MY FATHER’S HOUSE 2016 Quarter 1 Newsletter…may it bless, encourage, exhort, and remind you of God’s faithfulness.
PRAY ON !!!
Jesus Christ taught us all that is important in His word, the Bible. The parable of the sower is a familiar lesson that each of us must take heart to. Let it be a reminder, an exhortation, a revelation to be heeded. It is important enough that the Holy Spirit made sure it is mentioned in three of the four gospels, Matthew 13:3-23, Mark 4:3-20, and Luke 8:5-15.
Second only to the teaching about the feeding of the five thousand, which is mentioned in all four gospels, the parable of the sower is intricately connected to the Great Commission.
Let us review the passage…this is taken from the Gospel of Mark, ESV
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.
Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear. And when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parables.
> In this last verse of this section the Lord calls for us to have understanding, of the Spirit, and to pay attention. Mark points out the reality of Jesus’ statement in verse 10, people hear it, but have no understanding.
And He said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that “they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.”
“And He said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
The sower sows the word.
> Jesus gives to us an illustration of a farmer scattering the seed, the Word of God. Not every place (heart) His Word is cast to is prepared to receive it, thus one requires the help of the Holy Spirit to understand the word of God.
And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.
> The first type of soil is a path or road. A place that has been worn out by foot (vehicular) traffic. Remember, the soil is a condition of a heart. Because it is constantly trampled by the world, there is no chance for it to take root. The adversary of truth, Satan, introduces something that is not God’s truth.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.
> Stony or rocky ground is a heart who hears God’s word, for a moment that person is excited about what they heard, but it does not go down deep into their lives, like the first; it is all on the surface. They endure while it feels good, but don’t make the time to read or study the word of God, that when they are teased about being “a Christian,” or threatened harm for being a “Christian,” they abandon that which they heard.
And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
> Seeds that fall into thorns hear, or pay attention, and take some action…but they encounter three things: cares of the world (distraction), deceitfulness (delusion) of riches, and desire (longing) for other things. If I seek these things rather than getting to know God in His word, what was sown gets choked (drown, strangle, or pushed out), which leads to an unfruitful life.
But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
> Good soil are those who hear the Word (believe), accept it (obey) and bear fruit (evidence in lifestyle). A surrendered life is one that produces the fruit of the Spirit, see Galatians 5:22-25
Where does the Great Commission fit in all this? Jesus says,”Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you
alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:19-20 KJV
To disciple means to teach. To be a disciple means to learn from our Teacher. He promised, that He will be with us, even to the end. Without the teaching of Jesus in the life of those who have been baptized, how will one grow? 2 Peter 3:18 Selah…think about it.
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.” Malachi 3:16
Imagine the Lord listening to and hearing every conversation you have about Him with a friend.
About all the things that He has done, the things that He is presently doing and the things still future that you are confident He will accomplish for you. Imagine.
You should be ecstatic to know that according to His Word, He writes them all in a “book of remembrance“. You ever wonder what this book will contain as far as the stuff you’ve shared all these years? To a long-lost friend? To your husband or wife as you spend an afternoon hiking up the hills in Winchester?
To your sons and daughters as you shared a meal and family time with them?
What about the person who sat next to you enduring 16 hours of cramped seating on your flight to India?
Or the exchanges you’ve had with those who came to you as a client, and sat them on a chair for consults, only to find out that like you, they also love and fear the Lord? Are you remembering?
Our Father remembers all those “God talks” you’ve had, and will continue to have in the years to come. With Jesus, He shares your joy and even makes the time to write them all and keep every line stored in a “book of remembrance”!
Oh, what God will do to to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Imagine that.
Noah Webster says it means, to recall, to remind.
Chuck Swindoll expounds it even more, and I have not forgotten it. To remember, according to CS, is “to act in one’s behalf”. The archaic definition is “bethink” which really just means to cause (oneself) to consider. Imagine this my friend, when God remembers, He causes Himself to consider in your behalf! He acts in your behalf!
So the next time you ask God to remember you or His promise to you, think differently. Bethink. Consider Jesus and act in His behalf. It is my hope that you do.
A couple more verses for you to consider.
“Then God remembered Noah…” Genesis 8:1
“Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, And the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.'” Ecclesiastes 12:1
Bethink what God records in the “book of remembrance“.
“How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!”
We got to serve at last week’s Missions Conference at Calvary Chapel of Downey!
It was great to see old friends, and met some new ones. Being part of the Gospel for Asia family has allowed us to take part in such events as these. To share what God is doing in each of our lives is the best part of it all.
The usual cast of missions minded people were there, Jerome of US Center for World Missions, David of Perspectives, Brent Kaser for ‘Promise Child’, Paulette of ‘Child Evangelism Fellowship’, Geraldine of Calvary Chapel Magazine, Shawn of CCBC Mexico, along with his wife Karen, and many more. It is always a blessed time spent with everyone.
Our hostesses, Zully and Maria C, were ever ready to help out with anything the exhibitors needed, thank you ladies and the missions team of CC Downey.
Pastor John Michaels was there to share his testimony. With it he gave me, gave us all who listened, something to consider. A reminder…
He spoke of the partnership that the church, as the Body of Jesus Christ, gets to be a part of. Clearly the verse we have today conveys that truth. John Michaels said that only 2 % of the people in a church get called to go out in the mission field. And when we say mission field, he meant out of the country.
You know what the remaining 98% get to do? They get to be senders. Senders of the 2 percent. Isn’t that awesome? It’s a win-win situation for both the goers and the senders. The Lord allows us to be blessed and be a blessing to others.
How does one become a sender? First, we would support them through prayer. This would be the most important way of sending someone to the mission field. Because we are agreeing with the Lord to send them in the Power of God, we lift them up in prayer, which is the fuel that allows us to realize the Heart of our Father regarding the plight of those who do not yet know Him nor heard of His saving grace.
There are other ways that you can be sender. If you are able, you can also send them by financially supporting them. The Lord will provide for the missionary, yes, that we can be sure of. But He will use you, use me to be a part of His work through those who are going. As you give unto the work of God, it is He who gives you the grace to do so. And it is to your credit when you do so, as Paul so aptly told the Philippians in 4:17, “Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.”
Now what is a sender? One of the definitions found in the dictionary that caught my attention is, “to propel or throw in a particular direction.” Picture that in your mind. To propel means to give someone or something a boost, as in you propel a baseball towards a specific direction.
What does it take to propel something? Energy? Power? Muscles? Effort? Think about it.
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2Corinthians 9:7
What a delightful Mother’s Day treat it was. Descanso Park takes you to a piece of God’s heaven on earth. Who says it’s not possible to find solace in the midst of noises that surround bustling and chaotic LA and its burbs? Come on in… Every garden walk begins with an arbor entrance such as this one leading you to the fragrant blossoms of a variety of roses from many places. The Rose Garden.
Our Father takes pleasure in blessing all His children. It is His delight to surprise us as we learn to surrender every little thing to His care. Such was this day. It was truly a God walk, exploring all the breath-taking flowers and fauna in a variety of gardens. Follow us as we followed His steps at Descanso.
Finding ourselves lost in the grandeur of His landscape, we paused for a moment in these Ebenezer seats offered by the “The Fern Gully”. Imagining the many or the few who had preceded us and pondering the same reverential thoughts of our Creator may allow you to consider how you can be His tool in the work of building His kingdom.
In this case, we have ponds draped with water lilies, also known as lotus flowers, in many parts of the terrain. When God says to observe, He really means to inspect, to look upon, to behold, give attention to, or watch carefully. The Hebrew word is “derek” which literally means road, way, or journey. The Christ-life is a going, a walking. Moment by moment. Everyday with Jesus is a nice and steady walking. It is a walk on the clouds.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the ways of the ungodly…but his delight is in the law of the Lord.” Psalm 1:1a
Frolicking and lying down to the bed of Camella blooms seemed like a very good thing to do. The Camella Garden or better yet, The Camella Road. The path covered with bright pink petals is a reminder of God’s faithfulness. We should not be too busy to enjoy the handiwork that surrounds us. God our Creator calls us to a rest.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
Make time to smell the flowers.