GPS: July 29

By July 29, 2014Devotional

Today’s Scripture:

 

Mark 4:26-34

He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.  The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.  But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”  He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?  It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”  With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples. 

Food For Thought:

Parables are found throughout the New Testament.  They represent a key part of the teachings of Jesus, forming approximately one-third of his recorded teachings.  As Christians we place high emphasis on these parables.  Since they are the words of Jesus, they are believed to be what the Father has taught.  Jesus’ parables are seemingly simple and memorable stories, often with imagery, and all convey messages.  Scholars have commented that although these parables seem simple, the messages they convey are deep and central to the teachings of Jesus.

Many of Jesus’ parables refer to simple everyday things, such as a woman baking bread (parable of the Leaven), a man knocking on his neighbor’s door at night (parable of the Friend at Night), or the aftermath of a roadside mugging (parable of the Good Samaritan); yet they deal with major religious themes, such as the growth of the Kingdom of God, the importance of prayer, and the meaning of love.  What message do you learn from this parable as you read it afresh today?

Prayer:

Redeeming Sustainer, visit your people and pour out your strength and courage upon us, that we may hurry to make you welcome, not only in our concern for others, but by serving them generously and faithfully in your name.  In your precious name we pray, Amen.

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