Creating thirst for the Kingdom of God

Reading for Today:

Psalm 70, 71, 74
Gen. 42:29-38
1 Cor. 6:12-20
Mark 4:21-34

The beauty of walking through Scripture on a regular basis is we can keep gaining from familiar territory. Too often, we may read too quickly because we get a mentality of, “Well, I know that story.” Regular rhythms that have us constantly in Scripture can be helpful, though. It helps create thirst.  Continue reading “Creating thirst for the Kingdom of God”

The shallow soil of the American church

I am preparing for Sunday where we will focus on the parables. While I will focus more closely on another pair of parables out of Matthew 13, I was reading through the whole chapter and came to these words from Stanley Hauerwas on the Parable of the Sower.  Continue reading “The shallow soil of the American church”

Treasuring Jesus

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matt. 13:44)

The reason I follow Jesus is simple. He is beautiful. The Kingdom surpasses anything else I can find as a treasure. He is worth all.

There is a cost to following Jesus. There is a cost to NOT following Jesus. We need to weigh each out. And the cost is so worth the treasure that is Christ. Nothing compares.

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The curse of abundance

Soaking up the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 for the past couple of days, it is a mirror for us as American Christians. There is an examination of the heart we can make out of this parable. It’s not one we’ve done so far, and it may be doubtful we’ll look too deep now, but it’s a necessary examination.

The problems of the seed not taking root are not blamed on poverty. If the word doesn’t take root, it’s because the soil hasn’t been plowed up. It’s not a matter of persecution being the problem. Persecution in this parable is a given. The problem in the weeds isn’t a “lack,” it’s an abundance.

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If a multiplication of the richness of the Kingdom isn’t happening in our lives as the word is revealed to us, it is our laziness that is at the root.

When we allow the deceitfulness of riches to distract us, we create something that looks good but isn’t bearing fruit. We need fruit in the American Church. Fruit doesn’t mean numbers. It’s the character of the King.

When we bear the fruit of the Kingdom, we’re not walking in fear. The American Church is walking in fear right now. There is a look that is “good,” but underneath is a rumbling of fear because we’re “losing our rights.” We’ve become so Americanized, we can’t see the benefit of actually losing something. We’re threatened by the smallest things. The deceitfulness of riches (and the “riches” of having so many “freedoms”) have led us to a place where we look good but we’re not bearing fruit.

It is time to plow up the ground of our hearts. That plowing, that preparation, is up to us. It is not a call for “revival” in the sense of we show up to church and the Spirit “sovereignly” falls.

It is a call to sit with a Bible open, a heart open, maybe a journal of some sort nearby, and no one else is looking. It is a call to PLOW, which means we don’t read the Word once and all of a sudden we have a “revelation.” We stay at it… and stay at it… and then “all of a sudden,” the Word “opens” to us. We need a new tenacity to stay at the Word and stay at prayer and “miraculously” the Spirit shows up!

We need a revival of one.

You.

Me.

Plow the ground. Find the treasure.

My Name is Legion