A church for all nations

The pursuit of fruitfulness and growth (Part 2)

The pursuit of fruitfulness and growth (Part 2)

Mark 4:1-8; 16

For Christians, home is about intimacy with God, but there are things that get in the way and stop us bearing fruit.

The devil comes to steal the seed of God, to steal God’s word from us. See Part 1 of this sermon here.

Those with no roots last only a short time. The challenges of life take over. We will have trouble in life. We live in a broken world (Job 5:7). Trouble does not stop us growing, but our rocky, hardened hearts. Rocky hardened hearts are shallow and have no depth. Christians can have hardened hearts (Mark 8:17; Mark 6:51,52). Rocks and hardened soil are formed by allowing experiences to shape our responses to God. They are also formed by persistent sin in our lives. Sin hardens our hearts and shuts down our ability to engage with God. Hardened hearts can result from bitterness over unresolved conflict (Hebrews 12:15). We need to take care of our hearts. There is mercy and a new heart available (Ezekiel 26:36). We need to pray over our hardened hearts for God to soften our hearts and renew them. We may also need to share our struggles with others (James 5:16).

The worries of life, deceitfulness of wealth and desire for other things choke God’s word (Mark 4:18). David listed after Bathsheba and abused his power. He kept his sin inside him and said his bones where rotting away because of it (Psalm 32:3). He needed to connect back with God (2 Samuel 12:20; Psalm 51). When we allow thorns in our hearts we need to return to the Lord. He can pull out the thorns by the root (Matthew ?). We need to let the Lord cleanse us of the thorns and deal with the inner parts of our hearts. Then God can restore the joy of His salvation (Psalm 51:12).

Good ground takes hard work to produce and maintain. We need to take hold of our hearts and partner with God to produce fruit (Mark 4:20). Do not be limited to producing only thirty fold. “May the lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering!” Is thirty fold enough? How do we as a community become more fruitful? It begins with each of us. When we are all healthy the church will be helpful.

What are we being called to be involved with as a church? He wants us to be more fruitful as a church. Esther could not just settle to be queen.

Where do we start? We need to pursue God and wait upon Him (Isaiah 40:28-31).