Saturday, April 04, 2020

Can you hear me now?

Matthew 13:1-9 / Mark 4:1-9 / Luke 8:4-8…

Jesus was unveiling the secret of the kingdom of God, using parables. The big picture here is that the kingdom has come like a tiny seed. The glory of the kingdom is somewhat veiled for now. In biblical times sowing preceded plowing, and seed was plowed into many places, and rocky places that were covered by a thin layer of soil would only become visible after plowing.

Still, Jesus was announcing that His kingdom was advancing. The largest possible natural harvest might be six fold; Jesus was referring to something beyond normal. Only those granted ears to hear will actually hear it in the way Jesus means. Not everyone will be able to receive it, but those who do will bear miraculous fruit.

The disciples were commissioned to spread this seed out and so are we. We are not responsible for the results we are responsible to spread the seed, which is representative of the kingdom’s manifestation in the person of Jesus (Luke 17:21).

We are to spread His Word, and to the extent we are faithful to that we will be rewarded. Yet this is not only about the harvest of evangelism but also the harvest in our own lives. It is about knowing God and understanding the kingdom of Christ, and it is supposed to work itself out in every area of our life. Jesus said there would be 30, 60, 100 fold. There is a way the kingdom works, and Jesus is just about to give us a real clue on how we can experience an increase in our effectiveness for the glory of God in our lives.

The question is have you really heard what He has already said?

Friday, April 03, 2020

Family matters

Matthew 12:46-50 / Mark 3:31-35 / Luke 8:19-21…

Jesus was going about His spiritual business full tilt, and His family thought He was out of sorts (Mark 3:21). They couldn’t reach Him for the crowd, but called to Him, hoping to get Him out of the place He was in and back home, it seems.

Jesus indicated that His disciples are His family, and so it is with us. It wasn’t that Jesus was being disrespectful or snide, but that He was pointing us to the truth about who can claim Him (Matthew 7:21-23).

Not all people are the children of God. Jesus told the Pharisees that they were of their father, the devil (John 8:44). You are not a child of God just by being born in America, or having godly parents, or going to church, or taking Communion, or being this or that religion. No, you must be adopted into the family of God (Galatians 4:4-7).

Jesus wasn’t against family, He was affirming the fact that while we are all born into the kingdom of men, we must be born again into the kingdom of God (Galatians 3:26). We belong to one kingdom or the other, and we are all called children of darkness before we are called to be children of light (Ephesians 2:2-3, 5:6-8 / Colossians 3:6 / 1 Thessalonians 5:5 / 1 John 3:10).

Will Jesus claim you when the most important family reunion in history happens (Matthew 25:31-46 / Revelation 19:6-9)?

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Blessed to bless

Luke 8:1-3…

Women didn’t get much respect in the days of Jesus, but Jesus was changing that tune with His truth. He had just shown us how a lowly woman knew how to worship better than a ministry man. Humility trumps hypocrisy every time.

Now we see that the ladies lead the way in applying the truth once again. Jesus is being followed around by a bunch of grateful women who had become the prime benefactors of His ministry. Those that have been touched by grace become gracious. Those who have been given the greatest gift become great givers.

Think about it. He allowed them to minister unto Him. He could have made money from nothing; He created the universe that way. He knew where all the loose change was lying around (Matthew 17:27). He could have fed everyone by turning scraps into supper as He did with the crowds at times (Matthew 14:19-21, 15:32-38). But He wanted them to be further blessed by becoming a blessing.

Do you look to bless God? Then bless His people (Galatians 6:10 / 1 Timothy 6:17-19), His work (2 Corinthians 8:3-4, 9:10) and bless those in need (Ephesians 4:28 / 1 John 3:17).

How many say they love God, but turn away and don’t follow Him?

How many follow, but only so as to get something, never looking to give something?

Invite the blessing of God by investing your blessings on others.