|Continuing on Friday’s Bible study.
Pastor Don points out that so many Christians do not go around planting seed. That means sharing God with others. We are to be planting lots of seed. Some seed will take hold, others won’t. Some won’t even take hold until years later. But that is not our concern, our concern is to plant seed.
Matthew 13:10 “And the disciples came and said to Him, ‘Why do You speak to them in parables?”
So often what we share with others is not received by them. We don’t know when the time for a person to hear the truth comes, unless the Holy Spirit gives us discernment in the situation. Some people on earth have fully given themselves over to the demonic side and want no part of the Body of Christ. But God knows who are his own. We are not to go around looking for who might be receptive, just share God’s Word with all.
Matthew 13:12-13 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance, but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
In order for the seed (God’s truth) to take hold, the person is made ready by the Holy Spirit. It is error not to share God’s truth, some will get it, others will not. Our job is to share.
Verses 29-30 But he (Jesus), “No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”
(Heather’s note – this is the parable of the wheat and tares, where a farmer sowed good wheat, and the enemy came in and sowed tares (weeds) among the good wheat. The tares was a plant called the bearded darnel – and it is a plant that in its young days looks exactly like wheat plants so the farmers if they tried to weed it out might remove good plants. The only difference between the two plants occurs at maturity. The wheat plants produces fruit – wheat berries, the bearded darnel produces nothing. It is then that you can tell the difference between the weed and the good wheat.)
When people imply that Jesus does not judge, it is not true. At the final judgment, he will judge. He will separate the good fruit from the weeds and the weeds will be destroyed, and only the good gathered to Him.
Pastor Don pointed out that God gives us limited quantities of two things. We will not get more of them.
1. Time – we only have a certain amount of time in our lives. We need to use time wisely. The Holy Ghost is telling us to begin ministering now, not to waste time. These are the last days, Israel is surrounded by many enemies, fighting for their life, they have returned to their country. All the signs that Jesus predicted are occurring now. The clock is winding down fast. A question was asked about those whom we love that are not receiving God’s word, what do we do. Pastor Don says that we need to pray for them, keep spreading seed. Hebrews 1:14 talking about angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation.” Our prayers will lead people and ministering spirits to our loved ones to guide them to Him.
2. Our power is limited – there is only so much power we have in our flesh. We can be successful with our own stuff, but that is limited. Beyond that it all has to be done in God’s Power. Most of us never do all that we can do. God has given us talents that we don’t fully employ. God wants us to take what He has given us and move with it, then He will join in His supernatural power to help. Genius is 95% perspiration 5% inspiration. Pastor Don pointed out that many times people tell him that they want to write a book, or do something spectacular, and years later they are still saying the same thing, but no pages have been written.
Jesus shows us what is possible to do with faith. Faith will not add to your power, but will cooperate with what you have and make it greater. God can get a greater effect than you can in your own power. Linking your faith to Him and stepping out in faith will move mountains.
John 8:28-29 Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me. I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”
Pastor Don had us underline in our Bibles the words: lift up; As My Father taught; and I speak. We also underlined I always do those things that please Him.
Just like Jesus, we are required to know what pleases God, and line up with that. God will honor those who act in obedience. What does please God? Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
To please God we have to have faith. The absence of faith, unbelief, displeases God. So many churches today claim that they have no power because of sin in the church. They claim that if there was only less sin in the church more miracles could be done. This is not true. Jesus walked in the thick of sinners and did miracles. It isn’t sin in the church that stops miracles, it is lack of faith. Our faith brings us to a higher level to conquer sin. Wherever sin abounds, grace abounds more. If there is sin in the church, more faith will allow the Power of God to overcome the sin.
Power is limited by our lack of faith. And with lack of faith there is more disobedience. Pastor Don asked if we knew the difference between a sin of omission and a sin of commission, and which is worse.
Commission, the worst, is choosing to disobey, not all omission is intentional. If it is accidental God will see it in a different light. Pastor Don gave an example of the Holy Spirit moving him to donate to a particular ministry. He forgot to write down this request and a few months later, when he saw the same show on TV, he was reminded. He then wrote down the address and corrected the omission. God understands our human foibles, but to willingly choose to disobey is another matter.
If you are a minister (pastor, teacher, evangelist, lay person) getting into the pulpit without faith, God is not required to add His Power to your power. He may choose to do so, but He is not required to do so.
Pastor Kenneth Hagin said, that if faith was dynamite, many wouldn’t have enough faith to blow their noses.
John 8:28 “…as my father taught Me….” How do we get taught faith? We are given a measure of faith, but the Holy Spirit guides us, teaches us the way of God. Faith can work in the immediate circumstances such as the laying on of hands to heal the sick, and it can also work from a distance – Bible study, travels, and over a period of time.
Pastor Don again stressed how important it is to know the Word of God, to memorize verses, to put them into our minds and hearts, because how else can the Holy Spirit work to pull out the Word in due season if it isn’t in us?
John 20:27 Has to do with doubting Thomas, the disciple that was not at the first appearance of the resurrected Jesus, and wanted to see Jesus and with his hands, touch the wounds before he believed that the resurrection was true. Jesus says to Thomas, “Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.Jesus tells us that we must believe, not walk in unbelief. Those who are tormented have a problem getting to verse 27 in their belief. They have to learn not to believe the lies that have been spoken over them, and choose to believe Jesus. When they come to the altar to be healed, or counselling to be helped, the hurtful things are healed and helped, but the room of their minds is swept clean, and if they do not fill it with things of God, then the the tormenting things will just return to the same patterns as before. They have to choose not to believe the past lies, and to believe that the Power of God is true.
(Heather’s note: I can relate to that, because of the abuse I received in my past I spent years in depression. It was hard to let go of depression which was familiar territory and turn to God, and the truths of God. The depression kept slipping back and it took some time to begin to remind myself that I was no longer that person I was before I got saved. God is awesome. He keeps working on us until we get it.)
Verse 29 (which applies to us today also) Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
We are blessed because, as Christians, we haven’t walked with Jesus in the flesh, seen his crucifixion, resurrection, but we believe by faith.
Luke 24:48-49 And you are witnesses of these things. “Behold, I send the Promise of My father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.
That promise is the Holy Spirit. And we have to remember as we minister in the flesh, that it is not us, but Power from on high (the Holy Spirit) which ministers through us. Pastor Don calls it “the Zone” where the power of the Holy Spirit seems to increase and he decreases, and prayer, focus, attention is enhanced. His heart swells and he prays about a situation, it can flow in tongues, prophesy, teaching, preaching, but it is not of Himself, it is more than he could know, teach, preach, pray in his own power.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
When a church disallows tongues, it limits the Holy Spirit’s ability to release His power. Our understanding is limited, and the Holy Spirit sees more than we can in our own understanding, so He needs to be able to work through a yielded vessel.
A discussion ensued about intercessory prayer. Pastor Don feels that it is an important ministry. That often the prayer warriors have to realize that they will not see in this life whom they are praying for. They may not know how far reaching their prayers are, until Heaven. They need to make themselves available for the Holy Spirit to direct their intercession. Not all intercessory prayer is done while an individual is in your physical presence.
Hope this lesson blessed you. I count myself blessed to sit under Pastor Don’s teaching. As always, I will show him the notes I have typed out next time I see him. This lesson was tough to take notes during, so if there is any error is my note taking, not his teaching.
Have a blessed Sunday.
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