Digging in Deeper: Mark 4:26-27

“‘The kingdom of God is like this,’ he said. ‘A man scatters seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day; the seed sprouts and grows, although he doesn’t know how.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What role do we play in the process of salvation? How do we actually contribute to the growth of the kingdom? If you would claim the name of Jesus as your Lord and savior, those are perhaps questions that have at least occurred to you. We often hear about evangelism and are chided over its lack in our lives and in our churches. What Jesus says here helps to frame out a bit what evangelism actually entails and what should be our focus in it in a way that may help give us more confidence in doing it. Pay close attention.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 4:10-12

“When he was alone, those around him with the Twelve asked him about the parables. He answered them, ‘The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to those outside, everything comes in parables so that “they may indeed look, and yet not perceive; they may indeed listen, and yet not understand; otherwise they might turn back and be forgiven.”‘” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of my favorite speakers likes to joke that he has the spiritual gift of sarcasm. I always appreciate this line because I’m pretty sure that’s one of my spiritual gifts as well. Sarcasm, technically defined, is the use of irony to mock or convey contempt (thank you, Google). Irony is when you say one thing but mean the opposite. Mocking we understand. Contempt is anything that conveys the idea you think something or someone is stupid. In other words, sarcasm is saying something, but meaning the opposite, in order to express your disdain for some idea or person. Why talk about all of this? Because Jesus here is quoting His Dad’s sarcasm. Wait…God is sarcastic? Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Mark 4:2-3

“He taught them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them, ‘Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Every teacher has a style. And most teachers have a set of stories they tell over and over and over again. They’re stories they use to make the points they think are the most important to make because they convey the most critical truths they want to communicate. For Jesus, the style was parables, and Mark 4 contains some of the parables that He no doubt told in every little town, village, and hillside He visited. This is a parable we’ve looked at before together, but if Jesus told it a lot, it’s probably worth our time to look at it again.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 2:21-22

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. No, new wine is put into fresh wineskins.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever seen somebody be insulted without realizing they were being insulted? Jon Stewart, former host of Comedy Central’s popular series, “The Daily Show,” was well-known for doing this. He would send out “reporters” to do interviews with unsuspecting individuals which were then edited to make them look stupid at best. Well, Jesus wasn’t doing that here, but He was making an observation about some folks that wasn’t exactly complimentary. In doing so, though, He offers us a good reminder to not fall into the same trap they had. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: Luke 15:17-19

“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”‘”‬‬ (ESV – Read the chapter

When was the last time you had that moment when you suddenly came to your senses? You realized that what you were doing wasn’t working; that you didn’t like your outcomes, but unless you changed your inputs, your outcomes weren’t going to change? Have you had that moment before at all? If you have and you actually followed through on those thoughts, that was called repentance. And repentance is the only way out of a pit of justice and back to life. 

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