Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account. (Hebrews 4:12-13, NRSV)

There is nothing we can hide after the word of God has been introduced.

It is a fierce two edged sword that separates soul from spirit!

And everything is laid bare, standing naked before the Lord.

Once the word of God has come in there is nothing that we can keep from Him.

He knows all of your deep dark secrets, and He still loves you.

So let the word of God have it’s way in your life and know that will produce the best life ever!

Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (John 5:24-29, NRSV)

We talk about the resurrection to eternal life. Like eternal life is something we wait for…

But notice here in John that all people will be resurrected!

Those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation.

So we will all be resurrected but which will we get?

According to John here if you hear the voice of God and believe it you will do good and will get life, but otherwise, you will get condemnation.

So prepare for the resurrection!

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law—indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. (Romans 8:1-11, NRSV)

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus dwells in you, he will give your mortal body life.

Life is not lived in our fleshly bodies but through the Spirit of God. Life is lived in the Spirit.

Without God, there is no life.

Know God – Know Life!

No God – No Life!

So allow Him to live in and through you!

If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land. You shall give chase to your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Five of you shall give chase to a hundred, and a hundred of you shall give chase to ten thousand; your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you. You shall eat old grain long stored, and you shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new. I will place my dwelling in your midst, and I shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. But if you will not obey me, and do not observe all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and abhor my ordinances, so that you will not observe all my commandments, and you break my covenant, I in turn will do this to you: I will bring terror on you; consumption and fever that waste the eyes and cause life to pine away. You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down by your enemies; your foes shall rule over you, and you shall flee though no one pursues you. And if in spite of this you will not obey me, I will continue to punish you sevenfold for your sins. I will break your proud glory, and I will make your sky like iron and your earth like copper. Your strength shall be spent to no purpose: your land shall not yield its produce, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. (Leviticus 26:3-20, NRSV)

Why do we follow after God?

Is it to get something?

Here we read about those who faithfully keep the commandments and follow you will be blessed, but if you don’t obey and follow you will receive terror.

We are usually hard pressed to do something for long because of a reward, but all parents know that a reward will work. But is that the real reason we should follow, because we get something?

No, but does it hurt?

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away.Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, NRSV)

How do we know if our life is good soil?

I think at different points in our lives all of us are each of the spots that Jesus refers to here.

We are the path because we hear Jesus speaking and we don’t understand it and the evil one or the world takes that word away.

We are the rocky ground when we hear and follow but then our old friends ask why are we doing that.

We are among the thorns when we hear Jesus clearly but the worries and concerns of this life get int the way of Jesus getting full control.

We are the good soil when our lives hear the word of Jesus and we follow after knowing that this world might offer things that look better now, but following after Jesus is what we were truly made for.

How do we do this?

If it were easy Jesus would not have given this parable, but anything worth having is worth going after, and Jesus will be there to pick you up and dust you off and place you back out there, when you are snatched away, on rocky ground or surrounded by thorns. He will be there to guide you.

So follow after Jesus and let Him make you good soil.

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you. They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power, to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds. The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. (Psalm 145:8-14, NRSV)

The Lord is abounding in steadfast love.

What does that mean?

Love according to Merriam-Webster Online is (at least the definition that fits):

a:  unselfish loyal and benevolent (see benevolent 1a) concern for the good of another: such as (1):  the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2):  brotherly concern for others b:  a person’s adoration of God

And Steadfast according to Merriam-Webster Online is:

1a:  firmly fixed in place:  immovable b:  not subject to change the steadfast doctrine of original sin — Ellen Glasgow

2:  firm in belief, determination, or adherence:  loyal her followers have remained teadfast

So steadfast love is unchanging devotion or immovable concern. And abounding is existing in or providing a great or plentiful quantity. So there is no end to the unchanging devotion of God, who is good to all and whose compassion covers all that has been made!

So know we do not have to be perfect, we just need to trust the promises God made and know that He will always catch us when we fall, to set us back up and dust us off and send us back out to share His love!

He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:22-31, NRSV)

Do not worry!

Now that is easier said than done. I know it is hard. I have a new driver in the house and I worry every time she gets behind the wheel. Not because she can’t handle it or isn’t mature enough to be there. She can handle it and is ready to do this. I worry because of the things I can not control (as if I can control a 16-year-old!). The other drivers, the conditions under which she is driving. Not worrying is not easy.

But can any of us really change anything by worrying about it?

We can not keep our loved ones safe by worrying about what might happen to them. We can help them by praying that God would be with them.

We can help them and ourselves by remembering the care God gives to His creation and won’t He do that and much more for His children?

As the author says here, “Of how much more value are you than the birds!” You are of value to God. Remember that and don’t sweat it, because God has got this!