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Items filtered by date: September 2013 - Harris Creek Baptist Church

In the parable of the seed sown upon the earth, Jesus again compares the reign of God to the everyday world of a farmer. Trying to understand what this deceptively simple parable is conveying can be extremely challenging. The parable describes a farmer who casts seed on the ground and then does nothing. Days pass. He goes through the everyday routine of life—he sleeps, he rises, night and day. There is no mention of his plowing, watering, cultivating, or fighting off parasites. Unlike the Parable of the Sower that precedes it, there is no reference to the challenge of a field plagued by birds that swoop down to snatch seeds on a path, to rocky ground with no depth of soil, no thorns that grow up to choke the seed. So, what does this parable mean? Jesus seems to be using all three elements—the sower, the seed, and the soil—to teach three important lessons (confidence, patience, and readiness) about the harvest God produces in the world around us.


In Matthew 25, Jesus is focused on the weighty subject of eternity and talking with his disciples about his second coming. In the middle of this lengthy discussion, the subject turns to the issue of stewardship. Jesus wants his disciples to remember that we will be accountable for how we invest the resources that have been entrusted to us. As Jesus continues in Matthew 25, he begins to describe in plain terms that God not only expects us to invest our resources; He also wants us to invest in the places He is already at work in the world around us. In "The Parable of the Sheep and Goats," we see that God is typically at work amongst the poor and oppressed. Our job as Christ followers, therefore, is to leverage our resources in such a way that we invest in those who are in need.


In Matthew 25, Jesus knows his time with the disciples is coming to an end, so he begins to focus his teachings on being prepared for the time when our own lives come to an end. Using parables, Jesus explains how some things matter eternally, including how we manage the resources God has entrusted to us. Jesus knows the way we handle the gifts God has given to us reflects what we really believe about the character and nature of God. In the "Parable of the Talents," we see that we are, in fact, going to give an account one day for how well we represented our Master's interests. In this story, Jesus has a surprising message for us: good intentions do not save us from being held responsible for the way we invest our lives.


One issue every Christian faces in their walk with Christ is that there will be times when we feel stuck spiritually. We want to grow. We want to make new ground in our walks with God but just can't seem to get any traction. We're simply stuck and cannot make progress forward. What if, as we mature, these moments could become few and far between? Can you imagine a life where you felt connected to God consistently? Can you imagine a life where you can actually see God working and changing your life on a regular basis? If you feel stuck spiritually and don't feel connected to God, the best way to gain traction is to enlarge our perception of God. This is because our view of God determines our response to God.


Most Christians understand that God's activity in the world is primarily seeking the redemption of creation. What sometimes gets lost is that this means God's mission, or purpose, is to put things back to their rightful state. God intends to make "all things new," to remake things into what He originally intended for the world in the beginning. Scripture also tells us that our purpose as His followers is to join God in this recreation process. The Apostle Paul talks plainly about this calling in 2 Corinthians 5:17 when he says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." Paul goes on to say we, as followers of Christ, have been given the ministry of reconciliation. This is the same message God had for His people in Jeremiah 29 when He called them to "seek the welfare" of Babylon. God calls us to be ministers of reconciliation, which means we are called to bring peace, wholeness, and healing to all of the broken parts of the world.


Most Christians understand that God's activity in the world is primarily seeking the redemption of creation. What sometimes gets lost is that this means God's mission, or purpose, is to put things back to their rightful state. God intends to make "all things new," to remake things into what He originally intended for the world in the beginning. Scripture also tells us that our purpose as His followers is to join God in this recreation process. The Apostle Paul talks plainly about this calling in 2 Corinthians 5:17 when he says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation." Paul goes on to say we, as followers of Christ, have been given the ministry of reconciliation. This is the same message God had for His people in Jeremiah 29 when He called them to "seek the welfare" of Babylon. God calls us to be ministers of reconciliation, which means we are called to bring peace, wholeness, and healing to all of the broken parts of the world.