Another Sunday, another packed house. Another phenomenal time of worship, another tremendous response to the Word. Say it with me, “I love RockChurch.”
RCBand blew it out again with Finding Who We Are, O Praise Him, Everlasting God, I Exalt You, and Now & Forevermore.
For Wonderment (Part 3) – Finding God in Wheat we loaded the stage with hay bales and RCBand twanged their way through (and yes, with my help) Keep Your Hand On the Plow (Mahalia Jackson).
Here’s the link to the podcast for this sermon.
Here’s the link to watch the teaching video that goes along with my notes.
This series was inspired by Margaret Feinberg’s book Scouting the Divine. Order it here.
Wonderment (Part 3) – Finding God in Wheat
Synopsis: To examine wheat and harvest metaphors in Scripture and encourage the Church to answer the call of Jesus to be a worker and pick up our plow.
Parable of the Sower (See Matthew 13)
- Footpath = hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.
- Rocky = hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.
- Thorns = hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.
- Good soil = hear & understand God’s word & produce harvest (30, 60, 100X)
“A good farmer knows his land so well that when he comes to an area that has more sand than soil, he’ll decrease the number of seeds that are released, knowing the land is less productive.” ~Farmer Joe (interviewed in Scouting the Divine.)
We still need to focus on the best ground to work with.
Unequally Yoked: One of the facts about plowing brought out in Feniberg’s book is that without having access to tractors, many farmers in Biblical times used plows attached to a yoke that went over the neck of an animal (oxen, donkey). It was against Biblical law to mix different animals which would result in an unequal pull…which would cause the weaker animal to suffer. (Uh-oh)
2 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV) says, Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
The Message (Verses 14-18)
Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark? Does Christ go strolling with the Devil? Do trust and mistrust hold hands? Who would think of setting up pagan idols in God’s holy Temple? But that is exactly what we are, each of us a temple in whom God lives. God himself put it this way:
”I’ll live in them, move into them;
I’ll be their God and they’ll be my people.
So leave the corruption and compromise;
leave it for good,” says God.
”Don’t link up with those who will pollute you.
I want you all for myself.
I’ll be a Father to you;
you’ll be sons and daughters to me.”
The Word of the Master, God.
Matthew 7:16 (NLT)
You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
- A harmful weed cannot produce healthy fruit.
- “Your fields reveal who you are as a farmer.” ~Margaret Feinberg
Jesus said in Matthew 3:8 (NLT) to “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.”
Luke 9:61-62 (NLT)
61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
- If a farmer looks back they will get bends in their rows.
- A farmer must focus ahead and push plow deep into the ground.
- Farmers need to keep watch for rocks or objects as not to break the plow.
I read the third paragraph on page 96 (Scouting the Divine).
Small compromises lead to big consequences. Just read about King David.
“When you see a field that’s planted straight and bulging with a healthy crop, you know the farmer has taken his time. But if you see a crop that’s crooked or brown, you start to wonder why the farmer didn’t spray, take better care of the crop, and invest more time in his fields.” ~Farmer Joe (Scouting the Divine)
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 (NLT)
24 Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
I read page 97 (Scouting the Divine).
Matthew 9:37 (NLT)
He (Jesus) said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
Will you be a worker?
I read page 102-103 (Scouting the Divine).
Galatians 6:7-9 (NLT)
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Don’t quit. Your harvest is coming.