“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
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
The Disciples of Christ asked why he was teaching the masses in parables, which for many, were difficult to understand. They wondered why Christ did not tell all the followers and all the leaders of his coming, his purpose, and the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. Continue reading
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
After I read these verses I wrote the verse numbers on a slip of paper that I keep on the nightstand by my bed. I keep paper and pen there for just such an occasion. The note that I wrote about these verses was just two words; habits and diligence. Continue reading
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Just a quick post about this short, simple and eloquent verse.
In the verses preceding this verse, Christ is instructing his disciples before they are sent out to preach the word of God. Christ sends his messengers out into the world with nothing, no worldly things. He tells them that while they are traveling and delivering the gospel to receive nothing more than what they need to sustain life. Christ instructs them to forsake worldly items and desires. Continue reading
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
This verse follows the verses that I wrote about in a previous post, These Things Are For Children. In that post I wrote about the Kingdom of God being in our hearts, and how the world comes along and fills our hearts with worldly things. We then allow these things to push out the Kingdom of God. Once this is done we burden ourselves with worldly desires and these burdens wear us down. Sometimes the burdens don’t allow us to realize the Kingdom of God was in our hearts and it is really still there if we just make the room for it. Tragically, sometimes they wear us down to the point of denying the existence of God. Continue reading
At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children;
Jesus was preaching to the crowd that gathered to hear the discussion he was having with the disciples of John the Baptist. Christ was condemning the cities that had failed to repent even after having witnessed the works of Christ.
I would assume the cities that Christ was referring to in the earlier verses, considered themselves to be an epicenter of intellect and enlightenment. But Christ is telling them they will pay the price for their arrogance, stiff necks and harden hearts. This is just as the great prophets of the Old Testament had preached to metropolises of their time.
After denouncing these worldly centers, Christ then speaks the words in verse 25. Continue reading
“But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Originally I thought these verses should be cut in half, with verses sixteen and seventeen being one post and then eighteen and nineteen being another. But after reviewing all four verses, I realized they are meant to be as one.
Jesus is addressing a crowd, after confirming to the disciples of John the Baptist that Jesus is the Messiah, the one sent by God. 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
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
Months ago I wrote a piece titled, Household Gods. In that post I referenced Zachariah 10:2, in which Zachariah speaks of household gods who utter nonsense and diviners who see lies, tell false dreams and give empty consolation. I wrote about how the household gods of today, gods that are not carved images setting in a little shrine tucked away in the corner, but are setting in a prominent place. These modern day household gods are showcased on a 40, 55, 60 and 72 inch or larger screen. Continue reading
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
Ask and it will be given…
Many think, that according to this verse, all you have to do is pray really hard and voila, there it will be. Then after taking this naïve approach, they are extremely disappointed when it doesn’t appear before their eyes or happen as planned. Continue reading