Spiritual Seed for a Flourishing Christian Life

This Spiritual seed encapsulates
much of the Bible
as succinctly as I can.
I welcome feedback.

1 Thessalonians lays down a healthy baseline of values and approaches to life from which agile followers of Jesus draw on during their adventure of faith. These are like spiritual seed coming from the Source of all good “seed,” the present resurrected life of Jesus.

A seed is small, compact and simple compared to the mature plant. Yet “seed” possesses all ingredients necessary to launch a life of flourishing growth. For instance, an apple seed looks simple, but within that apple seed is not only another apple, but an apple tree and ultimately an orchard. A botanist defined seed as the “maximum energy in the smallest amount of matter.”

Notice also, that Paul did not bring spiritual “potted plans” on His mission’s journey, but spiritual seed.”The soil in which a potted plant grew so well is unique to its previous culture.

The native soil where we sow spiritual “seed” is a unique soil, acidity, moisture, light, etc.. Transplant shock for potted plants comes from the sudden change in environmental conditions, especially with young plants, whereas seed quickly adapts to the native soil so it flourishes

This dialog piece provides an opportunity to wrestle with our beliefs. I ask no one to agree with me. Enjoy my bag of spiritual “seed” and add your own. Post below so I can learn from you.

1. God Is…:

God is relational at His core, good, great and generous in all He thinks and does. He can only do good because He is good…always. Because life and love yearn to multiply, God created humanity as much like Him as a created being could ever be, to receive and pass on His life and love.

2. Relational Breach & Restoration:

In Genesis 3, Satan deceived our forefathers and they chose to go rogue. This choice broke our relationship with God and spoiled His perfect world. So the Father sent His Son, Jesus, to restore us to God’s original creation intent. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, our faith-response taps into forgiveness in Christ that removes every barrier between God and us, including all our guilt and shame (1:8-9).

3. Wholehearted Allegiance:

God invites us into a ready “yes” of faith to partner fully with Him. Water baptism is our early, concrete choice that seals our commitment of wholehearted allegiance. From day one, these young Thessalonian believers fully bought into God’s invitation to be filled with the Spirit in order to partner as intimate allies with this Team-of-Three on their epic faith adventure (2:12).

4. God’s Authority in Ministry:

Jesus is altogether attractive. So these one-month old believers confidently carried Jesus’ authority into daily life with no shame about His Name. No “secret agents” Christianity for them. These new converts possessed an eager, joyous, almost happy-go-lucky expectancy. Empowered by the Spirit, their faith had impact as they boldly went about their daily lives doing the “Family business” (“making disciples of all people groups,” 1:7-10).

5. Purpose in Trials:

Pain will surely come, especially if we desire to live as radical followers of Jesus (3:3-4). God loves us extravagantly right where we now are, and also loves us too much to leave us there. Allow trials to accelerate growth by exposing old default patterns. Our response to tough times largely determines whether we grow bitter or better as we serve God until His returns again (1:10).

6. The Word & Prayer Nurture Life:

Nourish our inner spiritual life in secret with the Father, beginning with a regular practice of disciplined response to the Word. The Bible is God’s Word, our authority for every aspect of life. We can do more than pray after relationship-based praying. Yet we cannot do God’s work well until we have connected through prayed (1:2-3; 3:11-13 5:23-24).

7. Worshipers:

The purest act of worship is obedience. And as worshipers, God designed us to become more like whatever we set our affections on. “We become what we behold” is a law of creation, either drawing us toward or away from God. Since all we do flows out of who we are, develop Christ-like character through our responses of faith, love and hope.

8. Two Essential Questions:

Life’s two most essential questions are:“What is God like?” “How does this God see and know me?” Faith is our lens transplant to enable our spiritual eyes to see like God sees.“Believing is seeing”in the Christian realm. Ask often:“What’s God’s part and my part?”

9. Servant-Leadership:

In small, life-on-life groups, we train the entire body to boldly serve. Our underlying ministry attitudes as we serve others are: bold courage, tender care and Kingdom challenge (2:1-14). Leaders are drawn from this company of servant-first trained followers. Response-centered leadership formation offers equal opportunity to step into a broadly participating style of multiple leadership based on character and commitment (5:12-13; 4:1-5:23).

10. Father, Son and Spirit:

The Father is the Living God, who shows us our worth and partners with us in the destiny to which He calls us. The Son infuses His life into us who were hopelessly separated from Him, and models God’s original Eden-vision for life to the full. The Spirit empowers His people in every aspect of our spiritual life.

11. Three Dynamic Pictures:

Since God is so vast, He provides three dynamic, overarching pictures depicting each of the great discipleship pathways to experience His presence. He is my Father and I am His beloved child (Family of God). He is my King and I am His servant/warrior (Kingdom of God). He is my Groom and I am His bride, His intimate ally (Marriage). Embrace all three for healthiest relationships.

12. Mystery in Awe:

Become comfortable with a theology of mystery in the awe and wonder of an infinite, uncreated God relating with His created image-bearers as best friends. Hold together all aspects of the paradoxical tensions resident in healthy Christianity (5:23-24). Both/And/And!

I encourage you to personalize this spiritual seed as you read.
What would you  delete, add to or modify?
With what do you agree or disagree?
What other spiritual seed needs to be added?
Feedback is always welcome!

Click here if you would like a free, printable Word document of this spiritual seed so you can modify it to make it your own.

I look forward to what you come up with as you make this spiritual seed your own.

2 thoughts on “Spiritual Seed for a Flourishing Christian Life

  1. Thank you Jim for this piece. Again I so enjoy how you create wonderful metaphors to help teach on God’s word. The concept of the Spiritual Seed is no exception. I also enjoy the threads of metaphor you consciously or unconsciously use. In this article the idea of the seed and the baker’s dozen was great. A baker needs grown and harvested materials that originate in a seed. Very clever; or I may be overthinking this too much.
    I think in this article I agree with all the points except to add that with Faith, we experience all of these things MORE as God does, but never exactly as we continue to remain in an imperfect state and can never fully comprehend or attain the perfection of knowing, loving and being in relation as God does and is with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I would even venture that in a glorified state, we will still be far short of the perfection of God. But that will be part of the joy, that we will have an eternity to grow in our understanding and the activity of being in perfect relationship.
    The one question I wanted to ask is about the “no-strings attached” offer of friendship. I believe I understand the idea that Christ paid the cost for penalty of our sins, but I often think about how we sometime use the idea that God’s grace and His love are free, a little too flippantly. I often use the phrase “Admission to the Kingdom is free but the dues are going to kill you.” Without getting to wordy about this, I just think that in becoming a Christian, there is a lot that we must be willing to give and sacrifice to follow Christ, as well as being ready to lose as we come up against a world that is often not so accepting of those who walk in faith of God’s word. I would look to Luke 14:25-34 to show how Jesus advises those that would follow him “count the cost.,” So in light of this, is God’s grace and love free or is there a price to be paid?
    Thanks again for all you do. I remain a big fan.

    • Yes, we are saved by God’s free grace, but to what? To full, wholehearted allegiance to the Father, Son and Spirit. That is often easy because He asks us to do what is ultimately for our highest good. And it also cuts across the grain of our self-life at times…but this is ALSO for our good. Yes, if we understand salvation properly, for me to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). So casual following is a contradiction. And also our burden is light and our yoke is easy. Blessings.

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