The Soil of Receiving – 7-12-22

Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.” Luke 8:18 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Luke chapter 8 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Many Women Minister to Jesus

Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and [a]bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and [b]infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for [c]Him from their [d]substance.

The Parable of the Sower

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded [e]a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The Purpose of Parables

Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”

10 And He said, “To you it has been given to know the [f]mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that

‘Seeing they may not see,
And hearing they may not understand.’

The Parable of the Sower Explained

11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of [g]temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the 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.[h]

The Parable of the Revealed Light

16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light. 17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. 18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he [i]seems to have will be taken from him.”

Jesus’ Mother and Brothers Come to Him

19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.”

21 But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

Wind and Wave Obey Jesus

22 Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in [j]jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”

Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, “Where is your faith?”

And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

A Demon-Possessed Man Healed

26 Then they sailed to the country of the [k]Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons [l]for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.

30 Jesus asked him, saying, “What is your name?”

And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.

32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.

34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was [m]healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the [n]Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.

38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.

A Girl Restored to Life and a Woman Healed

40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him. 41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.

45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?”

When all denied it, Peter [o]and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, [p]and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”

46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.

48 And He said to her, “Daughter, [q]be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the [r]Teacher.”

50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go [s]in except [t]Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. 52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.

54 But He [u]put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. 56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 8:1 proclaiming the good news
  2. Luke 8:2 sicknesses
  3. Luke 8:3 NU, M them
  4. Luke 8:3 possessions
  5. Luke 8:8 Lit. fruit
  6. Luke 8:10 secret or hidden truths
  7. Luke 8:13 testing
  8. Luke 8:15 endurance
  9. Luke 8:18 thinks that he has
  10. Luke 8:23 danger
  11. Luke 8:26 NU Gerasenes
  12. Luke 8:27 NU and for a long time wore no clothes
  13. Luke 8:36 delivered
  14. Luke 8:37 NU Gerasenes
  15. Luke 8:45 NU omits and those with him
  16. Luke 8:45 NU omits the rest of v. 45.
  17. Luke 8:48 NU omits be of good cheer
  18. Luke 8:49 NU adds anymore
  19. Luke 8:51 NU adds with Him
  20. Luke 8:51 NU, M Peter, John, and James
  21. Luke 8:54 NU omits put them all outside

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 6:1-2-

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

God is good. So good. In the midst of trouble, temptation, and strain – there is peace and power when you just actually give up and surrender to God. I say it ALL THE TIME. And sometimes I am saying for myself. And daily – I choose Jesus.

1 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities—Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.”

We have not mentioned, in a while, the offering challenge I posed to us a few weeks ago. This past week I again asked God to provide my offering. I showed up with a bag of coins, collected from everywhere their might have been coins in my house. I am determined to make sure I do not come to God empty handed after our lesson’s on offerings (above and beyond tithes).
As a woman, with a struggling business, I stand before God asking to provide for Him and His work as He provides for me. And so these opening verses touch me – because God gave women the substance to provide. And I know plenty of men blessed to be a blessing and support my local church and the body of Christ globally. And I know my bag of coins is nothing and will not get very far – it wouldn’t even get me a meal at a fast food place. But I put it in the hands of the multiplier! I am expecting to hear a testimony pop up somewhere in the church of how God multiplied it!
I am sharing just to remind you to put an offering in the hands of the multiplier! Long to be a Mary, a Joanna, a Susanna, and many others – pray to be blessed to give to the Lord. It is a good thing.

And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

The idea of planting a seed and growing a plant is such a primary principle of life, which God gave us. Back in Genesis it says God gave the seed and each plant grew according to its kind, according to its seed. If we plant the word of God we get the fruits of the Spirit. If we plant the offerings and generosity we get back generosity. If we plant the gospel, eventually they will be saved. But…

But soil, water, sunlight, birds, etc. also have a huge impact on if the seed will grow. Today I was praying for a man (I think, because he had a beard), while he listened to a sermon. I noticed him listening and felt like praying (because he was in a dress with glamour makeup and a wig). I prayed he had ears to hear, I prayed for revelation, I prayed for healing and grace… and then I realized, none of that matters if his heart is the wrong soil, or if birds are poised outside, waiting to steal away the seed.

Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”
10 And He said, 
“To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that ‘Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.’”

I prayed that God drew him there and it was a divine appointment that would forever transform him in ways that transforming himself into a woman never could. So he MUST be given to know the mysteries of the kingdom – he must have ears to hear – he must have soil that is ready – and he must have God watching over to prevent the birds from robbing him of his seed. Only God can do these things. So I prayed God would.

11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the 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 prayed God would grow deep roots, would protect from temptation until he is established, and prevent the word from getting choked out! Oh Lord, let it be good ground! 

You see, our job is simply to make sure our own soil is ready to receive from God.
And then in relation to others, our job is to plant seed and pray for God to do the rest. We cannot grow the seed.

 “16 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, covers it with a vessel or puts it under a bed, but sets it on a lampstand, that those who enter may see the light.”

Just be the light – plant the seed.

17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light. 18 Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.”

Speaking of light, and so timely for such a time as this, hidden things shall be revealed. I CANNOT EMPHASIS ENOUGH – make sure you are repentant and all sins are covered by the blood – forgiven. We must reveal it to God and NOT ONLY ask for covering and forgiveness but also mercy and grace, that our short comings and failures do not come back to accuse us.
THEREFORE pay attention to HOW you hear. What an interesting verse merged in there. Reinforcing that we must have soil that is prepared and fervently be seeking God and His soil prep. Let’s not receive and think in pride that God would not expose us. Or even that is it just a tiny meaningless sin… if God has reveal it as sin, He is working to remove it and therefore you need to repent, turn from it or be exposed.
Exposure is running wild through the church and government. So is false attempts by the enemy to condemn and accuse – rise above by being humble and a good repenter.
And finally this paragraph says if you have, you get more and if you do not have, you get less. And that gets confused and wrongly divided all the time.
In context this paragraph is speaking of light. In the passage, we are speaking of understanding and receiving the revelation. This is not about money or blessings of possession. It is about having GOD, LIGHT, UNDERSTANDING, and REVELATION. Pray God gives you some, so you can get more and more! But if you have none or a little and are careless, then it can get plucked up by the bird, choked by the thorns, blocked by the temptations, or exposed.  It is indeed a mixed metaphor. Most parables are.

It makes since that this is where Luke points out – who is Jesus’s true family.

 “19 Then His mother and brothers came to Him, and could not approach Him because of the crowd. 20 And it was told Him by some, who said, “Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see You.”
21 But He answered and said to them, 
“My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.”

Over and over we read that if we do not obey, we may not make it to heaven. It is about a relationship and obey seems like a harsh word – but if we love Him as He loves us, then obey is an easy desire of our hearts. Not always easy to do, but we must be at least willing and trying to.

Speaking of obedience, as Luke carries these thoughts like links on a chain, EVEN the Wind and Waves Obey Jesus! Are we not more intelligent and important that wind and waves. Shouldn’t we then obey Him?

22 Now it happened, on a certain day, that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.” And they launched out. 23 But as they sailed He fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water, and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!”
Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. 25 But He said to them, 
“Where is your faith?”
And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!”

I mean it is nice to know when we are in a storm, He can command peace, and through His name so can we. BUT if he says to the wind and waves to be still and they obey, then when he says to us to have faith – we better very well have faith.

Next up is the island of unclean horrors. A tired and overwhelmed team arrive the next morning, after the storm, to the other side, for a little rest. The storm must have sent them off course, because they land at a cemetery (unclean horror number one), where they meet a man who has open cuts (unclean, two), and has been sleeping in the tombs (three), and is demonically possessed (that has to be considered unclean – four), and there are pigs, lots of pigs (five). This must have been an extremely traumatic experience.  

A Demon-Possessed Man Healed

26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gadarenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 And when He stepped out on the land, there met Him a certain man from the city who had demons for a long time. And he wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, fell down before Him, and with a loud voice said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me!” 29 For He had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For it had often seized him, and he was kept under guard, bound with chains and shackles; and he broke the bonds and was driven by the demon into the wilderness.
30 Jesus asked him, saying, 
“What is your name?”
And he said, “Legion,” because many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged Him that He would not command them to go out into the abyss.
32 Now a herd of many swine was feeding there on the mountain. So they begged Him that He would permit them to enter them. And He permitted them. 33 Then the demons went out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the lake and drowned.
34 When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. 36 They also who had seen it told them by what means he who had been demon-possessed was healed. 37 Then the whole multitude of the surrounding region of the Gadarenes asked Him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. And He got into the boat and returned.
38 Now the man from whom the demons had departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 
“Return to your own house, and tell what great things God has done for you.” And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.”

To my amazement, since everywhere Jesus goes He tells people NOT to tell anyone, here Jesus tells the man to go home and tell everyone. And just like that, they leave and are still able to tell an entire area who He is.
Verse 37 says they were afraid. I am sure, as well as other things. Pigs were NOT raised for food, but as an export to those pig eating pagans. And to lose that many would have crippled their economy for a while. Lucky for them, Jesus left behind a heal man to remind them to trust in Him.
So yeah – I said all that to say, Jesus CAUSED a recession. He doesn’t care about politics or economy – those are cares of this world that choke out the vision He gives us. He cares about the condition of our hearts. And if he has to make us dependent on Him, to learn to trust Him and build our faith, He will.  You see, bad leaders and global recession is a strategy of the devil to distract us – but God said He will provide, no matter what, so he doesn’t care what. He just cares about our hearts. He just wants to see us get to heaven. All the gold and silver is his (Haggai 2:8) and He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10). He is able to provide, so He doesn’t worry about that. He worries about our hearts and where they will spend eternity. He left the proof of the healing so nothing can choke out the message, and the healed man will tread on the soil every day breaking down and rocks, so the seed with grow roots, and no bird will carry the man off.

40 So it was, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed Him, for they were all waiting for Him.”

So much for a little rest.

41 And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying.
But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped.
45 And Jesus said, 
“Who touched Me?”
When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”
46 But Jesus said, 
“Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
48 And He said to her, 
“Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

AND unclean thing number six – the number of man who Jesus came to save and heal! A lady who was bleeding. She should not have been in that crowd. She was making others unclean. The lot of them unclean! Oh glory – what a miracle, because Jesus healed and cleaned her – and apparently everyone as well, since they all did not run to the temple for a ceremonial cleansing!

49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”
50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, 
“Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. 52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.
54 But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, 
“Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. 56 And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.”

And finally, the seventh unclean thing – seven the number of God and completion! A dead person is unclean. And Jesus says NOPE, and says she is just asleep. I do not think this means when we die, we are just sleeping, like I have heard said. I think he said this because when he raised her from the dead, He said not to tell anyone. And now they had a believable story – she wasn’t dead, just sleeping.  Because seriously, don’t you think everyone would notice a dead girl being alive and have questions?! How could they NOT tell anyone the girl lives?! They can’t hide her forever!
Not that it matter, no one ever listened and held their tongue. Quite honestly. When you have an encounter with Jesus and the transforming power of grace, you are compelled to tell others. I did, still do. I am sure you did as well!

Let’s just remember to pray over the soil of their hearts and be aware of how we listen.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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