Getting somewhere requires effort,
faith to push on,
it's easy to screw up,
Friday, December 13, 2013
Sorting through the “work” parables
through the “work” parables
Fri, December 13, 2013 | link
The internet defines a parable as
“par·a·ble noun a simple
story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.”
told many parables and a listing from the internet http://www.rc.net/wcc/parables.htm lists them breaking them up into categories.
How these parables can be grouped is interesting...
-Work and wages (19 parables)
based (14 parables)
-Showing division or splitting into groups (10 parables)
-Weddings based (9 parables)
and found, father and sons (8 parables)
If we assume these parables reflect the amount Jesus emphasised
the importance of aspects of life we can perhaps deduce what is most important to him.
Maybe this categorization shows that God wants us to look to how we deal with life activities as a first priority.
Then to respect
his creation and learn from it secondly. Next to ensure we are in the group that loves and trust God, and then to
enjoy the experiences
of being with God and finally to ensure we tell others about God and accept them into his family.
This is perhaps a different
emphasis to that we find portrayed in our celebration gatherings isn't it?
Having God in mind as we work
is the primary focus it seems and I have put together my short summary of the parables of work and wages
and will perhaps address the other categories in later blogs.
|PARABLE description||Ken's understanding of the
main encouragement of the parable|
|The Servant Entrusted with Authority
or The Faithful and Unfaithful Servants (Matt. 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-46) ||Use our skills wisely|
|The Money in Trust or The Talents (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-27) ||Use our skills wisely|
|The Discarded Salt (Matt 5:13; Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34 f.)||Use our skills wisely and allow others to see
|The Dishonest Steward (Luke 16:1-12) Revised!||Use our skills wisely|
|The Wicked Vinedressers (Matthew 21:33-41; Mark 12:1-9; Luke 20:9-16)||Do not be evil in work, lets
use our skills wisely.|
|The Waiting Servants (Luke 12:35-38; Mark 13:33-37)||Be ready eternal life with
God is worth everything we ever gain in this world|
|The Hidden Treasure (Matthew
13:44)||Eternal life with God is worth everything we ever gain in this world|
Pearl of Great Price (Matthew 13:45 f.)||Eternal life with God is worth everything we ever gain in this world|
|Master and Servant (Luke 17:7-10)||Do our duty|
|The Defendant (Luke 12:58
f.; Matthew 5:25 f.) ||Settle debts before it's too late|
|The Laborers in the Vineyard
or The Generous Employer (Matt.20:1-16) ||God rewards justly even if we don’t think so|
|The Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21) ||Eternal rewards trump gain in life|
|The Body's Lamp (Matthew 6:22 f.; Luke 11:34-36) ||Focus on God's good, not satans evil|
|The Two Builders (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49) ||Trust Gods words to succeed, reject them and
|The Patch and the Wineskins (Matt. 9:16 f.; Mark 2:21 f.; Luke 5:36-39) ||God moves with time, each
time has its own working relationship with God|
|The Householder's Treasure (Matthew
13:52) ||Balance new and old understandings in doing God's work|
|The Unforgiving Official
or The Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18:23-35) ||Forgive, or be punished.|
Two Debtors (Luke 7:41-43) ||Great forgiveness enables great love|
|The Lamp (Matt 5:14-16;
Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16, 11:31) and The City Set on a Hill (Matt. 5:14b) ||Be seen to do what God wants|
Notice how God emphasises more than any other aspect the fatc that we should use our skills wisely.
(The first 4 categories)
This is the prime thought in this category of parables.
We each have different skills, we are expected to use them fully.
Do we use our
skills fully in a Godly way?
The next most important aspect is to be ready for eternal life
with God and know it is worth everything we ever gain in this world. All our greatest achievements in this world are less
than what we will experience in heaven and we can’t take these achievements with us when we die can we?
How do we measure
Are we heading to the right type of eternal life?
our duty and settling our debts with others and God before its too late is described in two parables.
How in debt are we to
How in debt are we to God? Do we ask forgiveness frequently and turn to doing good so as
to limit our sin and ensure we are living righteously?
Next, do we understand
that God always rewards fairly even if we don’t understand it fully. Are we willing to accept this?
is great and sees everything in its specific place. We see little, so we need to trust Him.
We need to also focus
on God’s good, rather than on the evil around us.
Let’s be people
who downplay the evil in the world to promote and replay the good. We need to do just the opposite of our media that replays
the evil and downplays the good.
We need to give people space to live in different timeframes.
people will worship differently to younger people. We need to have a balanced understanding, knowing that God loves all but
also treats everyone differently in ways they understand and appreciate.
Let’s not judge
others by our standards, but rather by God’s standards.
Nobody gets away with evil, God promises that.
We need to trust in this promise of God. Instead of trying to ensure
people are punished we should rather try and expose them to God’s love in order to get them healed of
the evil in their life.
We need to forgive or we will not be forgiven. That is clear from God’s word.
Lastly we must not be shy.
God wants us to stand out in our lives like shining lights for others
These are the key aspects of the biggest group of parables. Do they work
for you and do you work within these guidelines?
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Is evil real?
Is evil real?
Thu, December 12, 2013 | link
“Most of the bad guys in the real world don't know that they are bad guys. You don't get
a flashing warning sign that you're about to damn yourself. It sneaks up on you when you aren't looking.” ~ Jim Butcher
I guess it’s interesting that of the creatures on earth that do evil things and know it’s evil, man is alone
in the despicable category.Yet so many people try to discount evil. They want their free will removed and an excuse to do anything without being responsible.
Evil to many is a creation of nerves and brain impulses in response to stimuli.
That is not the Christian perspective.
We know that that evil spirits
are here to stay because in that last book of our bible, in the part where the start of Armageddon occurs it says...
“Then the evil spirits gathered the kings together. The place where the kings met is called
Armageddon in the Hebrew language”-Rev 16:16
Evil spirits? Not people with evil thoughts.
The bible also talks
about “spirits of demons performing miraculous signs” a verse or two previous
Then Paul gives Timothy a young man advice “Run away from the
evil things that young people long for. Try hard to do what is right. Have faith, love and peace. Do these things together
with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
Yes, human do evil and are influenced by it!
Evil is that enjoyment
in increasing suffering, ignoring suffering, discarding the impacts of one’s own selfishness on others and can be summed
up as doing things God would not approve of.
Evil comes with free will. To deny one is to deny the other.
I guess that’s
the crux of the matter.
Do we believe we have free will?
Then evil exists since free will means a choice between options.
of us simply have rough undefined feelings of evil that we try to avoid even thinking about.
As Christians we should know that is not enough. We need to understand
that there are evil spirits that influence us towards doing the darker deeds of life continually. Fallen angels angry at loosing
are determined to make mankind suffer and try to lead us into ungodly paths.
These paths would never be chosen by ourselves
by choice, so the options are covered in pleasure so we lust after them. We bite into the crust of the wonderful looking apple
like snow white, only to find a rotten core underneath and before we can undo our action, we are taken down by evil, which
laughs and pays homage to Satan for the evil guidance.
Yes evil is real. But so is God and Jesus is our prince Charming who undoes everything
and enables us to enter heavenly places, not because we have not been touched by evil and willingly been deceived, but because
his love overcomes the evil and draws us into the Fathers kingdom
Today as a lie starts to form, let’s
ask where it is coming from and resist.
When the greed suggests we push others out the way, lets give them space.
When evil pushes us to anger, lets calm and pray and ask God to guide us.
As James says “So
obey God. Stand up to the devil. He will run away from you.” James 4:7
Evil may appear powerful, but
appearances lie. God is the true strength of existence and Satan only tries to appear to us to be so. Let's not be deceived!
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Teens need friend’s
Wed, December 11, 2013 | link
I was reading teen ink and came across this poem by a teenager…
The kids at school laugh.
the way I dress?
I’ve tried every designer out there.
Staying in the house really
saves me money.
My stupid rich parents give me $50 a week for lunch.
36 weeks …
what is that?
I should probably know.
Straight A’s 12 years in a row and counting.
With all of this,
or none of this –
it depends how you look at
all I need is a friend
“All I need is a friend” by Ryan M., Mt. Prospect, IL
Today, lets pray for Ryan and those teens that need a friend.
What are Christians doing if they are not reaching out to young people like this? What is wrong wit our churches if they don’t
encourage young people to love others.
Didn’t Jesus say 2 Timothy 1:7
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives
us power, love and self-discipline.”
Jesus answered, “Here is the most important one. Moses said, ‘Israel,
listen to me. The Lord is our God. The Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Love him with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Deuteronomy 6:4,5) 31 And here is the second one. ‘Love
your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18) There is no commandment more important than these.”
How about we do it rather than talk it?
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
“man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”
“man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”
Tue, December 10, 2013 | link
Where does that quote come
Most people will say “the bible”. Those with more knowledge will say the bible from the book of Matthew chapter 4 when Jesus was in the
desert and answered Satan after fasting for a long time.
“man does not live on bread alone but on every
word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
However this is not totally correct!
is true that Jesus said this at this time but that is not where it comes from. Jesus was quoting another part of the bible
which has as it’s theme the message that man should not forget God. He was quoting Deuteronomy 8.
This piece of writing,
in Moses time, has a few interesting statements one of which is…
how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what
was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you
with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every
word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Do you notice why Jesus uses this piece of writing?
There is a
correlation…wilderness with desert, forty years with forty days, humbling and testing, hunger!
If God can use Old Testament effectively,
I think we can do the same.
We need to familiarize ourselves with these ancient writings to gain the better understanding of what
Jesus wants us to know. Without understanding this reference Jesus was making, that time in the desert is maybe just a little
weird and strange. When we see this we see great parallels with Jesus life. It shows us the desert is a transition point in
It was a motivator to Jesus. Probably the tempting was itself a motivator. As the Israelites were
tempted on leaving Egypt, and they failed the first time, Jesus is tempted and doesn’t fail.
Also, it’s worth
seeing a few other things that same piece of writing says…
“Be careful to follow every command I am
…is also good advice for us, as is ...
“Know then in your heart
that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.”
These all lead to this warning…
“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees
that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses
and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied,
then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God”
The emphasis is mine!
The core requirement is not to
forget God, or forget to listen to what he tells us.
The warning against getting too satisfied and forgetting God is one that I think the first world would do
well to hear.
God is not going away, but wealth and comforts can make people arrogant.
lest we forget and fool ourselves. God is not a fool or a person to pushed around. We might as well try to personally move
mount Everest if we think that.
We must respect God. We need to remember his guidelines for our lives if we are
to be blessed. Then, if we do this he pours out his blessing on us making sure our needs are me and giving us a vibrant and
God is good, very good, but we need to make sure we remember what he says. That includes reading
his writings, even the oldest of them. So perhaps we should look at an Old Testament reading plan for the near future.
Have a wonderful blessed day remembering our great and loving God!
Monday, December 9, 2013
Mon, December 9, 2013 | link
Two Words, timeless wonder.
How can two words communicate so much? The context is important.
Where were they said, when and by whom?
John, the guy Jesus loved and entrusted his mother’s care
to, reports this. Jesus arrives in the town of Bethany to find a dear friend had died.
Mary and others are crying.
When he is directed to where his friend was buried Jesus wept.
This is the same God who saved the world?
This brings up questions.
· Couldn’t God have known this was going
· Couldn’t he have
simply changed circumstances to stop this occurring?
These are questions that anyone who has a sick or ill friend
or loved one asks.
In these two words come God’s answer.
While God, Jesus was
also fully human and humans do not have knowledge of everything that will come or how it will. Do we? So probably Jesus only
saw what the Father revealed to him through the Spirit.
Jesus probably had never turned to the question
of his friend’s life and asked his Father to reveal this information. He was caught unaware as we are often caught unaware
Did it hurt him?
We don’t cry without there
being pain or emotions involved.
Jesus suffered grief, probably being moved by the grief of those dear to him that was around him.
experiences emotions. This is what makes God so special and dear to me. I know God can love since I know God cried.
These two words explain the compassion and love of Jesus. They explain his humanity.
The fact he brings his friend back to life
explains he is God.
Aren’t we privileged to know that our God is not a cold calculating God but a
warm loving person?
I know I thank him for that and I pray you do too!
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