Friday, June 17, 2011

Matthew 13:18–22

"'Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds: The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don't understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don't have deep roots, they don't last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God's word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God's word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.'"
Our hearts are the soil that receives God's Word. All through the Bible, it speaks of the importance of the heart. The heart is the gateway to our relationship with God. Do whatever you can to ensure that your heart is fertile soil. This means dwelling on the Word, not letting problems or persecutions or the cares of this world or the lure of wealth deter you from an openness to having God speak to you. Today, ask God to remove any rocks or thorns that would make the soil of your heart inhospitable to his truth.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Matthew 13:14–17

"'This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,
"When you hear what I say,
  you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
  you will not comprehend.
For the hearts of these people are hardened,
  and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
  so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
  and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
  and let me heal them."
"'But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see, but they didn't see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn't hear it.'"
We either harden our hearts toward God or we open them. Hardening leads to becoming spiritually blind and deaf. We can't hear his voice. We can't see what he's doing in our lives or the world. God wants to heal. He has the power to heal, but people don't always want to be healed. Not if it means giving up control. We have to do things God's way to receive what he has for us. He does not do things our way. We must do things his way.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Matthew 13:12–13

"'To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables,
For they look, but they don't really see.
  They hear, but they don't really listen or understand.'"
God's ways are not at all like our ways! To understand them, our hearts have to be open. We have to puzzle out the parables and stories, asking for God to show us the meaning and application. Jesus always tried to draw people in, but he never forces his way. He leaves room for us to respond, to move toward him after he takes the initiative. There is a reward to us when we truly listen and receive: more abundance. That only comes after we've truly listened, truly received.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Genesis 40:8, 12a, 14–16

"And they replied, 'We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean.'
"'Interpreting dreams is God's business,' Joseph replied. 'Go ahead and tell me your dreams. . . .
"'This is what the dream means,' Joseph said. … 'And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I'm here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it.'"
God was with Joseph, even as he languished in a prison for years. Joseph remained faithful in his trust and witness to God. He always gave the credit to God, not himself, whether he was speaking with a fellow prisoner or the king. This is what God used to deliver him in the end. He apparently never gave up hope, either; he expected to be delivered, or he wouldn't have asked this favor of the other prisoner. Never give up hope that things will get better!

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Corruptible Book Review

Mark Mynheir, author of The Corruptible is an excellent writer. This is the second book of the Ray Quinn mystery and it is captivating. I generally feel if I can read a book in three days of less, it has to be good. Private investigator, Ray Quinn finds himself in cases to keep him financially afloat but there are times when this retired cop and living with a painful disbility has limited options. In the meantime, his sidekick, Crevis is learning the ins and outs to become a cop himself witht he guidance of Ray Quinn in the detective agency. Ray finds himself a new client that is rich and could possibly help him out financially. As the case progresses along, of which Ray thought would be a open and shut case, it turns out to be more mysterious than expected. Without the client telling exactly what is going on except to find a computer disk that Logan Reed downloaded company information on to. Logan Reed is dead, but no disk is found. Ray works with the force to help find the killer of Logan, as well as helping his client find the disk. Ray finds that Logan had many enemies and people of interest are holding back the truth since they are afraid of landing back in jail. In the end, Ray solves the complete mystery of the murder of Logan Reed and recovers the disk. This is really a great read; if you read the first book, The Night Watchman, you will enjoy this one also.

Have a Great Day!
'Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.'

Proverbs 8:10–11

"Choose my instruction rather than silver,
and knowledge rather than pure gold.
For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies.
Nothing you desire can compare with it."
Wisdom is the most valuable thing you can ever acquire. People run after wealth, thinking that will make them happy. True wealth comes when you possess what is truly valuable: wisdom. Seek wisdom from God today, and enjoy the riches it imparts!