Tag: parables

Seed for eternal life!

Scripture reading for October 9th: Matthew 12-15

Jesus used parables to speak to multitudes of people.  The knowledge of the kingdom of heaven is hidden from those with hard hearts and closed ears.  Their attitudes blind them to truth that God wants to reveal to them.  (Proverbs 14:6)  (Matthew 13:11-15)  Parables are stories about life that all people could relate to and be able to understand naturally.  Jesus ended many of these stories with: ‘if you have ears, listen!”.  (Matthew 13:8)  The listening that Jesus encouraged was spiritual and revealed truth about the kingdom.

As a former Iowa farmer, the parable of the sower always fascinated me.  Jesus described a farmer scattering his seed and it fell on different types of soil.  Some fell on the path and birds ate it up immediately.  Some fell on rocky soil, and sprouted quickly but died out.  Some fell among the weeds and was choked out.  Most of the seed went to the good ground and yielded a crop of various multiplication.  This simple story that would have been very familiar to everyone in that culture held some spiritual understanding for those with ears to hear!

Jesus went on to explain the meaning to his followers.  (Matthew 13:19-23)  Those who heard the word but did not understand it were like the seed on the path.  The evil one came along and stole it before it could produce or even sprout.  The rocky soil represented those who initially heard the word but have no depth of heart.  The word died out before a crop could grow.  The seed among the weeds were those who received the word, but the cares of this life and deceitfulness of riches choked it out.  Those who heard the word and put it into practice were like the good soil, producing a crop that multiplies!

God is the farmer and He has commissioned us to sow His word in the soils of hearts.  Is the crop of eternal life growing in you?  If so, are you deepening your heart’s soil so the roots go down?   Are you keeping the weeds out?  Is the crop bringing an increase?  Could it be greater?  God has blessed the seed and wants to multiply it through you!

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Secrets of the Kingdom!

Scripture reading for February 19th: Mark 3:31-4:25, Psalms 37:12-28, Proverbs 10:5

“Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  “When He was alone, the Twelve and the others around Him asked Him about the parables.  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been give to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “they may be ever seeing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven.”” (Mark 4:9-12)

Jesus taught in parables, stories that had hidden meanings for those with spiritual ears and eyes.  The parables were simple stories that used common events and characters that would have appealed to the people of that culture and day.  Jesus used these stories to hide truth from those who were not ready to hear and to aide those who were ready to learn the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Not everyone with ears would be able to understand the secrets!

What were these secrets of the kingdom that Jesus was revealing to His disciples?  This main parable about the sower, the seed, and the soils was a key parable to help understand all parables.  The farmer was the Lord and the seed was God’s word.  The people’s hearts were the soils spoken about here.  There were various soils that represented their willingness to receive the word of God.

Jesus taught His disciples that their job was to scatter the seed as the Farmer (God) gave them opportunity.  Some of the hearts where the seed fell would be hard and Satan would steal the seed before it could even begin to take root.  Other hearts would be shallow, initially receiving the word, but then quickly falling away.  Some would appear to have a good crop growing, but weeds representing cares of this life and the chase after riches would choke the good seed and leave no fruit.  They were not to be discouraged but to continue on with their job of sowing.

The seed would have the power to bring eternal life in those who opened their hearts.  It would be mysterious in the sense that a natural seed grows all by itself and this spiritual seed would work inside the heart and grow as well. (Mark 4:26-29)  How is the soil of your heart today?  Is the Gospel seed producing fruit?

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The farmer sows the seed!

Scripture reading for October 8th: Matthew 12-15

Jesus used parables to speak to multitudes of people.  The knowledge of the kingdom of heaven was hidden from those with hard hearts and closed ears. (Proverbs 14:6)  (Matthew 13:11-15)  Parables were stories that spoke of something common but with additional meaning that applied to the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus ended many of these stories with something like: ‘if you have ears, listen!”.  (Matthew 13:8)  The listening that Jesus encouraged was spiritual and revealed truth.

As a former Iowa farmer, the parable of the sower always fascinated me.  I raised corn one year for a Master Corn Grower’s contest and the return was over 1100 pounds back for every pound sowed!   This parable talks about a thirty, sixty, or hundred fold return!  Now that was good seed and good ground and God’s amazing grace!  By the way, I got third place in the contest!

The farmer scattered his seed and it fell on different types of soil.  Some fell on the path and birds ate it up immediately.  Some fell on rocky soil, and sprouted quickly but died out.  Some fell among the weeds and was choked out.  Most of the seed went to the good ground and it yielded a crop.  This simple story would have been very familiar to everyone in that culture and held great spiritual understanding for those with ears to hear!

Those who heard the word but did not understand it were like the seed on the path.  The evil one came along and ate it before it could produce or even sprout.  The rocky soil represented those who initially heard the word but failed to let it go deep enough to sustain growth.  The seed among the weeds represented those who received the word, but the cares of this life and deceitfulness of riches choked it out.  Finally, those who heard the word, understood  it and put it into practice were like the good soil!

God is the farmer and has commissioned us to sow His word in the soils of hearts.  We can’t control what kind of soil the seed falls on but we have good seed!  Is the crop of eternal life growing in you?  Are you keeping the weeds out?  God has blessed the seed and wants to multiply it through the soil of your heart!  Why not bless our Lord with a great increase!

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Secrets of the kingdom!

Scripture reading for February 19th: Mark 3:31-4:25, Psalms 37:12-28, Proverbs 10:5

“Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  “When He was alone, the Twelve and the others around Him asked Him about the parables.  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been give to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “they may be ever seeing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven.”

Jesus taught in parables, stories that had hidden meanings for those with spiritual ears and eyes.  The parables were simple stories that used common events and characters that would have appealed to the people of that culture and day.  Jesus used these stories to hide truth from those who were not ready to hear and to aide those who were ready to learn the secrets of the kingdom of heaven. Not everyone with ears would be able to hear!

What were these secrets of the kingdom that Jesus was revealing to His disciples?  This main parable about the sower, the seed, and the soils was a key parable to help understand all parables.  The farmer was the Lord and those who worked for Him and the seed was God’s word.  The people’s hearts were the soils spoken about here.  There were various soils that represented their willingness to receive the word of God.

Jesus taught His disciples that their job was to scatter the seed as the Farmer (God) gave them opportunity.  Some of the hearts where the seed fell would be hard and Satan would steal the seed before it could even begin to take root.  Other hearts would be shallow, initially receiving the word, but then quickly falling away.  Some would appear to have a good crop growing, but weeds representing cares of this life and the chase after riches would choke the good seed and leave no fruit.  They were not to be discouraged but to continue on with their job of sowing.

The seed would have the power to bring eternal life in those who opened their hearts.  It would be mysterious in the sense that a natural seed grows all by itself and this spiritual seed would work inside the heart and grow as well. (Mark 4:26-29)  How is the soil of your heart today?  Is the gospel seed producing fruit?

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