Growing relationships with God and people… bringing salvation to all
This is part 3 of 3.
Bringing salvation to all. This is the RELATE part of the ladder. Many do not go to this step but stay stuck. What a tragedy for all of us in the body of Christ.
When you think about bringing salvation to all, what do you think about? We are all in the Lord’s harvest fields in our daily lives. The seed (the Word) must be planted into soil to grow. Some plant the seed, some water the seed, and God causes the seed to grow.
We must learn to always participate in the planting and watering of God’s Word
The parable of the sower and the soils:
- Matthew 13:3-23
- Mark 4:1-20
- Luke 8:4-15
The sower and the seed. Hard ground, dust, weeds of life. Good soil received the seed, the seed is watered, and God grows it. What does it take for the seed to fall into good soil? An honest and good heart.
A hard road is a hard heart. Bitterness is always connected to relationships.
- In rocky soil the seeds don’t stick around. A shallow heart.
- In soil with thorns (weeds) is a distracted heart, so the seeds are choked out and never mature.
- In good soil is relationships with God and others according to the Word. The word is heard in an honest and good heart, the word is held fast, and bears fruit with perseverance. The bearing fruit is where you give others the seed that bore fruit to harvest in you (the Gospel)! A RELATEd heart.
Learn the process of relationships God’s way.
If you quote “had it all”, what if you had nobody to share it with? Would any of those things matter? The Book of Ecclesiastes powerfully explains how everything apart from God is futile. What if the family you had was full of terrible relationships? You would rather be alone. But what if you were poor but had love and joy and peace in your home?
Living in relationships God’s way is the ultimate way to live. Nothing beats healthy, growing relationships with God and with people.
God’s way of living is the most important way a person can live. In love, serving one another, we must sow and water seed, and God makes it grow. A wonderful way to do this is in small groups.
Why is it so important for you to have a loving and obedient relationship with God?
You cannot give seed to others that you have not received and watered and that God has grown, because the seed is the result of God’s relationship harvest with you. You can only give seed that you have been given. In other words, you cannot give seed to someone that you have not been given by God first. How do you give something you have not been given?
RELATE is preparation for ministry. RELATE takes us to the cross. Jesus understands where each one of us is. RELATE shows us through the Word how to pull out heart weeds and till heart soil so that seed can be sown in an honest and good heart. This is a process. God is sending babies our way. Are we prepared to help till the soil and plant the seed and be a part of God’s growth in the lives of others?
We all start out as babies
Babies don’t know when they are dirty. Babies don’t have a clue that they need to be cleaned up. There are some powerful spiritual parallels there! And we have are all at various stages of growth, both physically and spiritually. Immaturity is when everyone around is kindly letting me know that I stink and I don’t care, or I think that everyone ought to get over it.
A sure sign of spiritual immaturity is that we don’t acknowledge that we are dirty.
RELATE is tilling ground. Learning how to do ministry. Learning how to prepare soil. Nothing is ever wrong with the seed of God’s Word. The Book of Acts is how we do it.
Make sure you are a fellow partaker of the Gospel
One of life’s greatest pitfalls is spending your life planting and watering the seed (God’s Word) in others, but you not making it because you didn’t allow the seed to be planted and watered in you.
21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ 24“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25“And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27“The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.”
46“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47“Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49“But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
1 Corinthians 9:23-27
23I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. 24Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.