Jesus talked about being “rich with respect to God.” Intriguing phrase, but what did He mean? This is the final segment of a Thanksgiving message. If you missed them, you can find the first section posted HERE . The second section is HERE.
Before I go fix a leftover turkey sandwich, I thought I’d let you know I’m thankful for YOU and all the others who regularly read this blog. And I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day.
How do you respond to criticism? My first reaction isn’t constructive, I must confess. I want to argue or fight back. But after letting my negativity subside, I’ve discovered it often helps to ask pertinent questions, to let the truth soak in deeper and have its way with me.
If you haven’t already listened to the short audio messages I posted earlier in the week, here are the links again. They are about how Jesus used parables to sneak past our defenses with tough truth:
To let this parable have its way with you, here are some of the kinds of questions you might ask:
In what sense is teaching from God like a seed?
What influences in our world tend to make our “soil” hard, so that His truth bounces off?
What is the danger of religion that focuses mostly on drumming up emotional fervor?
How much hard work does a seed expend in order to be fruitful?
If none, then what does it do? How is the fruit produced?
How are your eyes and ears; do you have defenses to shield you from God’s dangerous truth?
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:3b-9, NIV)
Let this curious parable of Jesus stick in your mind today. Do you have “ears to hear?” What’s the lesson here? Can you find yourself in this parable? What did Jesus allude to with the “crop?”
We will see how He explained it next time. For now, chew on it.
Quotes from The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (electronic ed.). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.