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Mark 4:26-34 June 17, 2015

Posted by Ventura Dreamer in Blogroll.
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How does Jesus describe the kingdom of God?  Here are two within two paragraphs:
1) After seeds are scattered, some sprout and ripen. The good ones are cut down and harvested.
2) Like a tiny mustard seed that is sown and grows into a shrub big enough for birds to nest in.

The gospel writer notes that Jesus used parables to explain difficult concepts to the masses, but privately he explained everything to the disciples.

The devotion writer notes that we “simply participate” in what God plants. We can’t control much until it sprouts. We have to exercise patience as we watch the kingdom grow.

Harrell Nation, Jr., the devotion writer, states that the reason he believes in God is life itself. Jesus wants us to see with eyes of faith what God has planted. It grows through Christ!  Christ in us brings kingdom life to reality as we feed the hungry, comfort the hurting and help others to follow Jesus.

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2 Corinthians 5:6-17 June 13, 2015

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Paul writes that we are “away from the Lord” when we are in our bodies, yet we have faith/confidence that we will someday be with God and will be judged. So we should live always aiming to please our Lord.

So we aim to live, knowing Christ died so all of us can live. We are “new creations” through Christ. We have a new outlook on life!

1 Samuel 15:34 -16:13 June 12, 2015

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Samuel was a prophet not afraid to do unpleasant things in those violent days.  He informed Saul that God no longer wanted him as king because he had turned away from the LORD. He had Agag, the Amalekite king, brought before him and “hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD.”

But he did what God told him and under pretense of making a heifer sacrifice, met Jesse and his sons. Samuel couldn’t recognize the man he should anoint as Saul’s replacement  but God recognized David’s qualities. We should take a lesson from God’s instructions to Samuel:

Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, . . . for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.

God knew David’s potential and “filled him” with God’s spirit, leading David forward. We can support each other’s efforts in the same way. We can depend upon God to point out our strengths and weaknesses – and make each of us stronger supports for each other.

Psalm 20 June 9, 2015

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We can be confident that God hears our prayers, whether verbalized audibly or not. Sometimes, though, our prayers may not be the proper solution. That’s when we have to make the difficult decision to accept what is happening and go with it. “No”  can be the right answer we have to accept sometimes.