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
We are human and, as such, we will grieve when we lose someone. Our tears will flow freely and our hearts will feel sorrow. This, though, will not be for those that have passed but instead for ourselves. Only because we will miss them.
We know they’re with our Lord in Heaven. Their peace is great and their burdens are no more. Yes, we will cry for ourselves but, also, we understand as children of God, we WILL see them again when we have “fallen asleep.”
Do you ever get lonely? Sure you do. I do. Sometimes I feel as though it’s me against the world. We need to remember, we are never alone.
Here are a few verses from the Bible that tells us exactly this…
Isaiah 30:21 – “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘this is the way; walk in it.’”
Joshua 1:9 – “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Even when we feel we are at our worst, He reminds us…
Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
We Are Loved
This, to all of us, should be the only thing we have to remember. God tells us this throughout the Bible and Christ reminded us of this while He was with us as well. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of John 3:16.
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Is this isn’t enough to make you understand, let me share with you some other verses where we are reminded of how much we are truly Loved and we are the children of God!
Psalm 86:15 – “But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
1 John 3:1 – “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
God’s Love is not temporary… Psalm 136:26 – “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever.”
Since I have found my way back to God, the Holy Spirit and Christ The Son, my world has become a completely different place. I understand my time here is brief for He has told me so… and I look forward for the day He calls me home as I know and understand He has a purpose for me there as well.
As long as I remain on this Earth, I will follow Him and obey His commandments.
- I will look at myself as He would.
- I will look at others as He would have me.
- I will understand His challenges as lessons.
- I will not fear death nor misunderstand loss.
- I know I am not alone for He is always with me.
- I know I am Loved for all the sacrifices He has made for me and how He has walked me through this life.
I Love my God, The Holy Spirit and The Son with all my heart, mind, body and soul yet I know this pales in comparison to how much He Loves me!
Raise up with me this morning. Tell us all how our Lord has made a difference in your life. Give testimony to Him and help others to understand His glory and compassion on us all.
You have heard His word… He has reached out and touched you and has prepared a place in His Kingdom for you. Give thanks today… give thanks every day and, freely… share the Love and Compassion of our God and all He has taught you with all those around you… that they too, might be as fortunate to know our God as you do.
Go with God; be good to one another;
always stay humble; always be kind… God Bless!