Category Archives: Parables

Yeshua Is The Vine And We Are The Branches

John 15 documents a great visual that Yeshua provided to help us as His followers. Read the scripture and then we can review some key points afterwards.

John 15:1-11

Jesus Is the Vine—Followers Are Branches

     1“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6“If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8“My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9“Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Let’s review a few key points that jump out to me. You may find others as well.

  • Yeshua is the vine. He is essential to supply the branches.
  • The Father is the vinedresser. He is in control.
  • Disciples of Yeshua are the branches. Our purpose is to bear His fruit. We must stay connected to Him to remain healthy and effective. We can not “go it alone”.
  • The Father will remove branches that bear no fruit. They will be cast aside and burned. This should get our attention as a stern warning.  Arguably He is talking about those who claim to follow Him or did follow Him at one time follow Him. Those who never knew Him would not be branches connected on the vine to Yeshua. We must not grow complacent! Challenge ourselves to keep knowing, loving, and serving our Father… bearing His fruit rather than our own.
  • Even those branches that bear fruit, shall be pruned by the Father so that we will bear even more fruit. Pruning is sometimes a difficult process for the branch, but it helps!
  • Yeshua also, as is common in scripture, ties together our obedience to God’s commandments with our love for Him.
  • He wants us to be joyful! It is His joy in us, not joy we achieve on our own apart from Him.

Prayerfully reflect on this visualization for our relationship with our Father and ask Him to show you areas in your life where you may be able to apply the word. Reflect on whether or not you bear fruit, and if so, if it is the Father’s fruit. When you may be going through difficult situations, consider perhaps that He may be pruning you to bear even more fruit in the future. Seek to understand His commandments so that you may obey them to demonstrate your love for Him. Pray for Him to help you experience His joy in you!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Jesus Is The Door and The Good Shepherd

The teaching of Yeshua continues to set many free from the power of sin and death while at the same time causes many more to argue that it is nonsense, or in the case of John 10, that it is from a man who is “demon-possessed”. The truth is that He is the good shepherd. He lays down His life for His sheep. Satan is real. He is the enemy. He knows He can not win, but He wants to steal, kill, and destroy… separating people from relationship with YHWH.

What a blessing to have a good shepherd to protect us. Let us seek to listen to and obey His voice. A good practice is to confirm that whatever you think He is telling you is consistent with the written word of YHWH in the Bible. Many are misled by their own feelings and perhaps even deception by demons. Yeshua’s voice will line up with scripture just as His life on earth and His teachings did.

John 10:1-21

Parable of the Good Shepherd

      1“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.2“But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. 3“To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5“A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

      7So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8“All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

      11“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12“He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. 14“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. 17“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. 18“No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

      19A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words. 20Many of them were saying, “He has a demon and is insane. Why do you listen to Him?” 21Others were saying, “These are not the sayings of one demon-possessed. A demon cannot open the eyes of the blind, can he?”

Do not be dismayed that many will reject His word. Many actually say they accept it, but it is in name only. They change the word and make up their own interpretations to live by. They change God to their image instead of changing themselves to His. However, let us rejoice in our good shepherd. He protects us. He makes a way for us to be forgiven. Ask Him for ears to hear and eyes to see the world clearly as if through His eyes and ears. Study scripture yourself. Do not rely solely on a pastor or parent or friend. True teaching lines up with the written word. Pray that He helps you to hear His voice clearly and obey. In this we will find true joy and peace regardless of circumstances that may happen around us.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Parable About Sharing Christ Through Holiday Traditions

This is a parable about sharing Christ with non Christians through holiday traditions. This is not a biblical parable, but it is similar to historical choices that the church has made regarding holiday traditions.

There were two men, each of whom wanted to share Christ with others. In this situation, they both wanted to reach Buddhists, but they had very different approaches.

The first man decided he would reach them with only the instructions laid out in the Bible. He knew it would be hard. He was dedicated to putting in the hard work to reach and serve them and to bring them only the truth of the God’s word from the Bible. He knew this may not bring the biggest crowds, but he wanted to ensure those who did respond to the message would genuinely be led toward Christ and a fruitful, Biblical relationship with Him. He worked tirelessly and met much resistance. He taught them about the appointed times of God in Leviticus 23 and taught them how and when to celebrate what God had instructed rather than what man had made up. Many were very attached to the traditions and customs they grew up with. Many rejected the message of the Bible, but those that did come truly came to know Christ and His teachings. They had to make hard choices and walk away from many traditions that were dear to them. They had to change even things they enjoyed to put Christ first and live His way. For those who judged by counting the number of “converts” or the number of people attending services, this ministry was deemed not very successful. But God saw those who were truly reached for Him and smiled. People had been reached with the truth and come to Him on His terms with repentance, thanksgiving, love and submission in their hearts. Their lives were fully transformed.

The second man observed the limited results of the first man’s efforts. He saw how many of the Buddhists refused to give up their traditions and practices, even if they were willing to listen about Christ. He had a different idea. He was sure he could make it easier for people to come accept Christ if he let them keep many of their traditions and just relabeled them with Christian meaning. He observed the Buddhist traditions and holidays. He compromised purity of the gospel of Christ by blending Biblical teaching with Buddhist teaching. For one example, he embraced Buddha statues. He said they represent God’s provision and abundance rather than Buddha. He understood that God says in the Bible not to worship Him the way that the pagans worship their Gods, but he thought that was too extreme for today’s situation. He could make this a good thing and lead people to Christ by using the pagan traditions. He had many more people show up to his services and accept Christ. For those who counted success by counting the number of people, this ministry seemed much more successful. God, however, was sad. He saw now a group of people who had not repented of their sin. They had not walked away from the things that He said were bad. They had not chosen to put Him first in their lives. They simply added Christ’s name and some of His teaching on top of the traditions and beliefs they previously held. Now they had a blended teaching which kept the people farther from Him, all the while making them comfortable that they had accepted Christ, though they had not changed their lives fully. They gave Christ only part of their attention and obedience. He was not first. Rather family traditions and pagan worship traditions remained first in their hearts. They had “fit God in” around those other things.

Most Christians today would find the approach of the second man unacceptable. They clearly see that Buddhism is separate and can not be blended with Christianity to get a godly result that Christ would be pleased with. If I said I was going to put up Buddha statues instead of a Christmas tree, they would confront me on it as wrong. However, if we study the history of Christmas for such things as evergreen decorations, Christmas trees, holly, yule log, gift exchange, and even the choice of Dec 25 itself we would find that all of these things started as pagan celebrations and traditions as part of their worship. The only difference is that the church accepted blending with these things so long ago that most of us have grown up with them as emotionally charged family traditions. Most of us have grown up with them with Christian labels and symbolism painted on top of pagan practices. Rather than turn away from them to please God, many convince themselves that they can make good what God said was bad by attaching different meaning. However, usually when I use the example of a Buddha statue, these same people see it as clearly wrong, because they do not have the bias of having grown up with the traditions, celebrated in the name of Christ. The two are not actually different except in timing.

My sincere hope is that all who read this pray about it, study the history of Christmas, study God’s word for where He says not to learn the way of the pagans, not to worship Him the way they worship and reflect on whether they are ready to really put God first and hold nothing back from him, including precious and emotionally important traditions of man. Let nothing come before Him in importance. Hold nothing back. Yes it is hard, but you will grow ever closer to Him the more you put Him first in your life in all ways.

I recognize that this is an emotional subject for many and admitting that we should change is very hard. Even if we accept it and change our behavior, there will be much difficulty among family. This is to be expected when we stand for Christ above all others. Jesus said so himself in Matthew 10:23-39.

32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.

35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36     Your enemies will be right in your own household!’[l]

37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

The Parable of the Two Fathers

This is not a biblical parable, but one based on biblical teaching and in fact it is a true story many times over.

In a certain town there were two fathers who were neighbors, each of whom had a son. Both men wanted to honor God. They both went to church every Sunday and prayed with their sons every night. They both read the Bible with their sons.

The first father truly wanted to submit his life and that of his family to God, even if it was difficult at times. The father was sometimes mocked for being different from those around him when he was standing up for God, and his son noticed. The father refused to lie to his son, and his son noticed this also. This father always remained clear that there is only one God, whom we can know through Jesus Christ. He taught his son that God has already defined what is good and bad and there are real consequences for sin, which is to say… rebelling against God’s instruction and authority. As the son grew older, he sometimes wondered how he could know Jesus was real since he could not “see” him or “touch” him but accepted it because his father was always honest with him. He learned to stand for Jesus even when it was hard, because he learned by watching his father.

The second father was content to continue living his life in the traditions of his parents and grandparents. It felt comfortable, most of his friends and neighbors lived their lives in a similar manner so there was no conflict. He did not feel that God really cared that much about some areas of how he and his family led their daily lives. He told his son that Jesus was the way to God, but he also liked to tell his son seemingly harmless made up stories about make believe characters. He enjoyed telling his son about the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, and of course Santa Claus. He continued the stories for many years until finally his son would learn on his own that each story was not true. The father even went out of his way to provide false evidence that the stories were true… like money under the pillow for a tooth, or telling his son that the bunny hid the eggs and brought him a basket, and of course having lots of presents at Christmas… all from Santa.  He even ate cookies and milk on behalf of Santa. After all, it’s just a bit of fun. What harm can it do?

As the son of the second father grew older, he was confused. The son sometimes wondered how he could know Jesus was real since he could not “see” him or “touch” him. He loved his father, but throughout his life his father had lied to him and even gone out of his way to fake evidence in many make believe characters. He could not help  but wonder if Jesus and the Bible were like the rest of the made up stories and he had many doubts.

Ask yourself about each of the made up stories that you may tell… “Is lying to my children about this really honoring God or teaching God’s message effectively?” (To be clear, lying is when you convince your child the made up story is true… not just telling them a fictional story.) But let’s go further, beyond even lying to your children and the possible mistrust that creates for more important issues later.

Let’s take the story of Santa Claus as a representative example and see what it teaches. I will name a few, you can probably think of more.

  • The focus of Christmas, especially for kids, is “What stuff do I get?” With Santa, the story does not even focus at all on giving but rather only on getting. Trying to tell a child Christmas is about Jesus, but then overwhelming them with presents and made up stories about Santa is like telling a child to eat a carrot and then putting in front of them a table full of cookies, brownies, cakes, and ice cream. At the very least, the table of desserts is a major distraction. In most cases, the children will remember the desserts long after they forget the carrot.
  • Gifts are not received from parents out of love, but rather you receive gifts because you deserve them. You were “good”.  Rather than a sign of love and sacrifice from parents who worked to earn money and chose to spend it on presents… it is a right to get gifts.
  • Supposed accountability for “bad” behavior (e.g. coal in the stocking) never really happens. There really is no punishment for poor behavior… or perhaps we just need to do more good than we do bad… and then the bad is ok.
  • There is another person, different from God, that has god like powers. He is essentially all knowing, very powerful, and can be in many places at the same time. He is eternal. He judges who is good and bad.
  • After spending years lying to children and convincing them that Santa is real, even when they start to recognize it and ask questions, we will then tell them it was all in fun… but trust me about Jesus.

Santa is in fact accepted around the world by many because he is absolutely not pointing to God, but rather distracting attention away from God or replacing God completely. Christians and non-Christians alike  accept him. In one very recent example, Santa’s picture was used as a spokesman for a billboard campaign by atheists basically saying we can be good without need of God. “Go ahead and skip church! Just be good for goodness sake.” (link to article here). [How an atheist can define “good” while claiming there is no God is an interesting conversation for another day.]

I recognize that this is an emotional subject for many and admitting that we should change is very hard. Even if we accept it and change our behavior, there will be much difficulty among family. This is to be expected when we stand for Christ above all others. Jesus said so himself in Matthew 10:32-39.

32 “Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But everyone who denies me here on earth, I will also deny before my Father in heaven.

34 “Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.

35 ‘I have come to set a man against his father,
    a daughter against her mother,
and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
36     Your enemies will be right in your own household!’[l]

37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine. 38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it.

We each must decide whether or not we submit to God fully or hold tightly to the traditions of man. By the way… study of the new testament clearly shows that clutching to the traditions of man was the way of the Pharisees and Sadducees, not the way of Jesus.

God wants his people to be holy (set apart for God’s use) and righteous (living according to God’s commands rather than the world’s). He wants us to put Him first, above everything else.

Challenge yourself to objectively evaluate your traditions and seek first the kingdom of God. Do not dismiss this quickly but rather prayerfully seek God to show you the truth of His word and how to apply it in your life.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? If you die today, do you know for sure that you would be with God in heaven? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Humility Draws Us Nearer To Our Father

“… for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” [Yeshua]

Luke 18:9-15

The Pharisee and the Publican

     9And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11“The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12‘I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14“I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Humility allows us to draw closer to our Father. Pride and self sufficiency create barriers to keep us separate from Him. We are all sinners, though not with the same sins. Let us all come before Him with humility and a repentant heart. Let us not grow complacent with where we are in our journey to Him, for if we think we have reached the destination, that is as far as we will ever go.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Pray At All Times And Do Not Lose Heart

Yeshua encouraged His disciples to pray. We should take this lesson to heart and pray at all times.

Luke 18:1-8

Parables on Prayer

     1Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, 2saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. 3“There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ 4“For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, 5yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” 6And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; 7now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8“I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

This Offer Expires When You Do

YHWH graciously and with lovingkindness allows us our entire lifetime to repent and turn to Him… to make Him lord over our lives… to ask forgiveness. But the offer of forgiveness does expire… it expires when we do. Once we die and move on to either heaven or hell, it is too late. There is no amount of prayer or regret that can influence where we spend our eternity after we die. We were given the chance and chose to go our own way.

Luke 16:19-31

The Rich Man and Lazarus

      19“Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. 20“And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, 21and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores. 22“Now the poor man died and was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom; and the rich man also died and was buried. 23“In Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far away and Lazarus in his bosom. 24“And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’ 25“But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony. 26‘And besides all this, between us and you there is a great chasm fixed, so that those who wish to come over from here to you will not be able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’ 27“And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, that you send him to my father’s house— 28for I have five brothers—in order that he may warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’ 29“But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ 30“But he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ 31“But he said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Consider verse 31, YHWH has indeed raised Yeshua from the dead and documented it well. Yet many refuse to believe even with someone raised from the dead.

Reflect on your life and the lives of those you know and love now, while you have time. If there are some you want to reach, if you need to repent and seek forgiveness… do so without delay. None of our tomorrow’s are promised to us, no matter how young and healthy we may be. Eternity is at stake.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

A Lesson We Can Learn From The Worldy

Luke 16 documents a teaching from Yeshua which on the surface may be confusing to some… appearing as if Yeshua Praising The Unrighteousness Of A Servant To His Master. This is certainly not the case. It becomes obvious when studied in the broader context of scripture, however let’s look at the specific passage in Luke. However, there is a lesson for us as believers to pay attention to in this passage of scripture. Let’s be careful not to miss it.

Luke 16:1-9

The Unrighteous Steward

     1Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. 2“And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4‘I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ 5“And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6“And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7“Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8“And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. 9“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

 The master praised the unrighteous steward only in his cleverness, not in his dishonest actions. Often the worldly, hungry for selfish gain, demonstrate great cleverness in their selfish pursuits.  They have a passion and are driven to accomplish their goals no matter what the barrier or setback. Followers of Christ, on the other hand, may often be susceptible to complacency and fail to pursue their relationship with Him as passionately and with as much drive as the unrighteous pursue their goals.

Further, we all have temporary access to resources in this life. We have different amounts we steward, but none of it is ours. It all belongs to our master, the Lord. Will we use it wisely and store up treasure in heaven for when we no longer have the opportunity to use it? or will we squander the opportunity just wasting it on ourselves and have nothing to show for it at the end of our lives? There is no one but God in whom we can invest that can help us in eternity.

Let us focus on the right object to pursue, the Father through Yeshua, but then also pursue Him with passion, drive, cleverness, even desperation greater than the unrighteous pursue their selfish gain. Settle not into complacency and “comfort zone”, but ambitiously pursue God and our relationship with Him. In this way we will live a fulfilling life pleasing to Him and store up treasure in heaven.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

He Who Is Faithful In Little Things, Is Faithful In Much

Yeshua is teaching at several levels in Luke 16. The parable highlights the cleverness that those of the world often demonstrate in their pursuit of selfish gain and reminds us as believers that we should act with similar enthusiasm and desperation to seek and honor the Lord… though clearly we act with different motivations and goals.

At a broader level, the Lord is also reminding us of another lesson we each should take to heart…

Luke 16:10 “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.

We should take heart. Every day we are alive we have an opportunity to honor and glorify YHWH through our actions and attitudes. The more we demonstrate we are worthy to be trusted as His servants, the more He trusts us with. This is not necessarily financial gain, but rather even richer treasure than money and gold… the kingdom of heaven.

Luke 16:1-16

      1Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. 2“And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3“The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4‘I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ 5“And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6“And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7“Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8“And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. 9“And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.

      10“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11“Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12“And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13“No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

      14Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him. 15And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.

      16“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17“But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

The Pharisees are rebuked because they could not be trusted with the Law and the Prophets. They led the people astray. As such, they would not be trusted for YHWH to reveal to them the gospel of the kingdom of God. They could not see and understand who Yeshua was, because they were not trustworthy before YHWH. If they were genuine in their faith, their entire history and faith was leading them to look for Messiah to come. When He came, they missed it… because they were not trustworthy before the Lord in lesser things.

Devote yourself to prayer, worship, and Bible study. Set aside time to listen to the Lord and ask the Spirit to transform you from within to be trustworthy and loyal servant. Demonstrate your faith by obeying YHWH in small things He has already entrusted to you. He will trust you with more as time goes on and you demonstrate you are worthy of His trust. He will reveal to you the kingdom of God. Don’t miss it for want of temporary pleasures and gain of this world. There is no greater joy than walking in relationship with Him.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

 

A Parable For Those Who Reject YHWH… You Can Return. He Is Waiting Eagerly For You.

Don’t overlook this parable because you know it well. Take time to read it and really dwell on it. Pray for God to really open your eyes to its core message in a personal way.

YHWH is the forgiving Father. Many of us are or have been the prodigal son. Many openly and consciously choose to reject and leave our Father for what they think is a better life. They may leave with the utmost of disrespect to Him. This is different than simply being lost and not knowing the way. The prodigal son made a conscious choice to leave and seek something else he thought was better.

The Father lets us go. He will not chase us down and beg us to stay. We are granted freedom. However, for those who are fortunate enough to realize later how bad the choice is that they made… if they repent and come back to the Father, He will run to meet them. He is always ready to accept us back, no matter how much disrespect we showed Him by our leaving Him. But we must choose to humble ourselves, repent from our selfish and wicked ways, and return to the Father asking forgiveness and committing ourselves to obedience to Him.

Luke 15:11-32

The Prodigal Son

     11And He said, “A man had two sons. 12“The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13“And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14“Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15“So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16“And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17“But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

      25“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26“And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27“And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28“But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29“But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31“And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

What amazing grace and love our Father has for us! Praise Him and come with thankful heart.

Psalm 84:10

       10For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.