Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Receptive Soil ...

Psalm 50:7-15
7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel:
I am God, your God.
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

Leviticus 11:29-13:8
Leviticus 12
Purification After Childbirth

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 “Say to the Israelites: ‘A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. 3 On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. 4 Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. 5 If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding. 6 “‘When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting a year-old lamb for a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a dove for a sin offering. 7 He shall offer them before the LORD to make atonement for her, and then she will be ceremonially clean from her flow of blood. “‘These are the regulations for the woman who gives birth to a boy or a girl. 8 But if she cannot afford a lamb, she is to bring two doves or two young pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. In this way the priest will make atonement for her, and she will be clean.’”

Mark 4:1-20
The Parable of the Sower
1 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”


Notice the farmer is not in control of the outcome, but needs to be faithful in sowing the seed if he hopes to have a harvest. This is one of the first parables where Jesus actually interprets it for the disciples. He explains the spiritual battle we are in as we try to advance God’s kingdom. Satan steals some seeds which prevent them from taking root. We also see that persecution and worries cause other seeds to be choked out. And we know our enemy loves to exploit our worries and our problems so that we become so preoccupied we are not available for God.

But the Good News is the good soil, which has been prepared, accepts the seed (God’s word) and multiplies exponentially. This is God’s desire for every believer. We are all made to bear fruit and replicate ourselves and the life of Jesus in others. As we become disciples ourselves by listening and obeying God’s word, we become the soil from which much fruit can be borne. This is God’s desire, this is God’s plan for reaching the world with the Good News through us.

And it all starts with receptivity to the Word and obedience. God honors the faithfulness of His people through multiply the seed of the Kingdom so that it becomes a fruitful harvest touching all those in whom come contact. Spending time reflecting on what type of soil you are ? Is your heart open and receptive to the seed of God’s word. The Holy Spirit living inside us makes us receptive and willing and all we need to do is to obey, also by God’s grace living out His purposes in us!

I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. Ezekiel 11:19

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has be-come new! 2 Corinthians 5:17

Creator God, give us clear vision to see that you make all things new. Give us courage to understand your new creation even when it seems so much more comfortable to keep the old. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.

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