Revelation 1:4-8 – Who is Speaking to Us?

Read Revelation 1:4-8

We see Revelation is being written as a letter from John to the churches in Asia. I was thankful for a side note to clarify this is not what we know today as Asia, but rather a Roman province in what is now western Turkey. I am guessing there were more than 7 churches in that region, but we know the number 7 signifies completeness. The seven chosen here should represent all churches.

We see a salutation that we may recognize from Paul’s letters. Grace and peace to you. Such a wonderful greeting, don’t you think. John is quick to add who this greeting is from. We see what could be interpreted as the “Trinity” here. From God the Father, God the Spirit, and God the Son. The authority from heaven will be speaking to us, just as it did in letter form to the audience of churches.

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Mark 4:1-20 – Harvest Time

Read Mark 4:1-20

In light of the time of year I am first writing this, it is very appropriate. My friends in the field are busy with harvesting the crops that they planted earlier in the season. The farmer in our parable today is God, and his seeds are producing another kind of crop.

Each time I hear a parable, even if I’ve heard it many times before, it takes on a new meaning and a new beauty. Teaching in parables is genius, and Jesus knew exactly what he is doing. Do you think all of the people understood? Probably not, but Jesus broke it down for those closest to him, and we have privy to that same revelation.

Jesus also clears up the matter I’ve been struggling with in previous posts about the teachers of the law. He reminds us that their actions fulfill prophecy (Isaiah 6:9-10). While I knew that in my heart, my head is happy to have the actual Bible reference.

So what about you – what type of soil are you? When the seeds are scattered, are you surface level, being choked by circumstances or fertile and open? As followers, I’m sure we all want to enthusiastically claim the latter. If truth be told, can’t we see ourselves in all of the examples? I sure can.

Satan lies in wait to swoop in if there is a chance that a new believer may be born. Satan will also use circumstances to cloud our minds and harden our hearts. Finally, Satan will dangle materialism and evoke worry so that the good things we hear (and try to practice) are crowded out by earthly desires. Good news–Satan’s power is limited by the blood of Jesus. We can stand firm and thwart Satan’s attempts to have us believe in lies.

We need Jesus to help. We are not strong enough on our own. That’s where the problem lies. We can’t combat Satan on our own. We may think we’re tough, but we are not. Satan’s grasp is tight, but Jesus’ loving embrace will loosen that grip. It’s all about Jesus. He will water our soul and nourish us so that we have no more hunger for the prizes Satan offers.

I am reminded of a saying, “you can’t take it with you,” when it comes to what we’ll return to Heaven with. We don’t have to pack, Jesus just wants us. He doesn’t care about our possessions, but he does care about our heart. How did we love, how did we share, how did we give? Those things keep the soil fertile and help produce a much larger crop.

Think about the soil of your heart right now. Are you ready for more Jesus?

Let’s pray. Father, you are so good and so timely with this message today. When the worries of the day crowd in and threatened I need to stand firm and call upon your name. It is your strength that I need to stay strong, to be ready for more of you. Please continue working in me to cultivate me to be able to reach more people in your name. Use our business as a means of touching those who might not otherwise have seen your love in action. May all I say and do this day be a reflection of your goodness and mercy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.