A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
Matthew 13:3-9 (NIV)
I have always loved this teaching from Jesus. It is one of many of His, "The Kingdom of Heaven is like..." Over the past several months, I have seen and felt a common ingredient coming from God, coming from the Kingdom, and being distributed in the Kingdom. We live in it, now and here. The veil is in place but as Jesus often nudged, "For those with eyes to see and ears to hear..." He was referring to the rhythms and presence of the Kingdom of God. A few years ago, God's distribution put a bag of these seeds on the door of Zoweh, on the doors of our hearts. It was marked, "Seeds of Belovedness".
I few weeks ago, I shared a blog of John Eldredge's about the Spirit of the Age; the worldly spirit from the kingdom of darkness that is operating in this fallen world. He summed it up in a word... hatred. Look around and observe what the kingdom of darkness is sowing through the false self and sinful nature of mankind. It is not hard to see when you know what you are looking for. Bottom line... it is the counter to what God is releasing from heaven... seeds of belovedness. We are not the only ministry to have been given these glorious seeds. I have seen it through Ransomed Heart, Becoming Good Soil, Family Life's series for men, and Step up, among others... Authors are writing about it for women as well as for men. Many discovered this foundational component to the Christian life in their lives these past few years, and now they can't help but write about it, create resources about it... tell others about it.
Being Loved is the most important thing in the universe... We have gotten a bit off track the past couple 100 years and made service and obedience the most important thing. But service and obedience are the fruit, not the goal. The goal is intimacy and connectedness with God. Being loved by Him, experiencing it, enjoying it, knowing it from not only a place of truth but from a deep place of feeling it. I know, many have said, "Love is not a feeling" to which I must say, "Non-sense." The men and women who hung out with Jesus felt something, enjoyed something... they experienced something, and that something was Love, itself—Love personified—and they wanted to be around Him all the time. Those with a heart for love.
Our prayer is that some Kingdom seeds of belovedness have been thrown your way landing on the soil that is your heart. The seeds are the truths of the Kingdom, and they are looking for hearts to impact and change. It is why we wrote The Heart of the Warrior: Before You Can Become the Warrior, You Must Become the Beloved Son. The environment is against us... if we are going to survive the birds, rocky places, scorching sun, and thorns we must get everything out of the way that is in the way of receiving. Not serving... receiving. Specifically, receiving the love of the Father in our deepest core, our hearts, for that is where we are changed, and the heart is where the good soil is that produces more Kingdom seeds. Let's pray...
Dear God, Holy Trinity, we come to you again this day with worship and praise on our hearts. You alone are worthy of praise; you alone are Life. We take our place this day in your Kingdom, standing, kneeling, sitting in your presence declaring our alliance and allegiance to your everlasting Kingdom. You reign and rule over all things; all things are under your canopy of love, grace, justice, and mercy. We declare you are glorious in all your ways and in all creation.
Jesus, thank you for showing, teaching, and sharing about your Kingdom inviting us to see it, hear it, and live within its amazing truths. We long to know how it works and need to know how it works that we might take our place within the story that you are writing and are enabled to live well. You are our King, the lamb that was slain, the King who left His throne to dwell among His people ransoming, redeeming, and now restoring us to yourself. We praise and thank you for purchasing us from darkness and bringing us into the Kingdom of Light. You are Light, and in you and through you we see.
Thank you Father, Son, and Spirit for sowing seeds of Love... seeds of our "being loved" that our hearts might be settled and find their hope, rest, and purpose in you. We receive your love this day; we confess we need your love. No where else can we find the seeds of unconditional love but with you and from you. We pray, dear God, that we would have an encounter with you, an experience with you today... give us eyes to see and ears to hear and a heart of good soil that we will know your presence and know in a moment when you are speaking, sharing, loving us.
We pray Jesus and claim the victory over the elements opposed to your loving us. We bring the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ over our stories. We bring the full work of Christ done for us over our hearts, over our marriages, over our families, over our work, and over all of our lives. We give you claim, Jesus, over all that we are and all that we are becoming, and we fight for your Kingdom advancing from a foundational place of being loved... it is love we carry with us, fiercely and tenderly as you did, into this world to rival this spirit of hate. Greater are you in us than he that is in the world, and we claim the victory in your name and by your way for us and the redemption of the whole world. Grow us up in your authority and how to wield it, offer it, and live it. We pray this over Zoweh, over all its allies, and over all those with Kingdom seeds of Belovedness; sowing into the world the love of God, the hope and security of all things good and eternal. We pray this in the matchless and glorious name of our Savior and King, Jesus Christ... amen and AMEN.