As we approach the end of year 2013, let’s take time to reflect and ponder over how the year has been.
The year 2013 will end in the next 60 hours. I am sure most of us have gone through ups and downs during the year. Some could have gone through challenging times in their careers. While a few might have lost their jobs and others could have moved on to new endeavours. There were a few couples who have settled down and started their new families. They were also those who fell ill but recovered eventually while a few were ushered home to glory with the Lord. All these happened under the watchful eyes of our sovereign Lord.
Looking forward to 2014 and beyond, we know our life’s situation and circumstances will not be static. There will be challenges and changes. However, we know that God’s love never changes and His Word will remain true forever.
As we take stock of our lives in 2013 and plan for 2014, let’s consider Mark 4 which is about the parable of the sower. The parable tells us that as God’s Word is sown, there are different responses to His word.
We are like the various soil conditions portrayed in this parable. Some were stony ground: not much earth and without depth of earth. It has no root and it withers away when the sun was scorching. We are also like thorns and choke the growth of the seeds which yielded no fruit. BUT, some by the grace of God will be good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased, and brought forth harvest of thirty-fold, some sixty and some a hundred.
Like stony ground, we may be ministered by the Word of God, but there is no deep, lasting and abiding effect. We can speak with joy and enthusiasm of the gospel of God, be moved to tears at times and talk with earnestness of our hearts, but sadly and deep within, there is no stability in our faith and beliefs.
Time has past but the old things in us have not passed. There is no real work of conversion of the inner man.
We could also be like “thorny” ground, starting with right conscience and affections. Many abide in the instructions of the Word of God, but not too long later, the cares of the world and the lusts of other things, prevented the full effect of God on our souls. We then never come up to the full standard of New Testament Christianity. We bring no fruit to perfection.
With the continual and consistent grace and faithfulness of God, we can avoid ending up being like unfruitful ground and work towards the good ground which the parable highlighted. How was your spiritual life this year? And what do you plan to do in the coming year? Are we engage in the diligent and consistent study of God’s Word? Are we willing to be receptive to God’s Word and allow Him to change us and use us?
May we resolve to be good ground and soil so that we will be fruitful and yield good fruit that will last for the advancement of His Kingdom!
Elder Andrew Lim