Friday, January 12, 2018

Ever looked into the 38 parables of Jesus.. context and all? So interesting. I don’t mean to hyper-spiritualize em as so many like to do. I don't mean for readin’ into them what’s not really there.

  1. Two houses in a hurricane. (Matthew 7:24-27; Luke 6:47-49)
  2. Forgiving the $5000 and the $500. (Luke 7:41-42)
  3. Subduing a strong man. (Mark 3:22-30)
  4. The sower, the seed, and the soil. (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15)
  5. Weeds among the wheat. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)
  6. From scattering to sickling. (Mark 4:26-29)
  7. The mighty mustard seed. (Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; Luke 13:18-19)
  8. The cooks leaven and the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 13:33; Luke 13:20-21)
  9. Finding a fortune in a field. (Matthew 13:44)
  10. The price of a pearl. (Matthew 13:45-46)
  11. Sorting out a sea catch. (Matthew 13:47-50)
  12. A trained man and his treasure. (Matthew 13:52)
  13. Patching garments and old wineskins. (Matthew 9:16-17; Mark 2:21-22; Luke 5:36-39)
  14. A generation of gripers. (Matthew. 11:16-19; Luke 7: 31-35)
  15. The forgiven who wouldn't forgive. (Matthew 18:23-35)
  16. The good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37)
  17. Seven spirits and a swept house. (Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26)
  18. A fool gets rich on earth but not in heaven. (Luke 12:16-21)
  19. Fatten your purse in heaven and be ready for the Lord's return. (Luke 12:32-40; Matthew 24:43-44)
  20. A sinning servant and a returning ruler. (Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-48)
  21. A fruitless fig tree. (Luke 13:6-9)
  22. Choosing the least at a wedding feast. (Luke 14:7-11)
  23. Filling the guest list for a wedding feast. (Luke 14:15-24)
  24. Finding lost sheep, missing silver and a lost son. (Luke 15:1-32)
  25. The stewings of a steward. (Luke 16:1-13)
  26. Lazarus and the rich man. (Luke 16:19-31)
  27. When our best is but the least. (Luke 17:7-10)
  28. A widow and a weary judge. (Luke 18:1-8)
  29. A haughty Pharisee and a humble publican. (Luke 18:9-14)
  30. When the last was first and the first was last. (Matthew 20: 1-16)
  31. Three stewards and their silver. (Luke 19:11-27)
  32. Two sons who changed their minds. (Matthew 21:28-32)
  33. The vicious vinekeepers. (Matthew 21:33-46; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 21:9-19)
  34. A wedding guest with no wedding garment. (Matthew 22:1-14)
  35. The fig tree and the future. (Matthew 24:32-35; Mark 13:28-31; Luke 21:29-33)
  36. The 10 bridesmaids and the lamps. (Matthew 25:1-13)
  37. Three stewards and their talents. (Matthew 25:14-30)
  38. Separating the sheep from the goats. (Matthew 25:31-46)
Parables, they make me wanna study giving more, and yes gain more of a heart of generosity really. It must be from the grace through reading the Word cuz it sure ain't from my fleshly nature. But Jesus Christ had and still has a heart like that.
I say pray earnestly, have faith, and give your faith away as the Holy Spirit leads you to. Jesus did that and God the Father sure remaind faithful. 
"Give, and it will be given to you..."  ~ Jesus 

Sow sparingly reap in kind. Yup. Sow otherwise, reap bountifully. “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart (as they have decided), so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make ALL grace abound toward you; that ye, ALWAYS having ALL sufficiency in ALL things, may abound to every good work” 2 Corinthians 9:8 #emph.mine

Some people don’t give cuz they are not careful. Paul said “be careful to fulfill it”, and some people don’t give because they just aren’t able. Nobody has nothing. if you have $100 and if you don’t pay your rent with that you’re in the cold long term. “..according to what one has, not according to what someone doesn’t have. God expects of us a willing heart, not what we are not capable of doing.
“Jesus told 38 parables and 12 of those parables touched on giving. Yes, and 1 in 6 New Testament Bible verses deals with some sort of giving.” ~ David Jeremiah 
Do you have a willing heart? To give anywhere? To give a witness or testimony? Sure you do, you tip the waiter right? (And I don’t mean regarding me. I have enough honest). Go tell your story of what God has done in your life! 

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.” ~ Jesus

Q. Do you trust Christ with your eternity, but not yet to get you through this week? But Kurt, think about it. God let’s believers suffer too. True. He doesn’t really mind too much.. Christians suffering loss..or suffering anything like seriously being ripped off like from persecution, like from really bad health issues. 
Hey, all people suffer here on earth and God hurts with them. He sometimes lets it happen for a good purpose. True, and sinners watch how believers suffer differently that unbelievers suffer. I have hurt too much and been ripped off too many times said I. God still longs to bless all of us with Heaven for real. 
But Kurt, the pastors.. even in some healthy mega or non-mega churches travel more and live better than me or my relatives. You know, with their affluent lifestyles as they keep asking us to obey God as they should. Don’t mind them asking to keep things going cuz many great things are getting done in Jesus’ Name and some are getting born again. But sometimes they too fail badly. Don’t want to feel bad about I’ve failed before -- it was partly my fault sometimes, and other times it was fully my fault. Where is the recovering all, and the God who restores (Rom 8:28-29)? 
He is there understanding with you, hurting too with tears, wanting to hear your candor, longing to heal and bless -- He’ll never leave us or forsake us, believers. 
We want to give to Him ultimately.. give to healthy local churches led by Him and His spiritual non-selfish pastors, and give to the needy as the Spirit leads us. I have met so many sound Christian Pastors who for decades sacrificially give to impact those around the world. 
Tithing, offerings, giving.. not always so easy as rolling off a log especially when there’s been spiritual abuse in the past, or church-hurt that runs deep from cold religious so called churches. We can still trust the Lord during these last days of trials, of ISIS and of harvesting and other persecutions. Think about it. Some people must still help fund the Great Commission work -- people (each from a willing heart as God directs) that receive from Christ. Have you left your first-love for some reason? Come back to Jesus. Become spiritually strong. Pray about it. 
“Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”  2 Corinthians 8:7 
“Teach us to pray.” Luke 11:1-13 
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”  Ephesians 3:20 
“Money tends to separate us in our culture, and that’s unfortunate because I’m just like you.I get up every day, spend time with God, kiss my wife, eat some breakfast, and go to work. I’m just a man. I started my career working retail, stocking shelves. I got married and started a family. I’ve lost sleep wondering about the future of my wife and kids.Now I’m entering that area of the baton exchange, and I want to do it well. I want us all to do it well.” ~ David Green, FOUNDER & CEO OF HOBBY LOBBY, A GREAT CHRISTIAN  
David Green has taken a lot of heat from the former DC Administration, but his business wisdom is surpassed only by his loyal integrity and faith in Christ! 
Legally we own stuff here, but we’re not owners really, we are managers as believers. David Green believes that generosity and building a legacy based on giving can lead to getting back what you really want: a family that stays together, prays together, and shares life joyfully. He sees the life of giving as a life of adventure. But it’s a life that pays the best rewards personally, offers a powerful legacy to your family, and changes those you touch. 
“David has publicly taken courageous moral stands with Hobby Lobby, a company he founded, but which he knows belongs to God. I loved this wonderful book of wise and integrity-permeated perspectives on God-honoring values in the workplace, enduring family legacies, and heartfelt joy and enduring rewards of giving." ~ Randy Alcorn  

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”  Philippians 4:11 

God the Son, the Father and Spirit -- kind givers! Think of the Cross where Jesus gave it all for you and me. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19  
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”  2 Corinthians 9:7 

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”  2 Corinthians 9:6 

“Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.”  2 Corinthians 9:5 

Out-dream yourself in the Lord, yes more than you have before. Dream again, appropriate Christ's healing grace. Pray for a new passion, a fresh anointing, a hunger for the Word, and a clear vision so to speak.. of what God wants you to be and do. He is more than able to meet your needs. Yes, give your life to Christ today. Start with Him. You can’t out-give Him.   

The Bible teaches us that God is faithful cuz He really is. “(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.”  2 Corinthians 9:9  
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." ~ Jesus 
During perilous times of crisis and fear, we tend to look for a leader in whose courage we can rely and in whose words, we can trust. The problem is, of course, that human leaders are fallible. So many have failed. Though their words often inspire us, their lives are imperfect. Their oratory may inflame us, but their thoughts are finite.
We need a kind Leader who never falters, whose words are true, whose power is wisely administered, and whose giving and promises never fail. We do have such a Leader, for we have the Lord Jesus! We can fully trust Him, and this kind of faith and love springing up from a relationship with Him.. literally drives out fear. His plans and purposes can be relied upon.
We rely on this eternal person. Don’t misunderstand me when I say our faith isn’t primarily in God’s Bible (pages), but in the living Word, in His person. Yes, we do trust the Bible words. But the reason the Bible is so trustworthy is because its Author is SO unfailing. The reason we rely on His good written promises is because He gives what's good and cannot lie. Our God is eternally unchanging, very giving, truthful, omniscient, and faithful, so His promises and precepts are that same way. Scripture didn’t breathe out God for us, but God breathed out the Scripture for us; and the reason we study the Bible is to obey, to grow spiritually, and to learn more about and follow Him.
I ask.. what can you give with a willing heart today? Can you give a breakfast or lunch or a coffee (I don't mean not to me)? Can you give a card expressing love and respect, and give in prayer?
"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Matthew 5:44  
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