The Makeup of Our Churches

We generally decide on a church to attend, by the upbeat music of the praise team, or the charisma of the preacher, or the programs they offer to satisfy the needs of our whole family. But Jesus explains the makeup of churches, using the analogy of something His hearers were very familiar with – farming. Most readers/listeners may have heard this story and always wondered what on earth was the meaning behind what Jesus taught. I hope that you will think about the condition of your heart’s desire for more of Christ, and your church life as we meditate on the Word of God today.

DATE WRITTEN: Saturday, 2021-08-07
WRITTEN AT: Hattiesburg, MS

SCRIPTURE FROM: Luke 8:5-8
TRANSLATION: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

BIBLE TEXT: “A farmer went out to sow seed. While he was scattering the seed, some of it fell beside the road. People walked on the seed, and the birds ate it all. Other seed fell on rock. It began to grow but then died because it had no water. Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. This seed grew, but later the weeds stopped the plants from growing. The rest of the seed fell on good ground. This seed grew and made 100 times more grain.”….

APPLICATION: Ever notice how much easier you remember the pastor’s illustrations than you do with the simple reading of God’s Word? I remember a pastor who once started up a gas chain saw on the stage at our church and proceeded to cut a perfectly good chair in half. On another occasion the same pastor came through the back door with bags of garbage, and he dropped a bag sporadically along his path to the pulpit. On yet another occasion he hit an anvil that he had placed on the stage, and the sound echoed in my wife’s ear so badly that it made a lasting impression on her, and each of us, to this present day! These examples came to mind as I meditated on the reason Jesus gave for preaching in parables. He knew that His hearers would very easily understand His analogy and could apply the examples to their own lives. On occasion, the disciples would ask Jesus to clarify – to make sure they knew where He was coming from and the point He was trying to make sure that they understood and applied to their lives. I was intrigued by this particular parable, because Jesus explained Himself in good detail further down in the chapter, beginning in verse 14. To apply this to today’s church, I believe we should examine our hearts, and determine what it is that we look to in deciding which church to attend. We place a lot of emphasis on the music, and on the charisma of the pastor, but Jesus is teaching us today that these things matter very little when our own heart are not where it should be, or if we are ready to hear from the Lord. I have experienced repeatedly where someone may share how boring the service was and how little they received from the service that day. Then, in listening to a time of Christian testimonies, I hear how blessed people were in that same service and how tenderly God spoke to their heart from His Word. Jesus said that His Word will not return void. Think about this, pastors and teachers labor over God’s Word every week and they seek His face for what He would have them share with us. Yet many of us leave home without our tools (our Bible), and we head out to church, as if going to a concert, (no prayer in seeking out God’s answers to your life’s dilemmas, or praying for the wisdom for the messenger). So with that in mind, how do you suppose the Word will be received by you that day, perhaps like a seed that fell on rocky ground? Furthermore, some will head out to church with the weight of the world on their shoulders, and their minds will be so distracted with their worries, that their presence at church will in no way reflect how much they will receive from the Word of God. Much like seed falling among thorns, where the Word is simply overshadowed by everything else that is going on. Friends, let’s be reminded that the charisma of a pastor will show us how good they are at getting our attention. The spoken Word of God will show us how good God is, and how well He has taken on the weight of this world so that we might know how much He loves us, cares for us, and provides for us here on earth and in the heights of heaven when we leave this world. Let me suggest that when we check to see if we have everything when we head out the door for church, let’s make sure that we carefully check our heart and see that we are ready to receive instruction and blessing from our Master, God Almighty!

BLESSING(S) NOTED: With our minds fixed on Jesus, we are usually ready to hear from Him. Let us therefore set aside all stresses, doubt and fear and just listen to the Word with minds and hearts that are ready to obey!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please forgive us for the times that we come to Your house and our minds are anywhere but there in Your presence. I believe that when we do that, we reject the very presence of the One who: loves us unconditionally; and is out to provide the very best for us, Your children. Our hearts need refreshment from You and our minds need refocusing on You, instead instead of our situations and problems. But Lord, we need Your strength to overcome. Please give us Your power and Your wisdom to see Your perfect will for us. Lord this old world is filled with evil and needs You more today than ever before. Please help us to be Your light on a hill for the world to see hope, love and refreshment. Let them see Jesus in us, so that they may be drawn to You. Lord, may Your kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

Author: Ed Algreen

One of God's kids expressing his understanding of God's Word and sharing how it is affecting his life! May those who read it be blessed, encouraged, and drawn closer to the Lord!

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