Daily Reading: 7-14-16
Luke 8:4-10 The Voice (VOICE)
Our world is certainly complex and challenging for me right now. I am not discouraged; rather, I simply recognize what seemed really secure to me has become shaken. This challenge has to do with the release of words. A person’s word—what is chosen to be said—is powerful. It has far reaching effects. I listen to reports, leaders, and public figures, but what is said on the surface sounds like garble filled with half-truths and many times absolutely void of wisdom. Yet, I am still grateful for free speech in this country. The challenge that I spoke about is simply the need to cut through the garble to find Truth. Honestly, I care about this country and world very much, so I stay connected and informed. But I put my trust in God who is Truth. So, I spend a lot more time in the eternal Word of God than listening to the words of the world, because His Word brings me direction, hope, joy, and blessing for eternal living. There is life beyond this temporal world and I want to be ready for it.
People say the Word of God is difficult to understand and apart from the work of Holy Spirit to bring revelation it can be. The difficulty came with humanity’s choice to know good and evil. So now we must sift the words for Truth. Jesus spoke in parables—little works of art—that were intended to hide the truth and force those listening to go to a deeper level in his or her understanding and comprehension. This is a deeper level in intimacy with God. The Word of God is a love letter penned by the Spirit that always points to the spiritual riches found in Jesus Christ—Messiah. The natural mind cannot understand the things of the Spirit, so we must press in by reading, and rereading, and praying for revelation. Investment, understanding, application, and harvest is the Word process partnered with the Spirit.
In today’s passage, Jesus tells a parable about the potential power of His Word when it is released in the natural soil or soul—mind, will, emotions—of God’s human family.
4 While a huge crowd gathered with people from many surrounding towns streaming to hear Jesus, He told them a parable.
Jesus: 5 Once a farmer went out to scatter seed (God’s Word) in his fields. Some seeds fell along a trail where they were crushed underfoot by people walking by. Birds flew in and ate those seeds (devil steals the Word and keeps the person from believing). 6 Other seeds fell on gravel. Those seeds sprouted but soon withered, depleted of moisture under the scorching sun (little commitment to the Word against the power of temptation). 7 Still other seeds landed among thorns (pleasures for the world exceeds the joy of pleasing God) where they grew for a while, but eventually the thorns stunted them so they couldn’t thrive or bear fruit (no spiritual maturity). 8 But some seeds fell into good soil—soft, moist, free from thorns. These seeds not only grew, but they also produced more seeds, a hundred times what the farmer originally planted (hear the Word and cling to it). If you have ears, hear My meaning!
9 His disciples heard the words, but the deeper meaning eluded them.
Disciples: What were You trying to say?
10 Jesus: The kingdom of God contains many secrets.
They keep listening, but do not comprehend;
keep observing, but do not understand.
Prayer: Father, I need to thank You that You give me understanding of Your Word and I feel secure in Your love and care. In Your Word I can flourish with eternal life. This world of human words and half-truths does attempt to confuse me, but Your Spirit captures my attention and leads me to follow Your Word. Holy Spirit, thank You for making the Father’s heart known to me; thank You for guiding my life in spite of the shaking and for causing me to produce more seeds to share with others. May the seeds released today bring a harvest. In Jesus’ name. Amen.