Parables of the Kingdom of God

Jesus is God translated to us as we would translate a book. He makes God visible. His many examples of God’s kingdom teach us the way. The parables so clearly show the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught so that we would understand. There are many references to Jesus’ teachings on this. Here are just a few.

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The Parable of the Mustard Seed ] He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?
The Parable of the Growing Seed ] He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
The Parable of the Mustard Seed ] He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare it?
The Parable of the Yeast ] And again he said, “To what should I compare the kingdom of God?
[ Some Women Accompany Jesus ] Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news ofthekingdomofGodThe twelve were with him,
When the crowds found out about it, they followed him; and he welcomed them, and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed to be cured.

And Mary listened

 

December 7

Luke 1: 26-33

glorious-Mary-Gabriel26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

 

Mary had to be an amazing woman. First of all seeing an angel would be enough by itself and yet the scripture did not say the fainted or ran away. It says she was troubled. I would have been more that troubled.

The angel then goes on to tell her that she will become pregnant and give birth to a son. Since Mary was not married this had to be frightening. What will people think? How will I explain to Joseph? What will happen to me?

And yet Mary listens to the angel and believes. Could you?

 

 

 

 

God Moments…if you look for them

The past few weeks I have been blessed with what I call “God moments.” These are times when with eyes open we can see God working. One was at a visit to meet a surgeon and schedule surgery on my thyroid. In my experience most surgeons are good at their job but not the greatest at bedside manner. This physician was the exception. He made me feel heard, understood and I could sense his compassion. The surgery is not a difficult one as long as it goes as expected.

Following seeing him I was ushered to someone to schedule the surgery. In her cubicle there were Biblical quotes and words of encouragement.She was kind caring and efficient. My surgery was scheduled for the week following Thanksgiving. She remembered my desire to have it over as soon as possible and when the Dr. decided to work on this Friday called to offer that date to me. I accepted with pleasure that she remembered. She then took the time to pray for me and my surgery.

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As another of my friends says “the arangels were at work.” I could see God’s hand in all that has happened and pray for the best outcome.  God is present in our lives if we just take the time to see it.

Send your prayers for me on Friday.

Spend time with God

the-more-you-know-god-21 Corinthians 2:14 The Message 

14 The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion.

Do we really take the time to get to know God? We get to know people by spending time with them. We can’t know those that we stay away from. There are so many ways to spend time with God. We can meet in prayer, in silence, in church, and any other place that we choose. God is waiting for us. God is always ready. It is up to us.

Prayer: God, our companion on the way, help us to seek you in everything that we do. You are always there. We are the ones who back away. Remind us to spend time with you.

Rest

He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
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I have always found this verse from the so loved psalm intriguing. Why does it say “he makes me?” There is an easy answer to that. We are so busy…so prone to never stropping that we don’t slow down. God wants us to stop. He wants to us to just rest in the beauty of nature and listen for his voice. He wants us to hear the babble of the brook and dip our hands into the still waters.
Take the time to take your rest.

Peace! Be Still!

Mark 4:39 

He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.
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Finding calm in the midst of a storm is not easy. For those who experienced Dorian know this for certain. But Jesus calmed the storm. Just his words did the job. Resting in the promises of Jesus is the way to find the calm. He has told us not to worry. God is in charge. Be still and be calm.

O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!

Psalm 95:6-7 NRSV

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It is so easy to forget to give attention to our God. Church is not the only place to worship God. We should be thanking God and giving praise through every moment. We must stop and be silent long enough to hear God’s voice. We are so good at putting everything else first. Praise, thank, and listen to God at all time.s

Stillness

Work is not always required….there is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.     George Macdonald

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We have to take time to be still. Too often busy-ness keeps us moving all the time. Only in stillness can we hear the things God wants to whisper to us. Take the time for stillness and quiet so you can hear God.

God is in charge

Today I have some worries that I need to let go. It is so easy to get wrapped up in worry and it does no good at all.  Jesus reminds us that there is no reason to worry. God is in charge.

God is in control

Matthew 6:25-34 

[ Do Not Worry ] “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?

I will not be afraid!

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,

    a very present[a] help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
    though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
    though the mountains tremble with its tumult.

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God is present. He is always with us. We can take refuge in Him. We have nothing to fear no matter what happens. Don’t be afraid but depend on God.