Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Matthew 13: 1 - 23

Here is an excerpt from the entire passage from The Message. It is the parable Jesus told to the multitudes of people standing on shore listening to Him as He taught from a boat.

3-8"What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn't put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.

9"Are you listening to this? Really listening?"

In verses 18 to 23 Jesus explains the parable to His disciples, so follow the link in the title of this blog to read the entire passage (in 5 different translations)...you certainly won't be disappointed!

Jesus asks a question at the end of telling the parable. I chose The Message translation because of how clearly the question is asked, "Are you listening to this? Really listening?" Jesus speaks to us through His Word. Many people read it and debate it and learn of it. Some politicians and public speakers have people research it for "good quotes" that will fit their needs. Some mock it and refuse to believe anything about it other than the fact that it's a bunch of stories.

Even today there are those who hear it and don't understand so it goes nowhere. There are those who hear it and get all excited in the passion of it but don't spend time pondering it and letting it sink in to the transformational level in their lives and are soon back to being who they once were. Still there are those who hear it, love it and want to believe it, but they don't take their eyes off the worries and trials of this world so what they hear can really change them.

And then there are those who listen, ponder, embrace and bury it deep in their hearts...they fertilize it with more listening and their lives are changed. Many times from the inside out, subtly yet clearly changed for the better. Their minds, hearts, souls and strength are fertile soil thirsty for more and more of the Kingdom of Heaven brought to earth in God's Word. Their hands become His hands, their feet His feet. They speak truth to a lying world and love & peace to a world full of hate and fear.

It is these last ones we should be longing to be. Are you? Are you really listening? Is spending time alone...in silence...pondering His Word and simply being in the presence of the Risen King a priority in your life? Lest you think I have that one down pat all you really have to do is look at the sporadic entries in this blog to see it is a constant battle in my own life, too. But can I encourage you and me together to remember those days when we make it a priority? To stop and think about the peace that passes all understanding flooding through us as we sit and drink Him in? To think of how much more effective we are for His Kingdom ~ how much more patient, loving and truly kind we are when we have spent time really listening to the One who is all those things personified?

Today...take the time to listen. Take the time to really listen.
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