Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Believers and Followers, Hearers and Doers, Chokers and Blockers

UV 2886/10000 Believers and Followers, Hearers and Doers, Chokers and Blockers
But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Matthew 13 v 8

The same truth of the gospel produces different effects and results in different hearts and minds. But the good ground produces and reproduces manifold. The good ground is the metaphor for a fruitful follower of Jesus, not a mere believer. The point to note is that the former imitates the rocky ground believer in one positive aspect whose mind believes it with joy but whose heart being stony does not receive it. His mind rejoices over the truth that he being a miserable sinner needs the grace of Jesus to live forever in the spirit. He rejoices that he can receive eternal life at no cost to him.

But the good ground follower does not stop with believing at his mind level. He transfers the truth to his heart. His hitherto hardened heart is softened by the tears of repentance. He wants to change for the better. He does not allow his heart to swing like the “thorns and roses” believer who swings from deep bout of depression at his sorrows to delighting in the seductive or deceitful pleasures and treasures of this world. His heart is anchored in Christ. He also avoids the pitfalls of the pathway person who hears the truth and allows it to either bounce off or be eaten up by the predators of this world. The seed once planted in the ground, turns around, dies to its own identity as a seed, throws down a radicle or what becomes eventually a root, throws up a shoot that becomes the sapling overground. As a follower of Jesus, we need to imitate this organic process of nature even in the supernatural. We need to cast down deep roots into the word and move the shoot away from the world.

In other words, the mature follower of Jesus is neither shallow in his faith, in his knowledge or in his practicing the teachings of Jesus. There is a constant or continual transfer of the seed of truth from ears to mind to heart to mouth, hands and legs. He does not merely hear the word but puts it into practice and delights in practice as much as in hearing the word. He does not allow the weeds, the thorns, the flowers to divert his attention from being a faithful follower of Jesus. The distinction between a believer and a follower of Jesus is that the former merely believes and seeks the benefits of such belief, the follower of Jesus imitates Him and produces the fruit of salvation and the fruit of the spirit in abundance. Certain chokers and blockers prevent a believer from being a follower. Identifying the chokers and blockers and having these removed from our hearts, minds and lives is essential to fruitfulness.

Prateep V Philip

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