Presentation on theme: "- Being willing to change"— Presentation transcript:
1 - Being willing to change - Break up the fallow groundWhen we as Elders were seeking God as to what we should speak about, the subject of Being Willing to Change was laid upon our hearts. We believe this is a Word for us as a church and as individuals.He wants us to be willing to change in these days, to be prepared, to be aligned to His will.To break up any fallow ground in our lives.
2 Hosea 10v12 NIVSow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.Just to get some context here, Hosea was written about 150 years before Joel and was aimed at Israel. It shows God’s compassion for Israel despite their unfaithfulness and hardness and his call for them to break up their fallow ground.This links in with what Andy was preaching about two weeks ago from Joel 2:‘Rend your heart’’‘Return to the Lord your God’
3 Hosea 10v12 ‘The Message’Sow righteousness, reap love. It’s time to till the ready earth, it’s time to dig in with God. Until He arrives with righteousness ripe for harvest.
4 Fallow ground What is it? Why the challenge to break it up? Why now? What is it? - Hard ground etc left to rest, ignored, unfruitful, not productive. Maybe entrenched attitudes, bad habits or just not good behaviour e.g. Independence from God, grumpiness, selfishness, moaning, rudeness. --- sinWhy the challenge to break it up? - In Hosea, Israel was hard-hearted towards God. They worshipped idols (cf Cameron’s no compromise sermon). The more they prospered the more they turned away from God. God wants us to change, he wants us to sow right things (righteouness) into us.Why now? – In the same way that God spoke to HCC three times from Ezek 47 about the River flowing from the temple of God in order to bring it to our attention; He has done the same with this. Jane had a word about this in September 2013 (and will share it in a minute), in November at the Edec conference, there was a prophesy based on this passage. Finally,... God spoke to us about Breaking up the Fallow Ground at the celebration at TVCC last weekend. So it looks like God is trying to get our attention again.
9 Ploughing word Give God permission/surrender Allow God to plough God can plough in the dark and difficult timesPrepared soil is readyGod gives growthGod challenges us all to break up the fallow ground now. We willingly permit Him to do this and surrender our lives to HimWe have a choice, He will not force his plough in to our lives, it is partnering in the processGod can keep working in our lives through the dry and difficult times, helping us to bear fruit.Jer 17v7-8; Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit”.The prophetic word speaks of the soil of our hearts then being ready for sowing.Of course God gives the growth
11 How do we break it up? Humble yourself - repent Seek His face - relationshipRead the Bible – it is life givingInvite the Holy Spirit to help and fill usHow do we break it up or what part can we do?Humble ‘ourselves’ – preferable to being humbled. Jesus told a parable about a Pharisee who gave thanks that he wasn’t a sinner.Luke 18v9-14 : “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. But the tax collector stood at distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, God, have mercy on me a sinner. I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted”.Allow God to work in our hearts, speak to us, be teachable, do not compare ourselves with others. Sin does not have degrees! All sin is sin.2. Seek His face (pray) – Much about seeking the Lord - Hos 10v12 ‘It is time to seek the Lord’. Psalm 34v10 ‘The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing’. Mt 6v33 ‘but seek first His kingdom...’3. Read the Bible – Ps 119v105 ‘your word is a lamp to my feet’. Col 3v16 ‘Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly’.4. Be filled with the Holy Spirit - constantly
12 King David/heart issues A worshipper/lover of God/God’s wordSinned – no sense of sorrowConfronted convictionRepented + absolute belief in GodSo, lets look at the whole issue of humbling ourselves, repentance and seeking God’s face.I’ve been very humbled and convicted of my own standing in God as I’ve meditated on this incident from the life of David. Let it be a challenge to us all to guard the life of God within us and continue to walk close to God. To keep a soft heart and not allow sin to make us hard-hearted.David lover of God. David who spent his life following God. Worshipping God, writing hymns/psalms etc. The David who as a boy, boldly fought Goliath when none of the professional soldiers would. The David who wanted to build a temple for God. The David who had with God’s help evaded death on numerous occasions and fought many great battles and had known success.David knew the scriptures and is called ‘a man after God’s heart’ (Acts13v22) – he knew God and God’s ways.King David was standing on the roof of his palace and was looking out. He looked and saw a beautiful woman bathing. He found out who she was and that she was a married woman and he sent for her and slept with her. She became pregnant and David tried to cover up the situation which didn’t work, so he had to resort to arranging the death of Bathsheba’s innocent husband. He had broken 2 of the 10 commandments, You shall not kill and You shall not commit adultery.There is no evidence in the Bible that David had any sense of remorse or sorrow for what he had done!You can read about this in 2 Sam C11-12.Jer 17v9-10 says; “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve”.2 Sam 11v27:” But, the thing David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord”God sends Nathan the prophet who confronts David of his sin and he faces up to the truth of the situation and is immediately convicted of his sin. He desperately seeks the Lord, humbling himself in prayer and fasting (not eating) for 7 days. He is broken-hearted, knows he is guilty, he has been deceived and has broken God’s laws.Sin had hardened his heart. Joel C2v13 says; “Rend your heart, and not your garments..Wasn’t Andy reading this passage to us 2 weeks ago??Read Ps 51v1-12 (get someone to read it) JACKIE ARMSTRONGAs David turned back to God in repentance, he had absolute confidence in God’s word and character. That God would blot out his sins, wash him whiter than snow, restore that wonderful relationship they had shared together, purifiy his heart, and not take the Holy Spirit from him.David got up and went to worship God!
13 What about us? David a man just like us Submit to God – the devil will fleeThe daily searchlight of GodWhen we sin, repent and believe in GodCondemnation not from GodConviction restoration + joyDavid - flesh and blood! Just because David had been a man after God’s own heart it didn’t mean that he was immune to attack from the enemy and temptation to sin. Know our own weaknesses.Prov 4v23; “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life”.When confronted with the opportunity to sin, don’t allow your eyes and your heart to look...Jas 4v7 says; Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you”.Ps 139v23-24; Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting”.God washes us clean from guilt Ps 32v5 says; “then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ – and you forgave the guilt of my sin!”
14 What is the state of our soil/heart? ReadySoftWhole heartedSo We’ve broken up our hard ground and allowed God to plough us.What is the state of our soil/hearts?Soft, ready to receive the seed.Open
15 SowingUnprepared soil - Concrete ground, rocky places, thorny choking groundGood ready, prepared soilSow the seed you want to harvestWe can now SOW.We see in the Parable of the sower, the importance of the right soil condition. Paraphrase the parableLets ensure our hearts are like good soft ready soil.Looking at sowing Hosea 10v12 says ‘sow your yourselves righteousness’We can see here that we have to sow the seed we want to harvest - skit with seed packets.Jane goes round with seed packetsDavid calls for 4 volunteers to pick from the 4 packetsGrowth of the seed – skit with bulb
16 Harvest/fruitfulness Expect growthHarvest for now - feeding us and othersSeed to sow for the future harvestDon’t think that nothing is happeningMark 4v26; KoG like this, “a man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces corn – first the stalk, then the ear, then then the full grain in the ear.So we’ve done our part – expect growth from the seeds sown - but who gives the growth? – ASKGod in His timing. We have to patiently expect growth. Some seeds grow slowly, some seeds grow fast.Don’t think that nothing is happeningIs v10-11; As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth, making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
17 SO....... In Conclusion God wants our everything God wants prepared heartsGod brings lifeSOGod wants every area of our lives – total surrenderGod wants prepared hearts - ready for the seedAnd it is God who brings life and growth - multiplication of the seed and people into the Kingdom.