The Goal                                 

Greetings from a very exhausted but spiritually pumped up Pastor Bob from your Encouraging Word. This weekend we took some youth to an Acquire the Fire event and God moved in a mighty way. Before I even get started I want us all to join together in prayer and ask that God use this time that we are spending together to draw us closer to Him and make each of us more like Jesus. I will explain more later but please pray with me now will you?

Holy Father God, LORD of all creation, we come to you in the name of Jesus Christ your son and give you worship and praise. Our minds cannot even comprehend your glory which fills the universe. Dear LORD we are in such desperate need of you and sometimes we do not even know it. Forgive us when we step out from under your loving guidance either out of our own rebellion or out of simple unawareness. Father I am going to need your help in writing this morning as I have had no sleep so I ask for the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon this entire message may it do your work in each of our lives. There are friends and loved ones that we need to lift up to you in prayer right now and as we do we also ask that you search our hearts and touch the ones not mentioned in this prayer but you have put upon our hearts to do intercession for. First LORD I want to pray for J.D. who accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior this weekend. Be with him and the hundreds of other young people that opened their hearts to you in these last couple of days. Pour out your Holy Spirit upon them and set their decision to serve you in stone. I also want to pray for those of us who have rededicated our lives to you. Let your fire burn strong in all our hearts. Let every one who goes by the name of Christian realize the magnitude of their position in Christ. Let us rejoice in the knowledge that we are indeed born again. All the old things are passed away and all things have become new. Now let us learn of you and fulfill the call that you have placed upon each of our lives to become fishers of men. Because it is not about us it is about you LORD. It is about you. So as we stand in intercession for our loved ones who need a touch from you let us all lift up to you Lynne and Karen and their mother Pam. this family is struggling and needs physical healing, emotional strengthening and most of all, like all of us, more of you. I also want us all to pray for Cathy Pippin and her newborn baby. I know that God is a miracle working God and His love endures forever. God knows the needs of each and every one of us and all our loved ones so lets place our need into His hands and watch as He turns our need into His miracle. Now LORD I pray for the one reading this right now. Move in their life like never before. Let them know the reality of your love for them. Reveal your heart to them as they open their heart to you. Bless the words written as you have indeed blessed the one who writes them this morning. Thank you Jesus for loving me enough to die for me. Now let me give my life back to you that you might live through me. Let us all become more like you. For it is in your name we pray Amen.

OK, Now this may be the shortest message that I have ever written, basically because my bed is calling to me. But I will remain faithful to both you and God and deliver what the LORD has placed upon my heart to write to you this week. But rather then give you a formal message with a title and introduction and three points and a poem,(like I ever get that formal) Let's just talk today, OK?
I was thinking all week about that parable that Jesus taught about the farmer who planted them seeds. You know the one where some of the seeds landed by the way side and the birds came along and ate them up. Some landed in rocky soil and sprouted up but their roots did not grow deep enough and it was not long before the sun scorched the plants and they died. Other seeds fell amongst some thorns and although they at first also sprouted they too soon died. Then there were the seeds that landed on the good soil. That was the soil that had been prepared. I am sure it had been plowed and furrowed. Those seeds grew and produced a great abundance of fruit. Any of you who have been reading my writings for long may have noticed that I like specific words. Abundance is one of my favorites. Because I believe that God desires that we have an abundant life, now and unto eternity. In fact you can read it for yourself in John 10:10. God wants you to be a success.

But let's get back to that farmer and those seeds. I guess we are going to have to really get into the word if we are going to truly learn anything. Let's go into the good old King James Version of the Holy Bible and read how Jesus Himself explains this parable.
(Matthew 13:18-23 KJV)  Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

Now. For the longest time I just felt sorry for all those people that did not understand the word. ( the ones with the seed by the way side) I also had sympathy for the ones that had no root within them. (The stony ground ones) I understood and had compassion on the ones that got choked out by the world. (The thorns) And I envied those lucky few that the seed just happened to land on the good soil and by the luck of the draw they were the elect that not only bore fruit but also brought forth fruit in great abundance. (There's that word again)

Well, guess what I discovered and I'll bet you already know it too? It is not luck. It is whosoever will. I might have an advantage with this one growing up on a farm. My Grandfather could make anything grow. He was amazing. He could not spell his name but he could plant 70 acres of corn, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, greenness, strawberries, you name it he could make it grow. Do you how he did it? It sure wasn't by luck. It was by trial and error. It was by not only knowing the right time to plant what and the right type and how much of fertilizer and how much sun or shade something needed. It was getting out there every day and getting his hands dirty and plowing that field, planting those seeds, weeding them gardens, nurturing those plants and bringing in the harvest. You might think you know where I am going with this but maybe not. You bet it is hard work. And so if you want the seed to the word to produce a harvest in your life then you are going to have to work to make it happen.

But that is not my point! My point is the seed has already been planted on the fresh soil of your born-again heart. Maybe that old heart was stony and would not allow the truth of God's love to enter in but that heart is gone. Right? Boy I hope so! The seed of God's word has already been planted on the fertile soil of your new heart. Maybe that old selfish heart didn't care to even want to try to understand the reality of the joy of the LORD, but that old crow of a heart is long gone, right? Right? And I know that the seed of God's word about His complete forgiveness of your sins through Christ Jesus has already been planted in that band new you that He created when you really trusted in Him for it. Right. I am sure that the cares of the world would never be able to choke out the joy of your salvation and keep you from experiencing the fullness of life, because you are born again.

Maybe at times we have been believing the lie of the enemy who has told us that we still have that old stony heart or that old selfish heart or that old choked out by the world heart. Do not believe it. You are born again. God Himself has created within you a new heart, a pure heart, a heart after His own. If you have been struggling to keep the field of your heart weed free then maybe instead of worrying so much about the weeds you should be concentrating more upon the coming harvest.  OK. That's enough, you think about that and get back with me and let me know what you think.

You know if I was going to give this a title it was going to be "The Goal." Because I think sometimes we forget. My grandfather's goal was the harvest. And He loved working the fields knowing the harvest was coming. And it came in great abundance, year after year after year. That farm may be gone now but the memories will live on. And My Grand Father may be dead but the legacy that he left behind was one of enjoying your hard work. What is the goal of a Christian? Almost forgot didn't you? It is still the harvest. Enjoy working the field.