This week I've been listening to hear from God what He wants us to communicate. I sit here on a Wednesday morning reflecting on the conversations I've had via phone, in person, and email. I now see what God wants me to communicate.
I've heard lots of great plans for His glory, but I keep having to ask, how are we presenting the gospel. Don't get me wrong. A study on effective Bible studies is great, but if the crowd doesn't understand the gospel then how can we expect them to understand the importance of studying the Bible.
Where is the gospel message? Where is the sound doctrine?
This really hit me on a ride yesterday when I passed a mushroom growing from beneath a rock. This got me
thinking about Matthew 13:3-9
3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
Recommended Reading - Matthew 13:1-52 ESV
I want to focus in on verse 8 - "Other Seeds fell on good soil..." You see the mushroom, despite it being underneath a rock grew from good soil. Some would look at this spot and say. "Absolutely not! No way anything can grow there!" This can be translated into our conversations today. Many will say, "How can we spread the gospel here? There are too many awful things happening here."
So, our solution to this is to spin that statement around. What if it's not about the awful things happening in that area, but the lack of good soil?
You see, God's word can produce and even hundredfolds given the proper good soil - sound doctrine (Titus 2:1-10; Titus 1:9).
Where do we begin? How do we provide good soil in a bad place? This is an uphill battle and not something you can correct by end of day tomorrow. It starts with Titus 2:11-13 and reinforces how we accomplish this in verses 1-10
Let's focus in on Titus 2:11-13
11 "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ..."
God's grace has appeared to us, bringing salvation for ALL people training us to:
Now that we know this how do we go about carrying this out?
Men: be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness
Women: likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled
Together (Men and Women): Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us
Can I get an AMEN, please?!
You might be saying, "This is all good, but I'm more of an introvert." So am I, but one day I said, "God use me as you see fit." Today I stand before you saying in the past eight years I have been declaring these things, exhorting and rebuking with all authority (Titus 2:15).
God will use you. He will do amazing things for His glory through you. We have to stop looking at the world as the rock where there is no place for good soil to produce His crop and provide the good soil (sound doctrine) for it to produce.
Live for His glory... Succeed for His kingdom!