Opening Our Hearts to the Body of Christ
And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;The field is the world; the GOOD SEED are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;(Matthew 13v 3-7,38)
The whole parable of the sower, is based on receiving and How to received. Another important issue in the parables of the Lord to note is the good seeds are the Sons of the kingdom; that is the body of Christ. It speaks of a level when the Word given is part of the being of the giver. You know another name of the seed is the Word of God, but here we see again the Sons of the kingdom being called the good seed or the Word of God. That is the word and the flesh (instrument) becoming one. As our Lord took that position in His humanity, He has given the same position to His Body on Earth. They are to be the expression of His word in their being. Of a recent a young brother we fellowship with was coming for a meeting , having no message He asked the Lord what will I share and the Lord told Him go and share what you have been going through and gave Him related scriptures . That progress was a great shock to me , because personally have never expected such increase in the ways of God within a short period. When the brother shared that message , it was a word that came to strengthen the feeble knees and weak hearts. That is what we mean becoming the Words we preach; the good word and the Sons must become one, as the Word was one with the Father. We must live in the Word, and the Word becomes us.
Having said that getting back to the heart of the parable, caution was given on How the Word or seed is received. The ground represents no other things but the Heart. What enters the Heart is what makes a man defile or holy. No one has the Word who has it not on His heart because the good word is received in the heart. If the Word is in the heart it will produced the Character of Christ.
The heart has a lot to do with our openness for change, repentance, correction and growth. Can the Heart be closed ? yes we can closed our heart though our mouth may be open, if we have no desired for change , correction and growth etc. In the parable of the sower we find the good seed or the Sons of the kingdom were sent by the Christ, to sow on the way side, stony places, thorns , and also the good ground. Some hearts are like the way side , they have no room for the Word yet the Lord still sent His good seed ,the sons of the kingdom to them. Some Hearts are like stony places ,they are not matured enough to received the word and keep it in tribulations and still the Lord sent His sons to them . Some are open enough to receive the Word but because of the opinion of men concerning the instruments or the good seeds their growth becomes retarded being sown among thorns. Still the Lord sends His sons to them. We may not fully understand, why the Lord keep sending His sons to closed Hearts, even when He knew they will not received the Word either because of immaturity, prejudices or worldly cares etc; but the history of the scriptures in both old and new testament is full of the Lord sending His instrument to places where they were not received. Unto our Lord it was written He came to His own and His own did not received Him (1john1v11).
The Body of Christ is the good seed of the age. Every member has something to give for the growth of the corporate body, if He submits to the working of the Holy Spirit. Like in the case of the parable of the sower, it is very possible for one member to close His or her heart, to another member in the body of Christ; because of various reasons like immaturity, prejudices, doctrinal differences etc and therefore retard His own growth. The scriptures spoke about receiving a reward because of receiving a prophet or a righteous man. Of course we should know the body of Christ by the nature of our calling is prophetic in nature because all the access the prophets have we all have the same access ,though we still have some in the body who are specifically called to function as prophets ,but that is not what we are touching here.
He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
This receiving of a righteous man or a prophet is more than just accepting a man as a prophet or a righteous man; it is speaking of an open heart to receive the same word that makes Him a prophet or a righteous man. Or another way is submitting to the same process and openness that He/she went through. The reward is you will become a prophet or a righteous man as saith the scripture, because what you received in your heart is what you are. As a man thinketh in His heart not the mind so He is. This is How we received the prophet or righteous man reward , it is the openness to the working of the holy spirit to another member regardless of the differences. The prophet or righteous man himself will not lose His reward as saith the scripture .He will maintain it as He gives the cup of Life faithfully even to the least of the brethren.
In the body of Christ we have the eye, hands, leg, ear etc . If you are an eye and received the hand in another member then you are building the body of Christ within you, a hand , and not just an eye. This is reward of growth. If Christ will be fully manifested and build in us, it will take the work of other members of His body in one way or another unless we closed our hearts. The eye or ear alone, cannot build the whole body of Christ in us. How can we grow to the full measure of Christ ,by just being and eye , ear etc if in the natural an eye , ear etc does not make a complete body neighter will it be in the spiritual. We grow by the reward we received from the other members, for a complete body of Christ to be built in us. We received an ear here, and eye and a hand their etc by the openness of our heart to other members, for the making of the complete body in us.
What joins a member to Christ is the spirit of Christ . It is the spirit that must be discerned. The geographical positions, systems , movements should not be the measuring line. It is wrong to judge any man after the flesh, organization, non organization or denominations yet nothing is more crippling the body of Christ than these elementary things. We have those extremist in the system who see nothing beyond the system, and the extremist out of the system who condemn everyone in the system. When the Lord called us out of a system, we are the main issue not the system or organization.
When we see members after many years out of a system still keeps celebrating about the wrongness of a system rather than talking of union with Christ it becomes very sickening, sympathetic and boring. Let us not forget the imperfection of man , can be used by God for His purposes. It was never the perfect purposed of God in the old covenant for the children of isreal to have a king ruling over them like the other gentile nations. Yet David a man after the heart of God was born, called and used in the system. Didnt David had chariots, captains of thousands , maidservants , male servants etc as Samuel prophesies how the king they requested will behave (1samuel 8v11-18). Samuel saw the wrongness of the system but David hadnt. Some unguided members will be tempted to oppose David if they had the same light Samuel had. Eli and his sons were not in the system, but before God, had they satisfied the heart of God like David who was in the system wit all its excess privileges? The Lord Judge by what He reveals to the open heart; the heart may be open but unless He speaks man knows nothing. There are some at present in the system with an open heart, but for the time being some things are not revealed to them for a purpose. They have yet a work to do in the system. Closed your heart to such company because they belong to a system , organization or denomination and you closed your heart for growth.
When the Lord called Abraham to Leave his Hometown Ur , it was not Ur that was the issue but Abraham. When the Lord called out the children of Isreal out from Egypt it didnt took long before they realize that their hearts were the issue and not Egypt. Relationship with Christ is always in the eternal point of view. For example if the Lord gave you Vision about something He will accomplice through you in the next ten years, will it be right to take that position and claim the Lord will never come, or this age cannot end before the ten years ? This is how we behave at times, we take our own personal issue and condemn all that are not dealt as we are dealt, and not knowing we are just seeing in part and our Lord knows what He is doing. The Lord will not saw us the other part of the issue when He knows it can bring discouragement ; but He will judge us for speaking our own words and prejudices. Even if this age will come to an end tomorrow the Lord will still keep giving visions to His body what He will do through them in the next two days, weeks, and years etc. Why? It is because when you touch Christ you are touching the eternal. Our relationship with Him is not limited by time.
It is high time we repent of our prejudices, self righteousness and open our hearts to one another irrespective of our differences as long as we are members of the same Body in Christ. Let there be Love and the world will soon know us. Amen
JAMES F JARJOU