By David Stahl

A week or so ago I was shopping with Karen at the air station commissary (I really enjoy our weekly food shopping with Karen) and I ran into a wonderful pastor friend (Pastor Young) and butcher at the commissary.  I always so enjoy seeing him with his big smile and warm hug.  It always should be a good time when two believers come together and greet each other; this is the communion that Paul was talking about when he said, “I speak as to wise men judge ye what I say. 16The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”  (1 Corinthians 10:15-17) Yes we are to keep the LORD’s Supper (many call it communion) this is needed and good, but there is a greater communion supper that the LORD desires we keep every day of our life; the communion of the Saints as we keep the love feast with the bread of sincerity.  Earlier in 1 Corinthians Paul tells us, Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”  (1 Corinthians 5:8)  I believe this is the communion Paul was talking about  (and what Pastor Young and I shared) because we can keep the ordinance of the LORD’s Supper religiously, but if we do not keep the communion of the Saints everything else we do for God and in God will be for naught it will be the traditions of men. Keeping this communion is our choice. Whether we will have communion (not communication there is a huge difference) with this brother or that sister who has hurt or wronged us. If not then we will not be one bread, but be fractured, divided, and set apart from the Body of Christ. I have lived this thought. I have been in this situation with a friend I dearly love for over five years, but the LORD prompted me to email my friend (someone has to keep the fire burning) and we got together and had a great time. What communion (not just communication) we had for hours as we got caught up from five years, talked about times past and planned for future ministry, but just enjoyed each other in “sincerity and truth.”  You could say we tasted and saw that the LORD was good.  But I digress, back to Pastor Young. Well we started talking and I made the statement, “whatsoever is planted grows” and as I was talking the LORD asked me why it grows?  Now it is amazing as powerful as truth and the word of God is even if planted unless certain things happen it (not dependant on God) will not grow.  Now that should give you a pause in your spirit.  Growth of truth (as in God’s words) has little to do with the seed it can only be life-giving it is the nature of God’s word at all times.  God’s word has an ability, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  (Hebrews 4:12) It cannot be anything different no more or no less, but I wonder why God’s word planted in our heart and mind does not grow?  After all every Sunday at church people hear God’s word and it goes through their ear and eye gate has they read the Bible yet it does not grow. Amazingly as it sounds growth of God’s word in our lives depends not on the power of the word (it is God’s word no word is more powerful) or even on God (nothing is more powerful than God), but is based on our desire or our non-desire of the word we have heard. As strange as it may sound we choose what we want to be planted and what will grow in us. By our own desires we choose what we feel, hear, see, and experience.  So too is the word of God planted in our lives.  If we do not like the word of God that comes to us (what we have heard and read) we will reject it and it will have NO chance of taking root in our lives no matter how powerful and/or “anointed” it was delivered.  If it does not appeal to our character and nature then the chances of God’s word hitting its target (our heart and mind) is slim to none.  But if God’s word is received and planted we must not allow it to set by idle, oh now we must water it with tears of forgiveness and solitude, we must dung it with effort and perseverance  to keep it alive.  Did you know having all truth is not as important as having a desire for truth? Now I know that is not what most churches teach, but maybe that is why there is not much spiritual growth and development in most churches.  We will either reject or receive what we hear, see, feel, or experience.  We choose almost everything in our lives.  We judge then separate what we do not like.  Just go to the food store (commissary for us) and take a look at the cucumbers, lettuce, green onions, etc. We judge the good ones from the bad ones, we then choose which one we like and the ones we do not like.  Believe it or not God has little to do with His word being planted  in our mind and heart. Funny how we think God measures our ability to keep relationships by the number of relationships we have, but no my friend this is absolutely wrong.  God measures our ability to keep relationships not by the ones we have, but by the ones we have lost. In Luke Jesus shares the parable of the sower, but I believe most Christians miss the point of the parable,  Jesus said,  “A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. 6And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.” 8And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Luke 8:5-8)  The power and ability of the seed did not change it was the same seed in all situations.  The ability of the seed to take root and be productive was not dependant on the seed, but on the choices made out from the heart condition and actions of the people the word of God was being sown into.  Jesus explains the parable:  The seed is the word of God. (Not money as most TV evangelists say) 12Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.13They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.14And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. 15But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.”  (Luke 8:11-15)  It was the same word with four different results yielding different harvest based on what the people choose to do with the word. The folks that choose to receive it,  “in an honest and good heart, having heard the word keep it.”  Keeping the word has nothing to do with God, but everything to do with the people choosing to receive it. I wonder why we think God makes things happen spiritually in our lives for us?  For the truth to be known God has little to do with our spiritual growth and development; He (God) proves the opportunity, the training, past lessons learned, and the wherewithal, and we must choose to make the right choice.  After all God has already given us everything we need to choose right. Peter tells us, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:3-4). Did you get that?  God has already given us “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”  What else if left? There is nothing else more God can give or do for us He has given us “all things.”  What if God made us choose right?  Maybe that is what He needs to give us the ability to choose right.  I think not.  He has already given us the ability to do this now all we have to do is choose to do what He wants us to do.