Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

Luke 8:4-15

As they went from town to town, a lot of people joined in and traveled along. He addressed them, using this story: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it. Other seed fell in the gravel; it sprouted, but withered because it didn’t have good roots. Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it. Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop. “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”

His disciples asked, “Why did you tell this story?” He said, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works. There are others who need stories. But even with stories some of them aren’t going to get it: Their eyes are open but don’t see a thing, Their ears are open but don’t hear a thing. “This story is about some of those people. The seed is the Word of God. The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved.

“The seeds in the gravel are those who hear with enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm doesn’t go very deep. It’s only another fad, and the moment there’s trouble it’s gone. “And the seed that fell in the weeds—well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun. “But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.

Message Notes

1. Personal growth is not a requirement just to live.

Hebrews 5:11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

We are never forced to grow spiritually or intellectually. It needs to come from a desire to please our Heavenly Father and complete His will in our lives

We were not saved to just exist but to accomplish. God saved us and empowered us to complete his good and perfect will for our lives. You can live without growing but you can’t really live without growing.

2. Knowing more doesn’t mean you are growing.

“The seeds in the gravel are those who hear with enthusiasm, but the enthusiasm doesn’t go very deep. It’s only another fad, and the moment there’s trouble it’s gone.

Knowledge without application is useless information.

Growth requires not only receiving the word but applying it.

3. Production is the evidence of growth.

Are you afraid of the same things you were afraid of last year?

Are you worried about the same things you were last year?

Are you angry about the same things that you were last year?

Are you distracted by the same things you were last year?

“And the seed that fell in the weeds—well, these are the ones who hear, but then the seed is crowded out and nothing comes of it as they go about their lives worrying about tomorrow, making money, and having fun.

Spiritual growth produces changes in our attitudes and behaviors.

4. Perseverance is the evidence of Growth

“But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there’s a harvest.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 5:3 but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Growth is always measured against yourself.

5. Growth is choice.

Never look at seizing the word as a one time event. Growth is always based on the discipline of repetition.

What I do everyday will determine if I grow.

Is my daily routine one that produces growth or hinders growth.

The important choices in your life should be important no matter what is going on.

Connect Group Discussion Questions

  1. Do you have a way to measure growth in your life?
  2. What are some dangers of leaving growth to chance or circumstances?
  3. What does our text tell us about intentionality and growth?
  4. What are some of the evidences in our lives that we are growing?
  5. How is perseverance an evidence that you are growing?
  6. What are the routines in your life that are guaranteeing personal growth?
  7. Why is discipline so important for growth?