5 Habits - Word #6

Welcome to Everyday Devotions. These daily Bible readings and Prayer Pathways are designed to help you go deeper with God each day in response to what you are hearing at the Everyday Church services and Life Group gatherings.

Saturday 11th January

In this week’s Everyday Devotions, we are exploring the power of God’s Word to change our lives. We are looking at what Jesus wants to teach us through the Parable of the Sower. Today we are looking at the third type of soil.

Bible Meditation

Luke 8:4-15

4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: 5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. 6 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’
11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
1) The seed that falls among thorns represents those of us who are half-hearted when it comes to the Word of God. We are committed to what God wants to speak into our lives – but we are also committed to a lot of other things as well! Make a list of those specific things that might become ‘thorns’ in your own life. What do you think Jesus is particularly pinpointing when he warns you not to be strangled by “life’s worries, riches and pleasures”?

2) What is the difference between a mature stalk of wheat and an immature stalk of wheat? Why do you think a half-hearted commitment to God’s Word will always prevent us from becoming “mature”?

1 Peter 2:1-3

1 Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
3) What do you think Peter means by “pure spiritual milk”? What can you do specifically in response to this call for you not to be satisfied with a mere taste of Jesus, but for you to “grow up in your salvation”?

Matthew 18:7-9

7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
4) What radical steps is Jesus calling you to take in response to his Word today? He isn’t really telling you to take a knife to your own body, but is using a vivid metaphor to urge you to take a hard look at your priorities and to deal at once with any thorns that are choking your growth as a Christian.

Prayer Pathway

Prayer for today:
Lord God, I can see lots of ‘thorns’ in my heart. I am committed to your Word, but if I’m honest I’m committed to many other things as well. Help me to grasp how much these other things are choking the life out of my relationship with you. Help me to act radically towards them, ridding my heart of both the sinful things and of the good things that distract me from you. Help me to make plenty of room in my heart for your Word to grow. Bring me to full maturity as a Christian. Amen.

Pray in Luke 8:7&14: Spend time confessing specific ‘thorns’ to God and uprooting them by the power of his Spirit. If you find it hard to identify specific thorns, use the three heading that we are given by Jesus: worry, money and pleasures.
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These Everyday Devotions have been produced and edited by Phil and Ruth Moore on behalf of the Everyday Church Elders