Jesus taught and described the kingdom of heaven through stories and parables. When His disciples asked Him why, He gave a startling response. His disciples were granted knowledge to the parables and their meaning, but it was not granted to the nation of Israel. “For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” The context is the knowledge and revelation of the things of God.
When Jesus called each of His disciples, they left everything and followed Him. Whatever knowledge they had of God, it resulted to simply choosing Jesus above everything else. It was a similar choice to the message of John the Baptist, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Turn from whatever you are doing and choose God. As those in the crowds truly received this revelation, they repented and turned their eyes toward God. Receiving the revelation of John the Baptist led to the revelation of Jesus as the Christ, the salvation of the world. As the Pharisees rejected John the Baptist, their hearts were hardened, and they were unable to receive the greater revelation of Jesus. If we harden our hearts to the word of the Lord, we begin to lose even the revelation that they once had. Spiritual eyes and ears begin to grow dull.
Revelation and obedience is an increasing cycle. As each of us receive even the smallest amount of revelation from God, we must choose to soften our hearts. As we receive instruction from God with simple faith and repentance, greater revelation is granted. Those that have, receive more. The bedrock of revelation begins with the knowledge that God sent His son, Jesus, to the earth to save sinners, of which we were the worst. Today, may you soften your heart to what the Lord is saying, fully surrender to Him, and may He grant you an increase in revelation.
Our mind is often a battleground for the issues of our heart. Thoughts of insecurity and anxiety can come uninvited. Situations that cause stress and relationships that are in conflict can rob us of our peace. Beyond this, insecurities and poor self-image can bring thoughts that tear us down and produce unhealthy feelings and thoughts.
God is not a god of confusion, doubt, fear, or insecurity. He is a god of peace. Our peace must come from Him. As we re-focus our thoughts away from the things around us and the events of the world, and towards God, His peace begins to reign in our hearts. Through Jesus, all of God’s peace, comfort and His great power, are graciously poured out on us. Thinking about who God is, and how great He is, brings peace in every area because it tells us about ourselves. As sons and daughters of God, those who have been made righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ, we are defined by who God is. We have peace because we the Prince of Peace lives in us. We are righteous and good because the blood of Jesus has made us so. We can be secure in every situation because God is for us, not against us.
As we focus on God, the things of the world fade away, and the issues around us can no longer rob us of our peace. Thinking on God also transforms our self-image into a realization of who we are in Christ Jesus. It is this realization that washes away the insecurities that may be lodged in our hearts, and heals the trauma of past experiences. Today, may you fix your eyes on God, and may the God of all comfort guard your heart and mind in Jesus Christ!
The Seed of New Life
As wheat matures, it transforms. It starts as a telescoping sheath of grass and grows to a stalk ending in a head of seeds surrounded by small husks. As it changes color from a hearty green to golden brown, it dries out, and become more brittle. If left un-harvested, the husks on the seeds will break and shatter, and the grain will fall to the ground. It is a process that represents both death and new life. In John chapter twelve, Jesus uses this imagery to foretell His death and what it would bring to humanity.
Jesus declares, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Jesus, as the seed sown by the Father, is the Word of God that must enter the human heart. He died so that all of humanity had the chance of receiving eternal life. His beatings and torture can be represented as the beating of wheat during threshing that occurs at the harvest. He was lifted up, as being winnowed, on a cross, and as He entered the tomb, the Word of God, the seed, died and entered the earth. From His death and burial, He rose again, bursting forth to new life. At His resurrection, humanity was ushered in to a new age, where through Jesus Christ we can be born again into a living hope.
Jesus continues, “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am there will my servant be also.” Jesus laid down His life for us. To receive the eternal life that can be found in Jesus, we must surrender our life to God. As we surrender our life to Him, it is blessed, and bears a bountiful harvest, and in the end, produces eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Today may the seed of new life continue to grow in your heart and may you give all of yourself to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.