Last night was awesome! (Well, not for Cardinal nation, but let's move past that.) We saw some great costumes, including Blue Power Ranger, Chef Boyardee, 8o's Girl and Justin Bieber (our winners). There was some solid worship lead by students (thanks Katheryn, Sierra, Jesse, Tyler, DeAndre, and Grant). The 4-way tie for the photo scavenger hunt was decided by random trivia about Jim. Plus, we heard how God is always speaking to us, including last night. It looks like most everyone took home a jar as a reminder. But maybe you're looking at the jar saying, what's this about again? Let's do a quick review.
The story that Jesus told is found in Matthew 13:3-9; 18-23. Basically the story is about a farmer who is spreading seed and what happens to the seeds that land in different spots. Jesus describes four different types of soil: along the road where birds snatch the seed, soil with rocks, soil with thorns, and good soil. in each of the first three soils the seed does not grow or live long. But the last soil the seed grows up to become a plant that produces fruit, lots of fruit. Remember, the soil represent our hearts and how we handle the words God speaks to us (the seed). The first three hearts did not receive, pay attention, or accept the word. So there was no growth, because there was no life. But the last heart "hears the word and understand it" (vs 23) leading to life and growth.
It's common for people to think that the most important thing to do to connect with God is to come to church and listen. And that is a very important thing. If we only listen, then we haven't responded to God's love; we haven't trusted and obeyed Him. There's no relationship. So listening feels like a first step, but it's really a a half step. The first full hearing and making the connection to our lives so that it changes the way we think. Real understanding changes the way we think about things, which will change the way we do things.
Let me encourage you to spend some time talking with God about how His words connect to your life. To help you get started, we made the cards with verses on them. Here they are again:
Ask God today for His help for you to soften your heart so you can "understand" His word, both by knowledge and action. It'll give you true life.
Each week two blogs will be posted for Blast and Ignite.