As we continue in Mark we're at the parable of the sewer of the seed and the soil. But this time the focus isn't on a dissertation of the differences but of the one common similarity, the source of the problem.
Our Good God has a pretty massive recipe box. Each one of us is a unique combination of ingredients, pre-planned and carefully selected. But we're not packaged as an instant recipe. Prep times, baking or cooking temperature, and time required can vary. It's a careful relationship between the Master Chef and the ingredients. He has His part and we have ours. Listen, as we continue in our lessons in Mark's gospel.
As Christians we tend to get comfortable. We settle in. We sit in the same pew, we have friendly conversation with the same people, sing some songs, listen to a sermon, go home and relax or enjoy our favorite activity, get up Monday and start the cycle all over again. Nothing wrong with any of that, but that's not the end game. We're called to be fishermen, but how does all that work? A good fisherman has three tactics: He knows where the fish are, he has the right equipment, and most importantly, he sets the right bait. Today Nancy's beginning a new series in the Gospel of Mark and beginning with the tactics of being a good fisherman.
Last week Nancy delved into the tightly knit relationship of our mind, heart and conscience and the relationship we were designed to have in interacting with the Holy Spirit. When everything is working, life is good. When we consistently ignore the Lord's leading, our consciences can sear over like a hot iron over a wound. Bad things happen, and oftentimes we don't even see it coming. Today we listen to an Old Testament story of just such an incident.
And the only thing you'll ever need. And it's not an it, it's a He. The Holy Spirit. Interesting, isn't it. Most folks interpret Jesus' discussion on "asking and receiving" as "just keep being persistent in your prayer and you'll get what you want". The Lord is not Santa, nor is He your genie in a bottle. The Holy Spirit is the only "thing" anyone will ever need in their entire life. If you have Him, your constant companion and guide, then you need nothing else. Are you in trouble? He'll help you get out. Do you have material needs? He'll provide. It's all about talking to Him first, not about trying to figure it out on your own. There's so much more to say, but let's listen for now.
Sometimes it takes a lifetime, or much of it anyhow, for the Lord to get us where we need to be, but it doesn't have to be that way. Actually, any place, any time, any old bush will do. Be the bush.
Covid sure has turned the world upside down for many. Life is good when everything seems pretty secure and predictable. But, we live in a different age now, and maybe the future doesn't seem quite as predictable anymore. Maybe you didn't experience as much trauma as others these past few months, but should another shoe drop and it does touch your life, and in a big way, what then?
We live in a culture of death but God wants to transform it into a culture of life.
We've all seen what happens. Pond scum, not a pretty sight. Today we're looking at Moses' experience in the wilderness when needing to provide water for the newly freed Israelites. The story supplies some great images and a most necessary application.
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