Summary: There is a high value placed on knowledge or understanding. As a body, we must pay the price to understand 5 key truths.
Pt. 3 – Converted People
We have been trying to get us all on the same page of understanding. It is essential that we all pursue and gain insight. You will remember that Solomon, the wisest man on the planet, implores us to get involved in the pursuit of wisdom, insight, and understanding. Solomon says (Proverbs 2):
Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding. That's right—if you make Insight your priority, and won't take no for an answer, Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours; you'll have come upon the Knowledge of God.
So we began talking about the what we must understand as a body and as individuals. Jesus spoke very clearly and then emphasized His words with His actions. You will hopefully remember that our understanding must be that Found People . . . Find People. That is our MISSION. Then last week we talked about the fact that Jesus talked about and modeled our MODE! We must understand that Found People . . . Find People as Saved People . . . Serve People. Service should be as natural as breathing for saved people. So let's go one step further. No only we must understand our mission, our mode, but we must also have a clear understanding about our MINDSET. Jesus tells a parable that illustrates this:
He said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how. For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest has come."
6-7Then he told them a story: "A man had an apple tree planted in his front yard. He came to it expecting to find apples, but there weren't any. He said to his gardener, 'What's going on here? For three years now I've come to this tree expecting apples and not one apple have I found. Chop it down! Why waste good ground with it any longer?' 8-9"The gardener said, 'Let's give it another year. I'll dig around it and fertilize, and maybe it will produce next year; if it doesn't, then chop it down.'"
Jesus tells a couple of parables that drive home today's understanding. The first, although full of many truths, addresses an understanding we must have in one simple, little concealed sentence that we probably miss. Jesus said, ""The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow." The seed should spring up and grow! So here is the understanding . . "Converted People . . . Change!" Or in other words, we should grow!
That would seem to be a very obvious truth an understanding for believers. However, what I have learned to be true is that most of us are plateau dwellers. We grew and then camped out! Too many of us are saved and stuck. We are challenged to convert and make the greatest change we could possibly make, from dark to light, death to life, and for some reason we want to stop changing after that. Our soul gets saved but we are still mean! Our soul is redeemed but we won't deal with our mouth! Our soul gets rescued but our appetites aren't addressed! We get converted by our confession but never let it change our condition!
We are like the little girl who kept falling out of the bed and when her dad asked her why her response was, "I guess I am staying too close to the getting in side!"
Some of us haven't moved an inch. We got to know Him as savior, but we haven't learned any more about the truths of the kingdom, we haven't followed Him in baptism, we aren't any more compassionate or generous than we were before conversion. We know no more Word than we did the day we met the Word.
Hear me carefully . . . If you are not changing you are not following. Just because He never changes does not mean that you will be allowed to remain the same! You can't follow Jesus and not change! You can be acquainted, you can know about, but you cannot be pursuing Jesus and not change! Seed is supposed to grow!
Jesus follows up the statement about the seed and tells us the Parable of the Barren Fig Tree. He reveals something about us and then He reveals something about our Master.