My kids start school next week. This is a sobering time in our house. I remember those feelings from when I was a kid. This season marks an end of glorious time of staying up late, sleeping in, hanging out with friends in the middle of the day, and swimming in the pool whenever you want. Though the weather is hot, and the calendar reminds us that it’s still summer, the season is changing.
As I reflect back on the past couple months, I try to think about how I’ve spent the summer. My wife and I attempted to get the kids to read a Bible-based devotional throughout the summer and we, too, got one for ourselves. I can speak only for myself when I say that I’ve had average success in working my way through mine.
I’m also reflecting on how I’ve sensed God working in and through my life this summer. I came across this passage recently.
19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” -Matthew 13:19-23
All summer-long the Holy Spirit has been stirring in the hearts of our White Oak family. We spent nine weeks looking at the fruits of the Spirit and asking the Holy Spirit to mature us in Jesus through the development of this fruit in our lives. In fact, all year-long we’ve talked through a theme that has pointed us back to the sovereignty of God. He is in control. He has a higher and fuller view of my life and the world. He is not influenced by anything other than himself. God continues to mature us in a deeper surrender to his sovereign power and love.
It makes me wonder what kinds of soil am I? Am I the Christian who produces out of my life only 30 times what God desires? 60? Or, do I trust him to do his work in me to complete maturity aiming for 100-fold? That’s the question and the challenge I’m putting out to my White Oak family this season. Things are changing. They always are. The weather one day will get cooler, football is beginning, and summer will come to a close eventually. Your Heavenly Father has purposed you for change. Paul says it this way in Philippians 3:13-14
13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
I’m inviting you to step into new challenges, deeper trust, and to take on risky things this season in the name of Jesus.
It may be serving in a new area of ministry.
Maybe volunteering in our community to meet the needs of others.
It might be gathering with a group of people in a Life Group.
Perhaps leading a group or discipling another person to take deeper steps in faith is what God is nudging you toward. If so, be sure to register for our Life Group Leader Training and Orientation.
What habits or practices is God calling you to that will mature your heart in a deeper relationship with Him?
Whatever it is, I want to be a follower of Jesus who doesn’t settle for the 30 or the 60-fold commitment to Jesus. I want to be all in! I want him to nurture my heart toward 100 by his grace and for his glory!
White Oak Christian Church