“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
- Matthew 13:23
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
- Galatians 2:19-21
“One thing needs to be understood, not all Christians are alike. … [Matthew 13:23]
“Too many are satisfied to be thirtyfold Christians. But the desire of our Lord is that we press on to become hundredfold Christians. The question then is, how are we to go on to this stage?
“This is the focus of this book. I think it my duty to prod the thirtyfold and sixtyfold Christians to press to the ultimate Christian experience, being a hundredfold Christian. The path that accomplishes this is living the crucified life.”
- A. W. Tozer, The Crucified Life
Have you ever read something, and every paragraph inspired you? When I started The Crucified Life, I felt that I needn’t take notes, for I could just blindly flip pages and point to an inspirational sentence that would fuel another post. As the book wore on, it did not seem to be that power-packed, but still inspirational. The fact that this was book 2,000 in my spreadsheet is trivial. What is significant are the lessons learned.
In the introduction, Rev. Snyder talks about the atmosphere in the churches at the time when Tozer grew up. The concept of ‘easy believism’ reigned, still in many people’s minds. You said the magic words and you were saved without any change in attitude, behavior, or within your heart.
But the Bible that Tozer read said a different story. The Apostle Paul spoke of being crucified with Christ in Galatians 2. He does not give lesser, easier options.
Jesus implies by the interpretation of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13, that the thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and hundredfold seed producers are all viable seeds. Could we all be thirtyfold Christians and get into Heaven? The interpretation of the parable does not make that abundantly clear, but it implies it.
So, why would we want to achieve hundredfold Christianity? Would not people call us weird? (Don’t worry. They called me weird regardless.) But, Jesus asks us to spread the word throughout the earth. The laziness of one generation puts a greater burden on the next. Jesus’ words in Matthew 9:37 become even more urgent with each new generation. “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.’” The workers are few because even more have drifted from the true Light and gone after the glitter and sparkle of this world.
And with each new grand idea, concocted by an evil, fallen world, it becomes that much harder. But, if we rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, nothing is impossible, and it is not hard. The Holy Spirit does the heavy lifting.
All we must do is offer ourselves as living sacrifices.
What? That sounds hard.
It is not easy, but remember that we do not do the heavy lifting. Probably the heaviest lifting that we do is to rely totally on the Holy Spirit to guide us and for God to protect us. As beings who have a brain that can reason, our reasoning gets in the way of what the Holy Spirit is doing. The sentence “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible and was placed in someone’s mind by Satan. If there is food on the table, you must get up and walk, crawl, or hobble to the table. Physical effort is required, but that old “saw” (or saying) ruins things when we start helping ourselves in ways that God never intended, constantly stepping outside God’s plan for our lives.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.