Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Luke 8:9-18

His disciples began questioning Him as to what this parable meant. And He said, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is in parables, so that seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.

“Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.  But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

“Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light. For nothing is hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come to light. So take care how you listen; for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him.”

The first section of this passage was covered in yesterday's devotion. Jesus tells a second story to illustrate the principles from the Parable of the Sower.

I have worked with church preschools for too many years to not have "This Little Light of Mine"  in my head after reading about covering a lamp with a container. Every Sunday the preschoolers at our church belt out verses promising to let their lights shine, not cover them with a bushel, not allow Satan to blow them out, and let them shine 'til Jesus comes. As they wave their fingers high, I pray that the words prove prophetic as God uses them to further his kingdom.

In today's world of light switches and multiple light bulbs per room, it is difficult to imagine a time when your only light source would be a small oil lamp needing to be held closely to whatever needed to be seen. Jesus uses obvious things from his world to teach hidden truths. No one would go to the trouble of filling a lamp with oil, trimming the wick, and lighting the fire without the use of a Zippo and then stick the light under a container or bed. No, the light would be put onto a lampstand to provide as much light to the room as possible.

The light has a singular purpose - to light a room. God's Word has a similar purpose. It is not meant to be hidden away or shared with only a select few. It is not meant to be a secret thing that only those with special knowledge can understand. So listen to God's Word in such a way that you are open to understanding, not seeking to find only that for which you are looking. Be careful how you listen. Be careful to whom you listen. To those who have true understanding, more understanding shall be given. But to those who hold fast to false notions, even those will be taken away. You are either maturing in the light or shrinking into the shadows. Which will you do today?

Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say, "He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness." And again, The Lord knows that the reasonings of the wise are meaningless. So don't boast about following a particular human leader. For all things belong to you, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God. This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.  - 1 Corinthians 3:18-4:2

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