Luke 8:11, 15, “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. …15 [T]he ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.”
I want to be “good ground,” so when Jesus plants seeds from God’s Word in my heart., I will humbly receive them (James 1:21). Jesus gives me living water—His Word and His Spirit—for watering the plants. As they start to grow. I can nurture them with the plant food of faith that results in obedience. (James 2:17, “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”) I will diligently practice applying God’s Word to my life. I need to pull out weeds like anger, bitterness, jealousy, regret, strife, pride, haughtiness, and anything else that interferes with nourishing my soul.
Then these plants in my heart can mature and produce Holy Spirit fruit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
(Scripture quotes are New King James.)
I almost got pulled down into that snake hole of regrets. Again. This time, though, I saw the way of escape. I said aloud to myself, “I am determined to forget what lies behind and to shut the door on regrets and lock it.
Today is real. I can live in today. The past is no longer a reality for me. I can’t live there. I am determined to live today!” (“Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.”—2 Samuel 14:14 New Living Translation)
Then I thought maybe Jesus was saying, “Come. Let us reason together. Though your sins were like scarlet, now you are white as snow. Every sin was washed away in the blood of the cross. Those sins were removed as far as east from west, forgotten never to be remembered again. Even your poor choices have not interfered with My continued love for you and goodness to you.”
God has loved me with an everlasting love. His plans cannot be thwarted. He can use everything in my life to make me into the person He wants me to be. He doesn’t regret making me His child. Jesus isn’t sorry He died for me.
Thank You, Father! Thank You, Lord Jesus!
(See 1 Corinthians 10:13, Philippians 3:13, Isaiah 1:18, Psalm 103:12, Romans 8:38-39, Jeremiah 31:3, Job 42:2, and Romans 8:28.)
The Commander of the Lord’s army gave Joshua instructions for conquering Jericho. All the soldiers, as well as seven priests carrying trumpets, were to march around the city once a day for six days. The Ark of the Covenant (representing God’s presence) was to be carried behind the priests. On the seventh day, they were to march around seven times, the priests would blow the trumpets, and everyone would shout. The walls would fall, and the city could be overcome.
So was it the marching, the trumpets sounding, or the shouting that brought the walls down? Or all three? I believe that the obedience of Joshua and the Israelites opened the way for God’s powerful Spirit to destroy the walls. Zechariah 4:6 says regarding Zerubbabel’s work on rebuilding the temple, “’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
When I encounter seeming impossibilities, I need to listen to the Lord and obey Him completely. That will open the way for God to accomplish His purposes in and through me. Those who wait on the Lord renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31). Lord, please teach me to wait to hear and then obey. Amen.
Nehemiah 8:12 “And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them [the Book of the Law of Moses].”
Yes, what reason for rejoicing—to hear and understand God’s Word! (The people in this verse understood because the leaders and Levites “gave the sense and helped them to understand the reading….” –Nehemiah 8:8)
Thank You, Father, for the insight You give me into Your Word by Your Holy Spirit and by good teachers who “give the sense and help me understand.” Amen.
I’m reminded of a hymn we sang at church when I was a youth. The first verse says, “… Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord; My spirit pants for Thee, O living Word.”* The song in turn reminds me of Psalm 42:1-2, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God….”
The “sacred page,” God’s written Word leads us to Jesus, the Living Word, and He satisfies our deepest thirst.
*“Break Thou the Bread of Life” by Mary Ann Lathbury and William F. Sherwin. Music and lyrics at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dp8oi0qjanU. More information about the hymn at http://www.lectionary.org/HymnStories/Break%20Thou%20the%20Bread%20of%20Life.htm
(Pictures public domain courtesy of http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/hledej.php?hleda=Bible&x=24&y=16 Bread picture by Gustavo Di Nucci; Bible picture by Petr Kratochvil.)
(Scripture quotes are New King James Version.)
Isaiah 55:2-3 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you — the sure mercies of David.” (New King James)
Feeding on what I hear from God as I come humbly to Him and listen—this is true soul food. He gives wisdom abundantly. I’ll delight myself in what He says, and my soul will be refreshed and revived and will live. I’ll learn of Jesus and find rest for my soul (Matthew 11:28-30). I’ll receive the “sure mercies of David—pardon, blessings, and connection/fellowship with the almighty, totally just yet perfectly loving, only true God. (The New Living Translation says “all the unfailing love I promised to David” instead of “the sure mercies of David.”)
And what further delights my soul is that this very God has made me His child through His Son Jesus Christ! Indeed, as Isaiah 55:8-9 says, His ways and thoughts are higher than mine! They are more wonderful and marvelous than I can comprehend or imagine.
Psalm 37:3 “ Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed.” Amplified Bible
Excellent blog post by Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.! Very helpful. I especially liked the part about HOW we are to wait.
Joe Quatrone, Jr.
“Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart. Wait for the Lord” (
I am in a period of waiting right now. I believe God has a specific reason for telling me to wait. My responsibility is to trust Him. I need to slow down and wait on God to clearly reveal His will to me. A lack of trust is perhaps the root cause behind my decisions to jump ahead. I believe God will give me clear direction, but I must wait until He is ready to give guidance.
In this hurry-up world, waiting for anything can cause us to lose our tempers, tongues, and good senses more frequently than we care to admit. I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting in line. We don’t like waiting at stoplights. We don’t like waiting for dinner. We don’t even like waiting for good things – like…
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I so identify with Marie on how often I’ve “hoodwinked” my own heart. Like her, “I don’t even need a lying prophet; I can deceive my own self, arguing that “that’s not really what God wants me to do,” or “maybe He didn’t really speak to me about such and such…”
A MINIATURE CLAY POT
“Seriously? You don’t even have any friends in common? You have got be kidding! If I did something like that you would KILL me.” My incredulous, somewhat dramatic daughter did have a valid point and for a brief moment I questioned the sanity of my decision. But it was too late now; Danny and crew would be arriving shortly.
Although I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of my blog followers in person over the past two years, we have always met in a safe place: an airport, a coffee shop, a church, a Christian Retreat. This time was different. I had actually invited what could be considered a complete stranger, from halfway around the world, into my home. Crazy? Maybe. But Danny and I had been corresponding for more than a year. I knew that he was a musician working with…
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