The normal thought that comes to mind when thinking of the environment is the scenery around us. In fact, this is true, but it is still only an expression of the “Big picture”.
Worship while you read
When looking at a canvas that has been clothed with color that has created a masterpiece, you might say, ‘brilliant’ or ‘magnificent’! But why do we say this? Is it because you like the picture or the choice of colors? Does it remind you of something you saw or felt or have experienced?
Have you ever wondered why the artist created what he created and what was his inspiration? Think about your environment and how it would look on a canvas… what would it express? What elements would define that expression?
HOW CAN WE UNDERSTAND OUR ENVIRONMENT?
(We need to know what an environment is) In short, it is the circumstances or conditions that surround one; surroundings.
Mark 4:12 says, “They may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!”
If we can’t learn to comprehend or perceive what we see and understand or what we hear in our surroundings, we will never be able to create a masterpiece for God. And the only way to create such a masterpiece is through depending on heavenly wisdom. Since it is a heavenly picture we are trying to paint.
Mark 4:3-8 says, “Listen! 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 so that they did not bear grain. Still, other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
If we look at each area the seed was dropped in as an environment, then which area would we like to be in when this seed, which is God’s Word, falls on us? And how can we create this good soil or good environment to grow and produce a healthy crop in?
Listen to the Mannieshow – Environments
WE NEED A GAME PLAN FOR CHANGING OUR OWN ENVIRONMENT
Every farmer has a strategy when growing crops and most strategies have been the same for 100’s of years
- Preparing a plan of action – Yes I grew up in a Christian family but I did not put into action the fundamentals my father taught me and allowed my environment to choke out the Word of God in my life…. (As a teenager up til the night I cried out to God for help in a stolen car)
- Preparing ourselves – By realizing that I needed God back into my life and wanting to keep Him in my life, I had to prepare myself. So I went to a discipleship school that not only introduced me to this merciful and loving God but also taught me how to create good soil to plant myself in. And by growing in this soil a desire developed in me, a desire to live out God’s will for my life. Which added to my game plan.
- Seeking God’s will – The only way to make God’s calling in my life clear, was by knowing I needed to be in constant…
1. Prayer – Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
2. Study of God’s Word – 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
3. Christian Fellowship – holding one another accountable – Ephesians 4:3-5 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Mark 4:8 says, ”Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
By changing our environment to good soil where we grow and produce a healthy crop or environment, we can also help transform others who are in an environment that needs desperate help!
TRANSFORMING OTHER ENVIRONMENTS FOR CHRIST
(And we do this by being)
- An example, of what a seed that produces good crop looks like.
- Available to meet others right where they are, in their environment!
- Submissive to the body of Christ. We are not in this growing and changing environment alone. Everyone in the body of Christ has a purpose. How weird would it be to pass by a farm with acres and acres of land and only one string of a crop growing! But how beautiful is it to pass by a farm with acres and acres of land full of healthy and majestic looking crops, producing something of worth.
Mark 4:14-20 The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
We can help those who had the Word stolen from them, or those who were not deeply rooted in the Word and quickly fell away, or had the worries of this world choke the Word out of them!
And the Word is Jesus, so we can help them know who Jesus is and the need for Him in our everyday lives. We can do this by painting a wonderful picture that defines and expresses what it is like to have God’s Word planted in good soil.
A TRUE MASTERPIECE
The farm with a land full of healthy crops has also painted a masterpiece. That painting expresses something of value. In their own environment they managed to create something of worth, both for themselves, most likely their families, but also for their surroundings.
My wife painted some pictures for my parents as a Christmas present a while ago. They expressed a tree in each season of the year. In each season the tree produced something different. What kind of environment have we created for ourselves? Or how are we defined and expressed by the environment we have been put in? We can not always control the environment we are born in, grow up in, or have been directed into by circumstances. But we can definitely redefine what it expresses!