Kay Warren, the wife of Pastor Rick Warren, and their daughter, Amy Hilliker, took the pulpit on Mother's Day at Saddleback Church, challenging the congregation to grow a deep soul as they live their lives on earth.
At the start of the sermon, Kay told the members of the California megachurch that we often ponder over what the deepest parts of us are, what the things we long for are.
It's often the desire to love and be loved, the desire to belong and the desire to leave a legacy, she said, adding there's nothing wrong in having big goals. But very few say they want to grow a deep soul, and "that's the legacy I want to leave," she said.
The soul is eternal, and there's no ceiling on how much we can grow, she said. And it's attainable by every body, she added.
She quoted Matthew 22:37: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
"Pursue this," Kay said, and invited her daughter, Amy.
Kay and Amy took turns and shared four initiatives that God takes, which involve our responses.
"Spiritual growth is a process in which God and I each have a part," said Amy.
We begin the journey by responding to God's invitation to have a relationship with Him, she explained.
God can be found, but my part is to seek Him, she added. "We 're naturally drifters … unless we intentionally and continually seek His face."
She quoted Psalm 27:8: "My heart says of you, 'Seek his face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek."
She asked the congregation what has the most of their time and resources, to check what their priorities are.
"God wants to be found, He doesn't play hide and seek with us," she said, and read from Jeremiah 29:13-14, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord . . ."
"God teaches and we learn," said Kay. Jesus taught thousands, and He continues to teach through the Holy Spirit, she explained, and quoted John 16:13: "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth."
She also read from Hebrews 5:14: "Solid food is for those who are mature, who have trained themselves to recognize the difference between right and wrong and then do what is right."
God brings good out of evil, and we need to endure, she said, quoting Romans 8:28: "We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good."
She cautioned that this verse is not a "magic eraser" of pain. What has happened may not be good, she said, explaining that God agrees we go through hard times, but God reminds us, "I'm not beat by evil."
When we stop growing, we move toward hopelessness and aimless wandering, Amy warned, quoting Jeremiah 17:5-6: "This what the Lord says: 'Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for their future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives.'"
We can stop wandering and "come home," she said.
She shared her own moving story of how she struggled with sickness and other pressures of life, and how she truly began to seek God during that difficult period of her life.
Kay then shared what happens when we dare to grow a deep soul, and quoted Jeremiah 17:7-8, "But blessed are those who trust in the Lord, and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit."
The way to grow a deep soul is "to sink your roots deep into God," she said. "And the result will be fruitfulness in every season."