“For unto us was the Gospel preached, as well as unto them; but the Word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
When God’s Word finds lodging in a fertile heart of faith, the result will be growth in His Grace and “the fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23).
God’s Word is the Seed. Man’s heart is the soil. The Holy Spirit (moving through us) is the Sower (Mt. 13:1-23). The question, then, is “What type ‘soil’ is our heart?”
Quite possibly, the anonymous author of today’s Manna had that Parable of Jesus in mind when he penned those words. Or, it’s possible he’d heard the Apostle Peter talking about our “being born of incorruptible Seed, by the Word of God which lives and abides forever” (I Pet. 1:22-25). Or, perhaps he’d listened intently when James was expounding on the correlation between faith and works prior to writing his tiny Epistle.
Regardless, the message is clear:
The Word preached is not necessary “the Word profited”—i.e., its “sowing” is in vain when one does not act upon what he has heard.
Just as confession does not equal repentance, so does our simply hearing the Word. . .learning some spiritual truths, etc. . .not “profit” (Grk. “opheleo”—“to be useful for, beneficial to, advantageous, to prevail, etc.”) us anything if it’s “not mixed (Grk. ‘sugkerannumi’—‘co-mingled with, joined with, to combine or assimilate, temper together, etc.’) with faith.”
Later on in his Epistle to the Hebrews, our writer chides his listeners for “being dull of hearing” (5:11) and still being dependent upon the “milk of the Word instead of spiritual steak and baked potatoes” (5:12-14). This “lack of exercise” causes one to “be unskillful (Grk. ‘apeiros’—‘ignorant, inexperienced, easily thwarted, etc.’) in the Word of Righteousness. . . stuck on the ABCs of the faith. . .and unable to discern between good and evil.”
Simply put, this one is easy prey or pickings for the devil, who “prowls about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8). Theirs is either a hard heart, shallow heart or fertile, but fruitless heart (Mt. 13:18-23). And, such a one should not expect to have their prayers answered when they pray—for they’re “not mixed with faith.”
Oh, dear Pilgrim, truly, the right “mixture” is 1. God’s Word; 2. A receptive heart of faith; 3. Yielding to the Holy Spirit’s leadership; and 4. Acting on what we’ve heard—or allowing His Word to become “incarnate” in us as we live it out in our daily lives.
Why not pause a few minutes right now and ask the Holy Spirit to show you any areas in your life where you may be resisting Him? Ask Him to reveal anything that’s preventing Jesus’ Lordship and hindering Him from doing what He wants in/through you.
Then, say with Isaiah “Here am I; send/use me, Lord” (Is. 6:8). Respond as Samuel did (“Speak Lord, I’m listening”—I Sam. 3:10). Then, watch Him move in some unexpected ways in your life and interaction with others today.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated January 19, 2011