Posts Tagged ‘birds’

He said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:22-31, NRSV)

Do not worry!

Now that is easier said than done. I know it is hard. I have a new driver in the house and I worry every time she gets behind the wheel. Not because she can’t handle it or isn’t mature enough to be there. She can handle it and is ready to do this. I worry because of the things I can not control (as if I can control a 16-year-old!). The other drivers, the conditions under which she is driving. Not worrying is not easy.

But can any of us really change anything by worrying about it?

We can not keep our loved ones safe by worrying about what might happen to them. We can help them by praying that God would be with them.

We can help them and ourselves by remembering the care God gives to His creation and won’t He do that and much more for His children?

As the author says here, “Of how much more value are you than the birds!” You are of value to God. Remember that and don’t sweat it, because God has got this!

160626When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village. As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:51-62, NRSV)

Foxes have holes and birds have nests. But the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head…

What does that mean?

It means if you follow Jesus your home is where ever God says it is.

And you’re priorities are now what God wants them to be. Meaning, the dead bury their dead, and you can’t take the time to say goodbye…

When you follow Jesus you trust God and follow where He leads you.

Focus on Jesus and you will not go wrong!

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:57-62, NRSV)

Did you ever think of what it costs to follow Jesus?

Sure faith is free and grace is free, but the cost of discipleship is more than most of us would care to invest…

You see Jesus here tells some one that says they will follow where ever He goes, that the road is long and hard and there is no where to rest.

And another He tells to not go back to bury his father, and another that you can’t say goodbye…

We have to look to Jesus if that is who we are following. It is not about our comfort, what we will lose or our loved ones, it is only about Him.

So can you pay the costs?

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23, NRSV)

How many of us hear this and go, “Yes I know I need to allow God to work in my life to allow His word to better take root in me…”

We hear this parable and think we know what it is about. Yet do we?

We think it is all about soil. And we sing on this day, “Lord let my heart be good soil.” Allow my life to be a good place for your word to take root.

But I think we miss the point of the parable by saying it is about soil. Now don’t get me wrong, soil has a lot to do with it. But the first line of a story usually has impact on the meaning of the story…

Like ATale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.” This tells us about the story.

Or the story of the prodigal son from Luke 15, the first line of this parable of Jesus is, “There was a man who had two sons…” The story is about the father, not the sons. If it were about the younger son, Jesus would have started the parable, “There was a man who had an older brother and his father…”

So how does our parable for today start, “There were different types of soil…” No that is not how it starts.

The parable starts, “A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed…” There was a sower who sowed.

You see the story here is about the risk taking of the sower who extravagantly throws seed everywhere. Wasteful some would say. Yet all of the seed thrown by the sower did something. The first fed the birds, the next broke up rocks, the third fed the vines/thorns and the last produced the fruit of the seed. All of it had impact on the world. And isn’t that just like grace?

I mean God risked giving His grace to you. Shouldn’t He be as extravagant with all of creation?

So be willing to cast His seed far and wide, because that is what God would do, and He needs you to go and do likewise!

A little book that teaches you when to quit!

What a wonderful concept because we are told over and over again that we should not quit.

I mean really we have all seen the picture of the frog in the birds mouth with it’s hands on the birds neck with the line “Never Quit!” Is that really good advice? Seth Godin tells us it is not in this easy read that imparts knowledge we already knows but backs up the knowledge with stories of those who actually quit and never looked back.

Godin helps us to focus our energy where we can make a difference and know when we have to push through the pain, or know when it is time to step away.

This is a must read for everyone to help them see their fullest potential as a person, be that in business or just to be the best of who they are!

Godin gives us nuggets of wisdom to help us see our true potential, find the thing we are personally, or our business is, best at and bring it to the next level of changing the world.

20130807-072136.jpgHe said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you — you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. (Luke 12:22-31, NRSV)

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and it’s righteousness and all these things will be added unto you…

So goes the first line of a well loved hymn Seek Ye First.

How hard is it though to not worry about your life? We toil everyday over how we will pay this bill. Or that thing that needs to get done and there isn’t enough time. We worry about having the right look and the right phone and the right car. We worry about how everyone will look upon us. It is not easy to not worry about your life and all the things that go along with it.

But Jesus says to the disciples, consider the ravens. Now imagine if you will, Jesus and the disciples standing outside, and the disciples are worried about their ripped robes and where their next meal is coming from and then a raven flies over head. Jesus says, consider the raven… The imagery is powerful. Now every time the disciples see a raven they will think of this message. It is a helpful thing to think about the flowers and the animals who can not toil or work for things, yetGod provides for them. How much more will He provide for us!

So seek first the kingdom of God and everything else will fall into place. If we can follow Him and do Is will. Be Hos hands and feet, He will take care of us, like the ravens and the lilies of the field!

20130720-141100.jpgAnd when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold. As he said these things, he called out, He who has ears to hear, let him hear. And when his disciples asked him what this parable meant, he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that “seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.” (Luke 8:4-10 ESV)

What kind of soil are you? We sing from time to time, let my heart be good soil… We want to make the seeds of God’s word fall on a place in us that will take root and blossom into something beautiful.

And to us has been given the secrets of what all this means that means we should understand all the words that God has told us.

Do we not water the words of God when we receive them? Do we allow the word of God to get what it needs or is it choked out before it takes root in our lives?

We can help to make our lives a place where God’s words are ready to grow and blossom into the life God has prepared for you.