|The Sower—Steve Nelson|
(From the October 2006 edition of HopeSpeak)
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a situation that has caught you off guard. In the aftermath, while looking at the shattered pieces of your life, you’re wondering how this could have happened. There’s a saying that is as true today as when it was spoken thousands of years ago, “there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) The reality is that what has happened to you, has also devastated the lives of countless others since the beginning of time.
In God’s Word we read this parable, “behold, a sower went forth to sow.” Into your life and mine there came a day when someone sowed the seed of God’s Word into our hearts. With this Word comes power to breathe life into our souls. If we respond, roots will grow as each day we become “grounded” in Him.
The parable of the sower goes on to state these tragic words, “Some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.” Sadly, some who once rejoiced in the new life they found in Jesus, have lost hope and are ready to give up. They believe there is no use, because they think God has forsaken them.
Many times the one who “came and devoured” was the same person who first sowed the seeds of truth. The word “devour” is not the simple act of making a mistake. It is purposeful. It seeks out the most vulnerable, the easiest of prey. You can’t devour something or someone and still save it. This form of deception began with our first parents in the garden of God. Unsuspectingly, she was separated from her husband and the great deceiver used this vulnerable moment to place doubts in her mind. These doubts were not there before, but the power of suggestion is one of the best snares Satan has to separate us from God.
There is a basic principle to life and growth. For a seed to grow and flourish it has to remain in the ground. If someone uses their influence to draw another away from Jesus, once they are disconnected from the Source of Life, neither one can survive. Disconnected from the tree of life, our first parents began to die.
It is in Jesus that we have life. He says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches,” if we abide in Him, He will change us into His image. In doing this, we will bring “forth much fruit.” It’s that simple! The seed that stays in the ground and allows the life-giving water of His grace to flow through it will grow. There is no shortcut to the process of becoming like Him. It’s a daily abiding connection. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” but without Him, “I can do nothing.”
Once we firmly take hold of this principle, we become like Him. In doing so, we will be protected from the one who is seeking to destroy us. No longer will we see ourselves as victims. The enemy cannot devour what is under Christ’s protection. We have the assurance of eternal life and the promise that we “shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)
There is still hope. Jesus came to “seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Even though another came “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy,” Jesus says that He has come that you “might have life” and that you might “have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Maybe you feel as though you have come to the end of your rope and God has tuned His back on you. Perhaps you see no possibility of having peace and happiness again. If someone has devoured your hope, you can start again, by accepting Christ at His Word. Right now, if you hear His voice speaking to you, don’t delay. He is calling you to give yourself to Him again. The promise is true. “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:5) You can have a new start if you ask Him to plant the seeds of His love in your heart again.
This parable symbolizes the mission and ministry of The Hope of Survivors. We believe God has called us to be partners with Him in healing the brokenhearted.
Would you like to be part of this ministry in a very special way? Now you can. We have been given the opportunity for which we have been praying for years. A supporter of this ministry has agreed to donate $25,000 toward the purchase of the New Hope Healing Center for The Hope of Survivors. Having this healing center means that many wounded souls will be able to come to a place of quiet rest, a place to meet Jesus once again, to have their hope, faith and trust rebuilt. By God’s grace, a healing center will be just that—a place for victims to heal and begin life again.
But we need your help. In order to make this a reality, we still need to raise an additional $150,000. You will never have another opportunity like this one. Now is the time for you to partner with us—to sow seeds of life—and personally reach the hurting through your generous contributions. If God is prompting you to respond to this need, don’t delay. We are asking that you move quickly since the remainder of these funds needs to be raised within the next few weeks. As some of you may already know, we will have a counselee all the way from Norway with us from October 3 through December 5, and this healing center would be the perfect place for her to stay while here. Others have often commented on their desire to have a place of refuge in times of such distress. Here’s just one such comment:
“I wish you had the retreat operating today. I would come running to it. Please keep me in your prayers, too. This lawsuit has been much more difficult than I ever expected. I have been pretty low, but am hangin' in there. I keep thinking about Psalm 27. If the Lord had not touched my heart, found and saved me, shown me glimpses of His glory I don't think I could go on. But, I believe! I believe in His promises...eternal life through the redemptive blood of Jesus. Thanks and praise to our God!”—ID
The Hope of Survivors has grown rapidly in its services since it began in 2002 (incorporated as a nonprofit in 2004). Through this ministry, we have served individuals worldwide in eight (8) known countries and forty-one (41) known states, as well as forty-eight (48) known denominations. The New Hope Healing Center is the next level of support and care that is necessary. It is like a battered woman’s shelter—only most of the women who come will have been battered spiritually while being taken advantage of physically. Healing from spiritual abuse is hard work, but “with God all things are possible.”
You can make a difference in the lives of many right now. Kindly mark your donation for New Hope Healing Center.