Thursday, August 31, 2006

Seed

A friend and I were talking the other day when, in the course of the conversation, we started talking about the word of God. We recognized that the Scriptures are merely seed. I'm not maligning the word of God when I say "merely seed." Seed is absolutely essential if there is to be fruit. That's what God is interested in - fruit. The purpose of the seed is to release the life within it whereby it yields an abundance of fruit. As long as it remains in seed form, there will be no fruit. So I say "merely seed" because the seed has not fulfilled it's purpose until it yields a harvest of fruit.
There is an abundance of seed, but a scarce amount of fruit. Week after week, the seed is dispersed, studied, analyzed, memorized, quoted, explained and taught with seemingly little fruit to show for it. Obviously, having an abundance of seed has not resulted in an abundant harvest.
Have we deceived ourselves into thinking that if we know the Scriptures we'll be fruitful? The devil knows the Scriptures probably better than any of us. So what is missing? If we have the basic ingredient for fruit, why is there so little of it?

Comments:
I was just about to challenge your notion that scripture is seed and suggest that faith is seed... but then I remembered the parable of the soils, in which the seed is pretty clearly the word of God...

Which reminds me. Revival and renewal - do you suppose that's caused by God or caused by man? If there is no fruit, could mankind simply be living through a dry season? Individually, a tree may produce good fruit, but a lack of an overall harvest might be a statement about the state of the world in which we live, and less of a statement about the responsibility of believers. In the time of Judges, "the word of the Lord was scarce in those days." We could be in another time similar...

Just a thought.
 
jovial cynic,
You pose some good thought-provoking questions. I believe revival and renewal is a joint effort between God and man, considering that the Scriptures speak of us as being co-laborers with God.
The lack of fruitfulness can have many factors contributing to it. You've noted the possibility of the state of the world being a contributing factor. That is a very real possibility. However, I would narrow it down somewhat to the western or developed world. The reports coming from China, India, Asia, Africa, and South America tell of a great harvest in the third world and developing countries. The numbers of people coming to Christ are staggering. Comparitively, it appears that the West is in a famine.
 
Well, if it's a famine in the west, than I'd argue that the west is certainly failing in their half of the co-laboring efforts. :)

The sad thing is that the corporate mega-church template of christianity of is so... good at it's aim. It's trying to bring people in the doors. And it's good at that, and that's what spreads the quickest. These times of harvest across the rest of the world is certainly going to be met by the West's interpretation of scripture and an invasion of culture as the western churches try to apply the exact same template to the rest of the world. They don't realize that this very "successful" formula is what's choking Christianity in America.

Bleah. In the same way that Israel was the enemy of Christ at the time of his crucifixion, I could easily see this "corporate church" being the enemy of Christ at his second coming, and that the greatest persecution will come from the "new orthodox" megachurch system that's spreading the globe...

But maybe I'm just being paranoid. :)
 
jovial cynic,
You've nailed it! History has shown that persecution of those who are moving in the new thing God is doing comes first from the religious institution. Jesus said that what they do to him, they'll do to his followers. It was the religious institution that crucified him, getting the State to do its dirty work. We see that repeated down through history.
Pertaining to the famine in the West, It appears that we have been intent on building our own little religious kingdoms, i.e. megachurches, ministries, etc. However,there's only one kingdom that God will honor, and it's not any of our kingdoms.
 
You might like this post I wrote on my blog about a conversation I've had on a christian forum:

here's the link.
 
As a side note, I added your blog to my blogroll (list of links to blogs of people with whom I frequently chat). It's located in the center of my site, towards the bottom with the other links to folks.

Folks that come to my site now have a link to your site from my main page.
 
jovial cynic,
I read your post, "Christ: Political Leader." Good Stuff! I perused your site and liked what I saw. Very engrossing. Love the expanse of topics you deal with.
Thanks for listing my blog. I appreciate it.
 
Thanks!

It really is amazing how offended christians get over the suggestion that they might be wrong in their political loyalties... the intermix of church and politics has created that blurring, and as a result, a christian believes that everything the republican party says is Gospel. It's good to find more and more believers who are starting to get it.

If you go back to that same post, you'll notice that a friend of mine commented, and he's starting to come around. It's spreading... haha...
 
The personal development industry has never been bigger! It consists of a myriad of authors basically telling us how to improve our lives. We are constantly being told self help and self improvement has never been easier. New techniques, gadgets and potions adorn the shelves of new age shops and the 1 billion dollar industry, that is personal development, offers many different approaches to help better our lives. They offer ways to increase our bounty and ultimately alter our own reality. A great example of this is how to develop a Prosperity Consciousness. But does this state really exist and if it does will it bring the effortless unlimited wealth promised?
A lot has been written about prosperity and how to attain it. We have been told by many religious traditions and every personal development guru that the Universersal Source (God, Spirit, Cosmic Mind or whatever label you chose to give it) is boundless wealth. We are also told that abundance, wealth and prosperity are our birthright! Why then are so many people ill, broke, frustrated and unfulfilled? Can a person really develop a prosperity consciousness and effortlessly attract wealth? Well as with everything in life there is only one way to find out. Test it for yourself!

Before we can attain and then test the effectiveness of having a prosperity consciousness we need to understand some basic truths. Let's start by explaining three fundamentals of personal development namely; 1. The Universal Source is all wealth, abundance and prosperity; 2. Prosperity is our birthright; 3. You get more of what you focus on.

1. Why are we told that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth? - Because the Universal Source is the consciousness of the Universe - a universe that is still expanding. It is the driving force behind physical reality. It created everything you see, hear, touch and smell as well as all that we are unaware of (microwaves, radiation, air etc.). It has been stated in religious and metaphysical traditions that this intelligence is not only the Source of everything but that it is also the substance of it! It creates the Universe from itself! It is omnipresent (everywhere present). That means that the entire seen and unseen aspects of the universe are a part of this Universal Source. Science reaffirms this theory as it states that nothing is solid and everything is just one mass of pure energy that vibrates at different frequencies and gives the illusion of separateness.
So we can now claim that the Universal Source is unlimited wealth, abundance and prosperity with some belief. For if this Source is the very substance of everything then it is all the wealth, abundance and prosperity that exists at this very moment!
Ok so far? Now lets look at the second point - prosperity is our birthright.

2. If this Universal Intelligence is the source and substance of all things then there can be only one intelligence in the Universe. Jesus said to his disciples "know ye not that you are the temple of the living God?" Buddha attained enlightenment and "oneness". The list of these religious teachings are too numerous to mention but their message remains the same - God (Universal Substance) resides within and around us. It's very substance makes up our physical body and the world around us - "For in him we live, move and have our being" Acts17:28. Therefore, if this Universal Source is at the very core of our being and is the substance from which we take physical form then it stands to reason that we are connected to everyone else and in fact everything else around us - we are a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the universe. Just as your hand or foot is a part of your body, so every grain of sand, blade of grass, wisp of wind, bar of gold and brick that is laid in a mansion is part of you. The unlimited wealth of the universe is yours for the claiming. It is already yours, always has been and always will be. It is a part of you.
Ok let's go the third point - you get more of what you focus on.

3. "It never rains but it pours", is a saying I have used myself in the past. Have you ever wondered why such a statement appears to be true? Well metaphysics and religion tell us that "as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he" or as Job cried out to God "For that which I greatly feared has come upon me". What we focus our conscious attention on increases! Don't believe me? Test it for yourself! If you can muster up the strength to do it then think in negative terms for a week. Judge everything that happens to you in negative terms and think only of a negative outcome and watch what happens in your world!!! This is a relatively easy experiment as we are conditioned to think negatively by the world. A word of warning though - once you prove that your focus determines your reality stop thinking negative thoughts as best you can.
I will not go into the 'hows' of why our focus has such a profound influence on our lives (that would be the subject of a book or perhaps a future article) just prove to yourself that it does. A clue can be found in the teachings of Jesus when he said "The Kingdom of heaven is within".
So now we have the three principles of the prosperity consciousness explained let's put it to work. The attainment of a prosperity consciousness is relatively simple - just think on the first two principles until you fully understand them and integrate them into your consciousness. As you focus on them you will discover that your feelings of lack disappear and you begin to feel a connection with everything around you. It is really just an attitude shift - nothing metaphysical or mystical about it at all. You begin to consciously realize that everything is a part of you. Your focus changes from poverty to wealth.
If it helps make a list of affirmations that correspond to the two principles outlined e.g. "God is the Source and substance of everything", "I am at one with everyone and everything around me", "I am a part of all the wealth, abundance and prosperity of the Universe" etc. Don't just rhyme them off in a parrot like manner, think on them and realize the scientific or spiritual truths behind them.

Will it work? Well I can say now that if you follow the above instructions a real change will happen in you. You will start to see the beauty of the world and the unlimited resources that are available within and around you. Will you attain wealth, abundance and prosperity? Test it for yourself! subliminal
 
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