Sunday, October 23, 2016

Luke 8: Political Whirlwind

Luke 8:22-25
(Classic Amplified)

22 One of those days He and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, Let us go across to the other side of the lake. So they put out to sea.
23 But as they were sailing, He fell off to sleep. And a [g] whirlwind revolving from below upwards swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger.
24 And the disciples came and woke Him, saying, Master, Master, we are perishing! And He, being thoroughly awakened, [h]censured and [i]blamed and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there came a calm.
25 And He said to them, [Why are you so fearful?] Where is your faith (your trust, your confidence in Me—in My veracity and My integrity)? And they were seized with alarm and profound and reverent dread, and they marveled, saying to one another, Who then is this, that He commands even wind and sea, and they obey Him?
In a previous post, I wrote about how God uses the whirlwinds in life to grow us spiritually.  Whirlwinds manifest in various forms, but this post focuses on a whirlwind that is affecting all United States residents, the Political Whirlwind.

It is nearly impossible to engage in media without hearing and seeing the Political Whirlwind.  It saddens me that our political system has degraded to name calling and lies.  Presidential debates look more like a verbal brawl than a discussion of opposing ideas. 

Then I remember how God redeems the whirlwind for His purpose of spiritual growth for His people.  In the passage above, the disciples were frightened because they thought that "they were in great danger." 

Many people, myself included, believe that the current Political Whirlwind signifies great danger for the United States of America and many are frightened. 

Will we maintain our national security and sovereignty while continuing to fulfill our national call as Lady Liberty cries out,

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

But what is the spiritual growth that occurred in the passage above?  The disciples witnessed Jesus "veracity" and "integrity" and that experience stimulated faith in Jesus.  Imagine, with just a few words from Jesus the whirlwind calmed.

Let me submit to you, could it be that the current Political Whirlwind is an opportunity for Jesus to speak a few words, calm the whirlwind with the result of stimulating our faith?

Lord, You are ALL POWERFUL and COMPASSIONATE! You do ALL THINGS WELL!  Speak a word to the Political Whirlwind and stimulate our faith in You!  In Your great and holy name, AMEN!!!


What is the quote on the statue of liberty? · How Tall is ... (n.d.). Retrieved October 23, 2016, from

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Matthew 13: Let Them Grow Together

Matthew 13: 24-30

Weeds among Wheat

24 Jesus gave them another parable [to consider], saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed [
c]weeds [resembling wheat] among the wheat, and went away. 26 So when the plants sprouted and formed grain, the weeds appeared also. 27 The servants of the owner came to him and said, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? Then how does it have weeds in it?’ 28 He replied to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Then do you want us to go and pull them out?’ 29 But he said, ‘No; because as you pull out the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First gather the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”
Matthew 24:36-43

The Weeds Explained

36 Then He left the crowds and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him saying, “Explain [clearly] to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, 38 and the field is the world; and [as for] the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the weeds are the sons of the evil one; 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. 40 So just as the weeds are gathered up and burned in the fire, so will it be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend [those things by which people are led into sin], and all who practice evil [leading others into sin], 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping [over sorrow and pain] and grinding of teeth [over distress and anger]. 43 Then the righteous [those who seek the will of God] will shine forth [radiating the new life] like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears [to hear], let him hear and heed My words.

The parable of the weeds and the wheat explains why evil remains in the world.  Those who perform evil (the weeds) live right beside those who are righteous (those who belong to God). 

For reasons unknown, God has said that uprooting the "weeds" or removing the evil from among us, would in some way damage us (the wheat).

Over the course of my life, evil has been done to me, and  I have witnessed evil done to others.  In my humanness, it seems as though the evil is doing the damage to the wheat. 

BUT God doesn't see situations from an earthly, temporal perspective.

When we find ourselves as a recipient of an evil act, we have a choice to become like the weed by reacting with evil 

OR we can respond as wheat with understanding, love and forgiveness.

Without the weeds, the wheat would not have the opportunity to BE wheat. 

SO what does wheat look like?

Earlier in Matthew 13, Jesus speaks about seeds being sown on the good soil.  These seeds grow and bear fruit to varying degrees. (Matthew 13:23).  It's the fruit that determines what kind of plant is grown. 

SO does fruit look like in a Christian's life?

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Christians bear the fruit of His Spirit as listed in the preceding verse.  Note that the fruit is "the result of His presence within us."  True fruit cannot be grown by our own efforts. 

Fruit, even good fruit, takes time to ripen.  Did you ever eat a green banana?  Yuck!  The sweetness of character ripens over time.  What develops "unselfish concern for others" and "inner peace," joy, kindness, gentleness, self-control and the ability to wait with a positive attitude as a person stays remains connected to His Spirit.  Just a wheat grain (fruit) ripens in the presence of sunshine and water, in good soil.

Dear wheat, don't strive to grow fruit; cling to Jesus (His Spirit) and the fruit grows and ripens naturally, supernaturally!