"that day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea and large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
and He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow;and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
but when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.
and others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. he who has ears, let him hear."
as i hinted at in my previous post, josh and i are being moved toward some life changes in the upcoming weeks...months...years? as i read these words that were spoken by Jesus to huge crowds, i came to a different understanding of this passage. these verses are often taught to be a parable about the message of salvation...the message of God's grace, the message of redemption. the different soils are similar to the conditions of our hearts, how readily we accept the Word...yeah? but yesterday, as i was reading...something different came over my heart.
[never downplaying the message of redemption towards God...] we receive many "words" from God in our life that stretch beyond salvation but very similarly we have the same options in front of us as to how we respond to these words. will the words and guidance God speaks over us be received on good soil? or will rocks and thorns be present? do we chose to hear, accept and obey that word or will we simply choose to 'coast' on the easier words of Christ and not do the things which we know we ought?
it would be one thing for us to ignore this word we've received from the Spirit. it would be one thing if we insisted that it "makes more sense" to stay here. [but trust us, it doesn't make more sense to us, as much as it doesn't make sense to this culture] it's an entirely different thing if we accept this word as GOOD and if we choose to, in obedience to His voice, follow it wherever it may lead. it's an entirely different thing if we choose and seek to have the ways of the Lord be played out in ways that require great faith and perseverance.
this is a step of faith. a big one. one that many think wouldn't come this "early" in our marriage but josh and i believe that there is a certain urgency in the world today. some receive clear words to stay in north america to be the hands and feet but if we are confident that we're being beckoned to a different land to be the hands and the feet of Christ.
as if our life hasn't been crazy enough in the past year, i think it's about to get a little bit crazier...a different kind of crazy though. one filled with much faith, anticipation, listening and believing.
"the ongoing narrative of each of our lives is what binds us all together. through the power of story, our hearts are opened to the plight of others and we are compelled to respond."
this is what josh and i are wanting to live out...
a healthy response to those around us in the light and love and motivation of Christ.
more to come...