Multiplication

Mark 4: 13-20:  Who can understand a parable?  I imagine that if you told the parable of the Sower,  to one who lives in a city and has never seen a farm; they might be OK, whatever.  However, if we told it in terms they can understand then perhaps they will mature in Christ.  Wait a second, you aren’t supposed to change the word of God.

That is how you do it.  First you read the scripture and then you explain it in the language of the listener.  When we do this, we are increasing our audience, our sphere of influence for Christ.

Say my audience was a group of inter-city youths.  I would have to find out what is important to them.  And it would depend on a few things such as:

  • Are they targets for gangs or gang recruitment?
  • Are they interested in education?
  • Are they interested in the military?
  • Do they expected to be trapped in the intercity?
  • Are they part of the culture that believes going to jail is a right of passage?

I am sure there are many more comparisons and we have to understand that some may fall into more than one category. Giving us more ways to reach them. We figure out how to explain the message in their language.  This is not changing God’s word.  Think of it this way, do you feel that the NIV has changed the Word?  If we could all understand the Old KJV, then other translations wouldn’t be necessarry. Since we all come from different backgrounds different examples of parables are required.

My favorite is most likely to be shared with women who like to bake.

To make bread, you need flour, yeast, milk or water, and salt.

If you don’t mix in the yeast well enough then your bread rises unevenly, it may still be eaten but no one is going to like the heavy part.

If you don’t put in enough yeast, then your dough doesn’t rise it is useless.

If you put in too much yeast, then it becomes too airy and the outside bakes before the inside.

If you put in the right amount of your ingredients, and knead the yeast into the dough without over kneading then you get wonderful bread and everyone wants it.

Explanation: Every wants bread sometimes the baker doesn’t make good bread- the seed that  is sowed in shallow or thorny soil and they lose interest in the baker.

Some times the baker forgets the yeast and it is flat and tough (and your audience is not predominately Jewish) this is the seed that lands in the hard ground.

But the baker that mixes everything just right, ingredients, kneading; this is the seed is in the fertile soil.  Everyone wants it. (it being the message of God) See when we bake our bread just right, everyone wants it, our profits multiple.  The word about us is spread.  Translation to Christianity, the Good news that Jesus is our savior is spread.  The good baker (person that spreads the Good news about Jesus) knows how to knead enough yeast just right.  The person that fruitfully spreads the Word of God; listens to the Holy Spirit, so they are more effective.

When we tell the word of God to fit the audience, then our efforts are multiplied.  More people hear and understand; more people are duplicating the efforts and sharing the word of God.   Multiplication

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word.15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

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#ProverbsChallenge Day 29

10 The bloodthirsty hate a person of integrity and seek to kill the upright.

The Pharisees were blood thirsty.  They had a man of integrity killed.

forgive

God even uses the fools to complete his perfect plan of salvation.

Because the Pharisees proved to be fools; yet God used them to bring our Salvation.

Think about some time in your life where God used evil to bring good.

Proverbs Challenge Day 28

Keep going you are almost through the challenge!

Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.

God is the Light and when we pursue the light, we become more like the LIGHT!

I know it is hard t always do the right thing.  Someone cut me off this morning and my first instinct was to rush up on them and put on my high beams and blow my horn at them.  Instead I just said oh well, no harm done.  I didn’t have an accident.  Not my monkey.  truck passing adjusted

The old me, before I really started journeying with Christ, was a bit more aggressive. However, with Christ I am learning to let go of things that are not in my control.  The Jac-O’s are things that I can’t control.  Like the “snail” race on the highway.  We can’t do anything about it so let it go.  At least until there is a chance to get around the truck that the other trucks are passing.  But if we respond aggressively, we become as big of a threat as the Jac-O that cut us off.

P.S.  if you are from Pittsburgh the term Jac-O needs no explanation.  If you are, it is not very nice.

Proverbs Challenge Day 27 Being the Light

19 As water reflects the face,  so one’s life reflects the heart.

mirror

Even when we think no one is watching someone is watching.  When we behave poorly there is someone that sees.  Unfortunately, if someone sees us behaving poorly, it takes a long time to undo the damage.  This is true even if it was an isolated incident.

We are no longer able to positively influence those that have seen or heard about an incident where we have behaved in a less than Christian manner.  It is sad if it is our kids.  We are charged with bringing up our children as Godly people.  If our example is not Godly how can we raise them correctly?

I know that it is impossible to be perfect, and one oops doesn’t put our Light out.  However, we need to strive to Godly examples.  If people see that we are good examples most of the time, they will still see God in us.

Proverbs Challenge Day 25: Forgive

My apologies this is a day late. But I actually chose a verse about this.  self-control also know as self-discipline.  Often when we fail it is our own fault.  We plan well, we have a good idea, but we lack on the execution. Yesterday’s failure was a lack of planning.         forgive

How to have  a much needed family fun day, and still post the daily proverbs challenge?  The answer is easy take a some time before the event. But see I let the day take itself and  blew off this challenge. Instead of beating myself up and dropping it because I failed; I forgave myself because we all make mistakes.  When we make a mistake, we look at it decide what went wrong and then pick it back up.  If the plan or idea was bad, we adjust.  However, if the reason is poor execution, then we pick up were we left off and fix the problem.   Remembering that is what the cross is about: FORGIVENESS

28 Like a city whose walls are broken through  is a person who lacks self-control.

Proverbs Challenge Day 24 lying

26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips. 

silhouette of man and woman kissing
Photo by Ibrahim Asad on Pexels.com

Everyone hates to discover that they have been lied to.  It is a horrible feeling when someone tells you a lie. Especially if they are someone that you love, you know the inner circle.  Yet we justify lies all the time.  I didn’t want to hurt their feelings.  I would rather you tell me the truth. The worst is when someone is pretending to be your friend, but they are plotting behind your back.  

So if God doesn’t like for us to lie, and we are supposed to treat others the way we want to be treated; then why do we tell lies?

My challenge for you is to face a situation where you would normally lie, and tell the truth.

Proverbs Challenge day 23 (long read)

22 Listen to your father, who gave you life,  and do not despise your mother when she is old.

I want to also include this passage from Mark 7: 9-13, because it helps what I am going to say. In today’s world, we just expect our teenage children to be disrespective.  This is wrong. Our teenage children should not disrespect us.

I knew a teenager that fought with his parents over everything, but he had some adults in his life that told him he was right.  They supported his right to disagree but never took the time to teach him logically disagree. By telling this teen that his opinions were right, they unwittingly helped to create the rift that grew in this family.  His way was to yell and call his parents lazy.  They didn’t make enough money.  They should make what his friend’s parents earn. They should buy all the stuff that his friend’s parents buy. (at least that is the way he saw it) Amazingly enough when trouble came the adults that supported him  while he disagreed with his parents were no where to be found.  See God tells us to avoid people that lead us astray.  Unfortunately for us most of us need to figure things out the hard way.  The teen paid a heavy price for his own folly.  He listened to many people that lead him astray.  The Bible tells us to honor our parents, listen to their instructions – over any instructions except for the Bible. Why? Your parents have your best interests at heart. Parents love their children more than anyone else. We want the best for our kids. This is why God tells us to listen to them. Only God loves them more.

I know that there are parents who are addicts, alcoholics, or maybe have serious mental health problems.  Even these parents want the best for their child, they are just stuck in a place that what is best for them may not be with the parent. This does not mean that these parents do not have value do not deserve the help to become good parents. Once they have turned their lives around, they deserve a chance. Some sadly may never reach the point where they are able to care for their children, but they will still be the ones that love their children more than anyone else is able to love their children. They should not easily be cast aside.

Although a teenager might have a good argument from their point of view, they do not have the wisdom to make some decisions.  But if your child has sound logical reasoning, then build from there for a compromise. But all this about letting children decide for themselves is not good parenting. As parents, we have to teach our children how to make good decisions, push them in the right direction when they make poor choices without condemning.

Mark 7:9-12:

And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ 11 But you say that if anyone declares that what might have been used to help their father or mother is Corban (that is, devoted to God)— 12 then you no longer let them do anything for their father or mother. 13 Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”

Proverbs Challenge Day 22 live generously

The generous will themselves be blessed,  for they share their food with the poor.

stock-photo-hands-holding-british-pound-coin-and-small-money-pouch-369962102

I am poor, how do I live generously?  Do you remember the widow and the two mites? (Luke 21:1-4)  The old widow lived generously.  She learned that when we help others, God always blesses.  Sometime when we need it, God’s blessing will come back to us. Our job is to give and have faith that God will always provide.

Proverbs Challenge Day 21

31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,  but victory rests with the Lord.

Every day we are at battle.  The Evil one would love for us to put down our guard and allow him to rule with fear, anxiety, hate, and leave us feeling powerless.

Ephesians 6:10-18, describes the “Armor of God” horse that we must pick up daily to prevent the evil one from taking over our lives.  We must be diligent because he diligently seeks ways into our life.  As some of you may remember, I was recently diagnosed with AFIB. I became afraid of doing anything. My digestive track even stopped working, this combined with the pain from muscle spasms caused me to one seek help and two realize that although I thought I was leaning on God, I was allowing fear to rule my life.  It has been a long couple of months.  I was living minute by minute afraid that my pulse would elevate (and it was) and then I would die a horrible painful death.  It has only been a few weeks since I realized that my fear was making me worse and I m feeling tons better.  My fasting blood sugar is back down to under 100 which although I am still not able to check it without fear striking, I am certain that my blood pressure is lower.  My digestive track is starting to function normally.  I have returned to putting on the ARMOR OF GOD.

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