He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”
This is one of the many parables told by Christ. Most commentaries that I read about these verses interpret the story to mean, one person sharing the words of The Gospel will grow and spread around the world and be given to all of mankind. It is referring to the growth of the Christian faith, from one to 2.2 billion.
I agree with all of that, but once again my take on this was not about the masses but about the one, the individual. Christ is talking about the power, the gift, which has been given to each individual by God. Continue reading
“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
At the beginning of Matthew Chapter 13, Jesus tells the crowd, The Parable of the Sower. If you like, go to your Bible, either book or online, and read the parable. I’ll continue assuming that you are familiar with it. And if you are familiar with the parable, then I am going to assume you are also familiar with the explanation that Jesus gave to his disciples as referenced in the beginning of this post. Continue reading
Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.
Today I’ll depart from the New Testament and go back to the Old Testament.
One day while on my way to a gig, as I was driving through a section of town on the same road I use at least once a week, I noticed a banner. It was strung to a fence that was protecting an old hotel that was being refurbished. Part of the sign had the general contractor’s name, phone number, website, logo, etc. That was on the left side of the sign. On the right side was the verse from Proverbs that I referenced at the beginning of this piece.
Now maybe I noticed the verse because I was stopped at a red light, but I don’t believe that was the first time the light stopped me at that intersection. I know they hadn’t just put up the sign because I remembered the contractor’s name and logo on the sign. Something on that day made me look at the sign and read the verse. Continue reading
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’
These verses are referred to as The Parable of the Ten Virgins. It tells us to be ever vigilant for the return of Christ. No one, and I mean no one, knows when or where. You must stay vigilant, disciplined and be prepared.
But I found another meaning in this story, another lesson to be learned. Continue reading
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Many who read these verses would say that Christ is telling us to not judge others and their actions. I agree. But I had a different train of thought when reading these verses today, and it’s the same thought I’ve had throughout the New Testament and the Bible. It’s the teaching and emphasis of the individual and the individual’s self responsibility. Continue reading
but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree,
and no one shall make them afraid,
for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
When I read this verse, I thought that I had already written about it. But as I reviewed my previous writings, I discovered the verse I had already written about was this one from 1 Kings 4:25.
And Judah and Israel lived in safety, from Dan even to Beersheba, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon.
I referenced this verse from 1 Kings in my post, “Every Man Under His Vine”, and in that post I referenced another post which was titled, “Candy Cried”. The thought in these posts and verses, is of an individual having a place in life to live as an individual, a place to sow and reap the fruits of their labor. Continue reading
“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’ 11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
“And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.
These verses help solidify my belief that the Bible is a manual for the individual. In my previous post, Stand On Its Own, I wrote about these verses, but today I wanted to write some more as I feel strongly about the individual. Verses like these speak of the individual and how the individual is responsible for their actions. Although each day circumstances beyond our control are thrown at us, how we respond to those circumstances is what we can control. Our response is what makes us who we are. Continue reading