In a previous post a while back, I explained certain rules for interpreting or understanding Scripture, how to correctly divide the Word of Truth. I used the acronym LIGHTS to explain it.
This will teach you doctrine.
However, there is more to knowing God than just doctrine. He wants to have a personal relationship with us. It is Jesus who writes God’s Word on our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we must go to Him to receive what God has for us.
In Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus told a parable about a sower who went out to sow some seed. Some fell on the wayside and some on stony ground; some became overgrown with weeds, while some fell on good ground and produced varying crops.
The seed represents the word of the kingdom (Matthew 13:18-23). It is sown by preachers and teachers, and especially by the Lord Himself when we read His Word.
There are four types of soil, or conditions of receiving the Word. Some have hardened hearts and the enemy immediately steals it from them. The second type received it with joy, but because of shallow faith, when that Word is tested by the fire of tribulation they quickly fall away. Neither of these produced any fruit.
The other two soil types produced fruit, but one them had very little because it was choked out by the cares of this world. It’s end was near to being burned.
The seed that fell on good ground produced a fruitful crop. What makes the soil good? It depends entirely on what the person does with the seed when he receives it. He must properly prepare his heart, and then he must receive the seed that God gives. He must accept the Word and make it personal. God does not just throw His Word out there to make a doctrine; it is also there for YOU to grow by or to encourage you in tribulations.
So, how do we make it personal? I’m glad you asked. J
I will use James 1:21 to show you how to find the seed, and what you should do with it.
Therefore, (1) lay aside (2) all filthiness and (3) overflow of wickedness, and (4) receive with meekness (5) the implanted Word, (6) which is able to save your souls.
There are several seeds in this one verse, indicated by the numbers. Understand that it is God who will show you His seed for you. A seed will answer one of these questions, or lead you to seek the answer to one of them: Who, what, where, when, why, or how. In addition, all Scripture is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, so it will relate to one of these. If God shows you a seed, you must take that seed to Him so it can be implanted – this verse says you must RECEIVE the implanted Word, not that you do the planting. (Here you see part of numbers 4 and 5 put together, which is another seed (7)).
Seed 1: lay aside. This tells us we are looking at an instruction in righteousness – there is something we must act on. A doctrine is something we must believe, a reproof is a rebuke, and correction is something we must correct and can be a doctrine or an action.
Seed 2: all filthiness. This is internal, our thought processes and beliefs which are contrary to God. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Take this seed to God. Ask Him to show you the filthiness that is still in you. Ask Him to call your attention to it throughout the day when those things appear. Not only that, but ask for His help in putting those things to death when He shows them to you. Our righteousness comes through our faith in Him, not through our human ability. We are washed by the Blood of Christ, and cleansed by the water of His Word.
Seed 3: overflow of wickedness. This is external, what comes out. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. When you speak or act out contrary to God, it is the overflow of wickedness. Ask God to quicken your mind before you act or speak. Go to Him for strength to resist the temptation.
Seed 4: receive with meekness. For every action of putting something aside, God has a replacement action of doing something. Lay aside something of the old nature and receive from Him that which produces life. The human nature resists correction, so we must choose to receive with meekness. Ask God to show you your pride, denial and resistance to Him, to show you where you are defensive. Ask Him to show you what it means to be meek.
Seed 5: the implanted Word. Memorization, by itself, does not implant the Word, does not produce life. The Pharisees and scribes knew the Scriptures backwards and forwards. Jesus told them that they search the Scriptures because they think they will find life in them, and it is Scripture which testifies of Jesus; yet they refused to come to Jesus so they might find real life. God has to plant the Word in you, make it real. He can only do that if you go to Him with the seed He gives you.
Seed 6: which is able to save your souls. The word save in this verse is the Greek word sozo. It means to rescue, deliver, or make whole. When you replace your filthiness with His Word, it works for your deliverance, rescues you from the sin nature.
When you receive the seed that God implants, in time it will produce fruit. That fruit will have its own seeds. In other words, God may focus on one area of filthiness or overflow of wickedness. As you pay attention to that area and learn to lay it aside, you will begin growing fruit. But then, because of your diligence, God will begin to show you other areas. And you will many times be able to take what you learned with the first seed and apply it to the next issue. Thus your fruit is helping produce even more fruit. Jesus said, “To him who has, more will be given.”
Moreover, fruit is life. Therefore, when you gain life then others may also have opportunity to eat your fruit. In other words, you will be able to help them – God can use you to implant into their lives.
Here is an interesting tidbit. When I started this article, I wrote the title then hit save. My word processor suggested this for the filename: “Finding Seed in God.” That is exactly the corollary point of this message. We find the seed in God’s Word by going to God and finding the seed in Him; Jesus is the Word.