One of the things Jesus said has always seemed out of character to me. I’ve never understood why Jesus, as the ultimate embodiment of God’s love would say (in Matthew 25:29), “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” That doesn’t sound like Jesus to me. What was He talking about there?
When I revisited this the other day, I looked back a few verses and found the passage where Jesus tells the parable of the seeds. Andrew Murray says the words of Jesus are like seeds . . . there’s a part of the seed that contains life but it’s only going to live if it finds an environment that also contains life. When Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life,” in John 6:63, He was talking about the Holy Spirit in us.
Murray believed that we receive a ‘seed’ of the Holy Spirit when we first believe. It’s like a ‘starter kit’ of faith . . . sort of like the little ink cartridges that come with a new printer. That seed is the Spirit of Jesus. It’s planted in the ‘soil’ of our souls. God’s desire is for it to flourish and grow . . . for its abundance to fill our lives with the fruit of the Spirit . . . love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
But that Spirit is like a transmitter too. His Spirit in us serves as our ‘eyes to see’ and ‘ears to hear.’ It’s God’s mechanism for Him to speak to us and us to Him. He’s not going to force it. The seed is a free gift (it cost Jesus His life but it’s free to us!) and it will never go completely dead nor lose all of its elements of life. But it can shrivel and shrink and become irrelevant, maybe even to the point that we deny its presence in our souls. I think that’s what’s called ‘falling away’ from the faith.
So how do we keep this seed alive in us? How does it grow and prosper?
That seed has a voice. The seed came from Jesus and as we listen to His words and obey them, it gets easier to hear His words and obey them! They say, practice makes perfect which isn’t true. Practice makes permanent . . . it’s habit-forming. When the disciples asked Jesus for more faith (Luke 17:5-9), He suggested they keep on obeying, just as a slave would obey his master. Faith is like fertilizer for that seed of the Holy Spirit within us. When we ask God to give us the faith to obey, and then follow His lead in our decisions . . . in how we treat our wives, lead our kids and serve others . . . we find our awareness of His Presence in our lives to be stronger. We have better ‘eyes to see’ and ‘ears to hear.’ We experience what Jesus is talking about . . . the more we follow Him, the more faith we have. The less we follow, our spiritual ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’ get dull and dim and for practical purposes, are taken away.
Scripture: It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. (John 6:63)
Mentor Tip: So much of Radical Mentoring is about practical application of Scripture. When the conversation turns to the Holy Spirit, I get real nervous. So much mystery, so much confusion from well-meaning preachers and teachers. But don’t skip these conversations. God is Spirit. Deal with it.
Note: Andrew Murray’s very old devotional book, The Spirit of Christ has helped me immensely on this. So much so that our whole team is reading it now.
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