Matthew 13: 2: “And great multitudes gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole multitude was standing on the beach.” One of the most important holy days in the Christian calendar, Feast of the Ascension, is coming up this Thursday, and this week’s scriptures prepare us for it. Thus we begin today with … the Parable of the Sower? What does this parable have to do with Ascension? For openers, in this verse we have a picture of things to come.
“These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be full”. God gives us commandments for our fulfilment, not His. He instructs us to give not because His kingdom needs funding. He wants us to pray for more workers not because He needs help. He tells us to do things not to make us suffer. His commandments are not burdensome and they’re for our benefit. God is love and everything He does is motivated by love and a desire for the good of others.
If you were going on a long trip, what would you say to your family and friends before you left? If you knew that you were going to see someone for the last time, what would you say to them? When your children moved away from home, what did you say to them? In each case you probably gave them some instructions or words of advice. In today’s Gospel passage from John 15:9-17, Jesus gives such words. This passage is part of the final message that Jesus gave to the disciples the
Psalm 23: 1: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” There are so many great promises in this psalm, but they all come with one qualifier: the Lord has to be your shepherd. And if He is your shepherd, it’s implied that you’re His sheep. Sheep do nothing but follow (Matthew 4: 19, Luke 9: 23. Matthew 10: 38, etc.). So if you’re ready to follow your shepherd, Psalm 23 is for you. If not …
Matthew 7: 6: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine.” To understand this verse, know that it is not meant to stand alone, but it serves as a concluding illustration for the preceding parable about the speck and the log. There really was a speck; someone’s vision really was impaired. But pointing fingers rarely convert anyone, especially with that horribly obvious log protruding from our own eye. Likewise slamming dogs and pigs with