Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why Do We Love God?

Why Do We Love God?

Ezra 7:27-28 Blessed be the LORD God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem: 28And hath extended mercy unto me before the king, and his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes. And I was strengthened as the hand of the LORD my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.

What a beautiful prayer of praise and thanksgiving to God. Ezra clearly expressed his belief in God’s sovereignty.

As Christians, loving God is a natural response for all the good things He does for us. Here is a list of some of the wonderful things He has done for us (it would be impossible to list all the blessings God has given us).

- We love Him because He first loved us:
Read 1 John 4:19

- He created us:
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Romans 9:20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

Psalm 127:3 Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.

- He has saved us from God’s wrath:
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

- He indwells us with His Holy Spirit:
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

- He sanctifies us:
Ephesians 1:13-14 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

Romans 8:15-16 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

- He blesses us (provides, prepares and protects us):
Ezra 7:27-28 (see above)

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

- He preserves us:
Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

- And He will Glorify us:
Romans 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

God is so good. Unfortunately, non-believers have the unnatural response of rejecting God and His goodness.

Of course it is easy for us to love and appreciate God when He is pouring out blessings on us. But what about when life seems hard: why do you love God when you are suffering?

Love Him for who He is!

- The one true God:
John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

- The Sovereign Lord of the universe:
Psalm 103:19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

- Our Savior
Isaiah 49:26 And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

Titus 1:4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour.

- Our Friend
John 15:14-15 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

- His attributes – Merciful, Gracious, patient…
Read Exodus 34:6

Joel 2:13 And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.

God is Holy, Righteous, Just, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, unchanging, etc. We can’t make a list of all the attributes of God, His ways are unsearchable.

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

Remember to always love God for who He is and what He does.

And finally, how should our love for God manifest itself in our lives?

- Do what He says:
John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

- Do what He has called/gifted you to do:
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

Dear Father in heaven, may Your Holy Spirit always lead me to remember who You are and all You have done for me. I pray that my love for You will grow stronger with each moment, each prayer, each time I read Your word or go to church. I praise You for Your sovereignty and Your immeasurable love. May Your love show through me. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010



When Christ was asked, ‘Which is the first commandment of all?’ He answered:

Mark 12:29-31- And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

This is pretty straight forward:
· Love God with all that you are (see Deuteronomy 6:5).
· Love your neighbor as you love yourself (see Leviticus 19:18).

We clearly understand who God is: Yahweh, Jehovah, The Lord our God.

But who does Christ consider our neighbor? Fortunately for us, Christ clearly answers this question in the parable of the Good Samaritan (read Luke 10:25 – 37).

Luke 10:36
- Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

According to this parable and the discussion that followed, who does Christ consider to be our neighbor?

- Does He specifically mean the people that live in our neighborhood?
- What about the people we enjoy hanging out with?

The message is clear; Christ is telling us that our neighbors are those who need us. Those who need mercy from us are our neighbors (a friend in need is a friend indeed).

What does Christ teach us about mercy and forgiveness?

Luke 6:36- Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

Mark 11:25- And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

And as Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, what did he teach us about being encouraging/comforting to others as we have been comforted of God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-5
- Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

We can sit and talk about God’s Word all night. We can memorize scriptures. We can have Bible study with our Christian brothers and sisters. We can pray continually!

But are we truly being obedient if we do not apply the things that Christ is teaching us?

Have you ever heard it said that someone is so Heavenly minded they are of no earthly good?

Well guess what. The Bible tells us to apply what we learn!

James 1:22- But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

John 14:15
- If ye love me, keep my commandments.

John 13:17- If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

Matthew 7:24- Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

Bow your head and ask God to reveal to you:
- From who have you withheld mercy?
- Who needs encouragement that you have refused to give?
- Who have you not forgiven?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, my God and my King, break my heart for those in my life that you have commanded me to show mercy, encouragement, and forgiveness. Forgive my pride. Forgive my selfishness. May Your grace, mercy, and love flow through me. Only through Your strength are these things possible. I submit myself to You Dear Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. Amen.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Christ tells us to be merciful, as God is merciful.

Luke 6:36
- Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

What is mercy?

To be merciful is to show compassion. To not give someone what they deserve, when what they deserve is ‘punishment’. Combining forgiveness and kindness.

But God’s mercy is infinitely greater than ours! Why?

Because God knows what is in our hearts and minds. He knows our motives. Because He knows everything, He can judge righteously (whatever He does is right, period!).

Psalm 51:4
- Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.

Romans 9:15
- For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Thankfully, God is full of mercy!

Exodus 34:6- And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,

But we don’t know everything. Also, we are clearly told by Christ not to judge others and to forgive anyone we have something against.

Matthew 7:1- Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Mark 11:25- And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Therefore we are merciful out of obedience, love, compassion, etc. Not out of omnipotence or omniscience.

Yet beyond instructing us to be merciful, Christ warns us of the consequences of not showing mercy (parable of the unforgiving debtor – read Matthew 18:21-35).

Matthew 18:32-34- Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

How does the way we treat others reflect our gratitude for the mercy God has shown us?

And to go further, Christ tells us of the benefits of showing mercy.

Matthew 5:7- Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Therefore, being merciful benefits us.

Proverbs 11:17- The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Matthew 25:40 (final judgment)
- And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Who are the ‘least of these’?

- The hungry, thirsty, strangers, naked, sick, and prisoners.

Who is 'me'?

- Christ!

What does it take for us to show mercy?

- Is it natural for us to show mercy?
- Where do we get the strength to show mercy?

Have you been withholding mercy from someone? Pray that God will give you the humility to be merciful.

How has God shown us mercy?

Romans 5:8
- But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

PRAYER: Father, You have shown me such great mercy. I thank You and I pray that Your Holy Spirit will guide me to be merciful. Forgive me when I judge. Forgive me when I withhold mercy. May Your strength and love shine through me as I humbly submit to Your will. In Christ name I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010



2 Timothy 2:15Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

As a Christian, studying God’s Word is so very important. Studying the Bible brings us closer to God and helps us to find His Will for our lives. God’s Word is the Truth, and the Truth shall set us free.

John 8:31-32
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Christ is the Truth!

John 14:6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

What does the word study mean in 2 Tim 2:15? The Greek word for study hear means to exert one’s self, endeavor, give diligence

If we are going to exert ourselves to study the Word of God, what is available to help us?

-Bibles – various translations, study Bibles

-Bible Dictionary – There are small and inexpensive up to thick and exhaustive ($$$).

-Commentaries – Typically in-depth verse by verse study and exposition of God’s Word.

-Bible Workbooks – Workbooks that focus on a particular Christian theme, section or book of the Bible.

-Christian Workbooks – Workbooks with scripture reading and memorization with exercises to dig into God’s Word.

-Daily Devotions – Typically short and to the point explanations and thoughts related to a specific scripture.

-Don’t forget Church – Sermons, Sunday School, Bible Study, etc.

-Christian Books – History, Biographies, Theology, etc.

-Multimedia – Radio, TV, Internet, CD’s, DVD’s, IPOD’s, etc.

What does it mean to be a ‘workman’?

Colossians 3:23
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Do all you do as if you are doing it for God. Do it as if He is watching you (because He is!). Don’t waste your time and efforts trying to please ‘man’.

Don’t be ashamed of your love for God and His Word.

Luke 9:26For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels.

What does the last part of our verse mean, ‘rightly dividing the word of truth.’?

I believe this means understanding and using God’s Word for its intended purposes:
-To learn/teach about salvation through Christ.
-To be sanctified – to be set apart and to become more like Christ.
-To understand what God expects of us as Christians.
-To understand our history as Christians.
-To know what is coming in the future.

Without the Holy Spirit indwelling you (which only happens if you are a Christian), you can not understand God’s Word.

1 Corinthians 2:14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Prayer – Holy Father in Heaven, as I read Your Word and diligently work to learn more about You and what you want me to be, may your Holy Spirit lead, guide and teach me. May I honor You in all I do. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The focus of the devotional posted to this site on January 19, 2009 was Longing.
On March 16, 2010 we discussed Hoping.
This week we will focus on Knowing!
Knowing what?
Psalm 25:5
5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Truth can be defined as a verified or indisputable fact.

But what do we know about the so called ‘facts’ of this fallen world?
- What are sometimes called facts are often people’s opinion.
- Facts are often changed to suit someone’s personal agenda.
- Facts seem to change as time marches on.

Many people in the world believe there is not an absolute truth. No ultimate standard for right or wrong. The world says:
‘Live and let live.’
‘If it feels good, do it.’
‘Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you.’

Key Points for this devotional:

1. Our belief that the Bible is the Word of God.
2. God cannot lie. He is, by His very nature, Truth.
3. The Truth, like God, does not change.
4. Why is the Truth so important?
5. What are some important Truths in God’s Word?

1. The Bible is the Word of God.

2 Timothy 3:16
16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Why do we believe this is true?

We believe by faith. But what is faith?
Hebrews 11:1
1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

And our faith is a gift from God.
Ephesians 2:8
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

2. God cannot lie. He is the Truth.

Titus 1:2
2In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

Deuteronomy 32:4
4He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
Christ told us He is the Truth.

John 6:44
6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

3. God does not change. Since God is Truth, the Truth does not change.
Malachi 3:6
6For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Hebrews 13:8
8Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

4. Why is it important to know the Truth?
John 8:31-32
31Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

5. What are some important Truths from God’s Word?
Proverbs 14:12
12There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

Romans 3:23
23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23
23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:8
8But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 10:9
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

1 John 5:13
13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

Father I love You and praise You for the absolute truth of Your Word. Thank You for sharing the truth of the gospel message. May Your love and truth touch every heart that seeks after You. May Your will be done. Amen.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


In a previous devotion we talked about ‘Longing for God’ (posted on this site January 19, 2009)

We described longing as having a strong desire for something.
Our greatest longing should be for a meaningful relationship with God.
Psalm 42:1
1As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

This week we will be talking about hope; specifically our Blessed Hope in Christ. So what is the difference between longing for something and having hope?

As we discussed, longing is to desire something.

The definition of hope is – to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence.
So hope is not just wanting something, it is counting on something.

A Christian’s definition of hope should be – a bedrock assurance based on the promises of God. A divine certainty.

Jeremiah 17:7-8
7Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

So why do you think we used the phrase ‘bedrock assurance’?
Psalm 61:2
2From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Matthew 7:24-27
24Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

So our Hope is based in our faith in God. What do you do when your faith waivers?
Mark 9:23-24
23Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Our faith in God does not grow like money sitting in the bank earning interest. It grows by experience: witnessing and acknowledging God’s faithfulness to His Word.

So what is our Blessed Hope
Salvation and Eternal Life through Jesus Christ our Lord
John 3:16
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

When life gets difficult, when you are hurting physically, emotionally or spiritually, it is so easy to get focused on ourselves.


The Goal is not Happiness, it is Holiness!

Holiness is to be set apart for use by God.
Holiness is standing apart form sin and evil

We should not waste our time and energy worrying about the basic necessities of life. If we seek after God and trust Him, He has promised to provide these things.

Matthew 6:33
33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Steps of Hope
1. Acknowledge any sense of hopelessness or lack of trust/faith.
2. Ask God for forgiveness and cleansing.
3. Align your heart to God’s will through prayer and Bible study.
4. Let go of your unmet desires. Strive to be Holy.
5. Seek God with all your heart (more prayer and Bible study).
6. Ask God to strengthen you through your journey.
7. Praise God continually. Thank Him for what He has done, what He is doing and what He will do.
8. Cling to Christ, our solid rock, in all circumstances.


Father, may our hope as Christian be found only in You and the promises in Your Holy Word. Thank You for the faith You give us to believe. Thank You for being faithful to all You have promised. Help me to be holy. Amen.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

She Wasn’t Expecting to See Jesus

She Wasn’t Expecting to See Jesus
(Three Unexpected Encounters With Christ)

Often there is something in our lives or in ourselves that puts us in a position where we are not expecting to encounter Christ. But thankfully God loves us more than we can ever understand and will find the appropriate way to reveal Himself to us. Today we are going to study the experiences of three different women with Jesus.

1. The Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-26)
A woman not expecting to see Jesus because of Society.
2. The Adulterous woman caught in the ACT (John 8:1-11)
A woman not expecting to see Jesus because of Sin.
3. Mary Magdalene after the crucifixion (John 20:11-18)
A woman not expecting to see Jesus because of Sorrow.

The Samaritan Woman

· Why did the Jews hate the Samaritans?
· When the northern kingdom fell to Assyria, many of the Jews were taken away and foreigners were brought in to settle and maintain the land. These foreigners and the Jews left remaining began to intermarry and became known as Samaritans (after the capital city of the northern kingdom – Samaria). The Jews hated the Samaritans because they felt they had betrayed the Jewish nation by marrying non-Jews.

John 4:13-15
13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
15The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

· As the Samaritan woman talked with Jesus, she had no idea who He was. But then Christ told her very personal things about her life.
· So, despite the societal separation between the Samaritans and the Jews, the Samaritan woman came to know Jesus as the Messiah because He revealed Himself to her in a very personal way.

The Adulterous Woman

· What was the penalty for adultery under The Law?
· Leviticus 20:10
10And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

· What was Christ’s response to the situation?

· John 8:5-7
5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

· What led Christ to say this?

· Deuteronomy 17:6-7
6At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
7The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you.

Beyond requiring more than one witness to put someone to death, The Law required the witnesses to throw the first stones.

Christ was not only convicting each person there of their own sin, He was teaching them not to be judgmental (we answer to God for our actions, not man).

So, despite the obvious sin of the Adulterous woman, Christ forgave her and revealed Himself to her by showing great mercy.

The Sorrowful Woman

· How did Christ first touch the life of Mary Magdalene?

Luke 8:1-2
1And it came to pass afterward, that he went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him,
2And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

· Do you think she believed that Jesus was the Messiah?

· Mary loved Jesus greatly. She was one of the faithful followers at the crucifixion.

John 19:25
25Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

As a Jew, Mary was taught that the Messiah would not die. Also, many Jews did not believe in bodily resurrection. So when Mary went to the tomb of Jesus, she was expecting Him to be dead. When she found the tomb empty, she thought His body had been stolen.

John 20:1-2
1The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
2Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

But despite her doubt and misinformation, in great love and with grace, Christ revealed Himself to Mary as the risen Lord.

John 20:14-18
14And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

Under three very different circumstances, we have seen Christ reveal Himself to people that were not expecting to encounter Him. He knew exactly what they needed to believe in Him. And that is exactly what He gave them!

How has Christ revealed Himself to you?


Dear Lord, may my heart always be receptive to You. Thank You for Your love, grace and mercy. Thank You for touching my heart and changing my life. Amen.
Four Soils

What is a parable?

· An earthly story with a moral or heavenly meaning. A story meant to simplify or explain a difficult concept.

Why did Christ speak in parables?

Isaiah 55:8-9 (to help us understand)
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Matthew 13:10-13 (because some will not come to faith regardless of what they see or hear)
10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.

A couple of points about studying parables:
· It is always important to understand the intended audience of the parable.
· It is ‘dangerous’ to extrapolate beyond the intended meaning of the parable.

The parable of the four soils:

Matthew 13:1-9
1The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side.
2And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Any thoughts on what Christ is talking about hear?

Christ tells us the meaning of this parable.

Luke 8:11-16
11Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
12Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
13They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
14And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
16No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

Hearing the Word of God can impact people in four different ways:
1. Wayside People – Those that hear, but reject the Word of God and are not saved.
2. Rock Hearted People – Those that hear the Word of God and have an emotional response, yet don’t accept the truth in there hearts. They fall away when temptation comes.
3. Thorny People – Those that hear the Word of God and are then overcome by the things of this world (worry, money, pursuit of happiness). They don’t accept God and make other things (idols) more important than Him.
4. Saved People – Those that hear the Word of God, accept it in their hearts, are saved and serve God according to His will.

Additional Points of Discussion

You can know/recognize/believe that Christ is the Son of God and not be saved. Just as you may know a certain medicine can cure your sickness, but if you don’t take it, it won’t heal you.

James 2:19
19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Matthew 8:28-29
28And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
29And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

So what is this verse about the candle saying?

If the light of Christ is shining through you, you can’t hide it (and shouldn’t want to).

Matthew 5:14-16
14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


Father, may Your precious Word land on good soil in our hearts. If save, may we grow closer to You each time we hear Your Word. If unsaved, may the truth of Your Word bring us to a saving knowledge of the sacrifice of Christ, Your Son, for our sins. Amen.