Encouragement of the Day

luke 18:1 ~ The parable of the persistent widow ~ “Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never lose hope
That verse totally stuck out in my reading tonight. I kind of randomly opened up somewhere, with a heart that “God would show me something really cool” and ooohmygosh, yep, this was exactly the kind of verse that’d put that kind of smile on my face. Don’t lose hope, just keep praying, God will give you the desires of your heart, just stay faithful and don’t lose hope. 🙂

And then there was a quote from a book that kept popping into my head all day so I finally looked it up exactly…”Media never reasons with us in its attempts to convince us to love lust and sin. You never see a CEO of a television network stand in front of a flip chart explaining why adultery is good–[but through emotion they make it] seem appealing.” –Not Even a Hint

Yep, it doesn’t reason. It just lies and says “this will bring you happiness”–but it won’t, not for long, its never a lasting happiness, its always just a mirage of imminent happiness…not like the kind of lasting happiness that comes from God.

Luke 8:4-15 ~ The Parable of God’s Seed (and how the devil tries to eat you alive)

Ways the Evil One will try to keep you from being a fruitful Christian:
1) fill you with worries
2) distract you with riches
3) distract you with pleasures of the world
4) encourage you to give up easily at the first sign of trouble
5) encourage you do doubt God and doubt the truth of God’s teachings
6) choke you with “weeds” (aka something “useless, detrimental, or worthless”)
7) leave you somewhere “rocky” and unforgiving
8) starve you of the water you need to survive (being washed in water is symbolic of repentance in Mat3:11, so this might mean you are being kept from repentance or don’t know you need to repent)
9) be eaten alive (revelation 19:21) – interesting parallel: birds gorging themselves on flesh, and here birds eating living seed)

To Produce Good Fruit:
1) Have a good, honest heart
2) Obey God
3) Be patient and let your fruit have time to ripen
4) See and understand, don’t just look and listen
5) let your light shine before mankind (light being symbolic of God’s presence)

and the fire in my soul is back! I feel that radiance bursting through as the truth becomes evermore clear. Just as it says but a couple verses later, “Everything that is hidden will become clear”…”so make good use of what you have”

Feeding of the 5000

Wow, I just had the coolest revelation as I was reading my bible. I was reading Luke, chapter 9, the section about how more than 5000 were fed. Like all of a sudden, as I read that Jesus told them to sit in groups of 50, it just popped into my head the statistic that the “average” church has about 50 people who go to it. They were fed–like how the church feeds “spiritual food”. Wow, how blindingly obvious, of course he’s talking not just about bread, but of the “bread of life”–Jesus. The churches are feeding Jesus to the people. So cool.

Hmm, maybe there’s a good reason for that size of 50 in terms of a group and effectiveness at being spiritually fed. The other interesting thing is there were 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Five loaves is about 1000+ people, well, families really per loaf–they didn’t count the women or children in their number of people, making 20+ groups of 50 per loaf. And the coolest part, all that leftover bread? Being left with crumbs of 12 loaves? That is SOOO cool when you think about what that means at a spiritual level–you end up with more of the spiritual food than you started with by sharing it, and they had to have picked up some new followers to share God’s glory with along the way.

The two fish…that’s a little tougher, symbolically. Luke 5, Jesus tells his disciples “from now on you will fish for people” and in John 21 Jesus tells his diciples they’re fishing in the wrong place, they reason they weren’t catching “fish” was because they were not looking in the right place, or perhaps not at the place AND time where the fish were where they looked. Here’s another interesting thing about that–when they were under the direction of Jesus to find “fish” they reaped a great harvest, but when they just went out looking for fish without Jesus’s guidance they came back empty handed. Now, in the context of fishing for people what would that all mean? It would have to mean something about fishing for believers… 🙂 But as for the two fish along with the loaves of bread…the only thing I can really think to say is that maybe the fish are like men, like believers. Matthew 13:47 “the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish”. And then, as people, some are good and some are bad: “When it was full…they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.” So it seems as though maybe those two fish represent starting with a small harvest, kind of like the seed that starts the sprouting of faith, just a couple steadfast believers who know God and his joy and glory?