When you read the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30, read it from the perspective of a “talent” as a “soul” that has been given the understanding and potential for salvation. Don’t read it as physical, mental, or spiritual attributes or gifts you have been given or actual money. Read talents as “souls.” I used to take the master’s statement at the end as super harsh, but when you read it in light of our duty as Christians and if we “hide” what Christ has revealed to us rather than share His gospel, of course that will be God’s response to us! Look back up to the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Verse 11 is very similar to Matthew 7:21-23, the most frightening passage in all of Scripture. This is all talking about souls and our job here on Earth. Be ready. Be prepared. Do what Christ has asked of you. Don’t be slothful. Don’t listen to others. Listen to Jesus and Jesus alone!
In Francis Chan’s book, Crazy Love, he warns us not to assume we are the good soil. What does that mean exactly? It is pretty clear in Mark Chapter 4 of the Bible. For a long time I assumed that I was the good soil. I did everything a Christian was supposed to. I went to church more often than the average person, I gave money to the church, I read my bible occasionally, and considered myself a true prayer warrior. At least I had that down. Prayer. But that is not what God calls us to do. Prayer alone will not get you to Heaven. What are the things you should do? It’s pretty simple. Check out this sermon by Pastor Mike Fabarez. It may make you stop and think. Then head over to my Fruit Audit and audit yourself. God bless and I pray that you are the good soil!
“The Good Seeds”
Mark 4:2-20 And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.”
Photography by Jen O’Sullivan
Blessing God Series
Rain from the Lord
Grass in the Field
Parable of the Pearl
Rocks Cry Out
Joy in the Thorns
The Sad Crown
Two by TwoThe Good Soil
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Have you considered what God has offered you? Nothing compares to anything in this world than what he has for us should we choose Him. Take a look at the Parable of the Vase to see a modern day version of this beautiful parable of the pearl.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
– Matthew 13:45
Photography by Jen O’Sullivan
My dad, Chuck Queener shared this with me and I had to share it with you. Enjoy!
When we ‘talk-the-talk’, we have to ‘walk-the-walk’
The light turned yellow just in front of him. He did the right thing,
stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red
light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming in
frustration, as she missed her chance to get through the
intersection…dropping her cell phone and makeup.
As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked
up into the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her
to exit her car with her hands up.. he took her to the police station where
she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.
After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the
door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting
officer was waiting with her personal effects.
He said, “I’m very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind
your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of
you and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the ‘What Would Jesus Do’
bumper sticker, the ‘Choose Life’ license plate holder, the ‘Follow Me to
Sunday-School’ bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish
emblem on the trunk, so naturally…I assumed you had stolen the car.”
“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:25 (ESV)
A man is asked by God to push a huge rock. He tries to push the rock but it won’t budge. He leans in with all his might, but still it is too heavy. He sits back to take a swig of water but gets right back up and tries to move it. He digs his heals in while sweat breaks from his forehead and blisters start to form on his hands. He takes another break, but continues what seems like a futile attempt, yet he still tries. Finally God comes back to see how he is doing. The man tells God that he is sorry but he was unable to move the rock at all. As he lowers his head, God lifts him up and says “I did not ask you to move the rock, only that you would push it.” The man was blessed by God for his obedience even when it seemed it was futile.
How often do we think what we do is in vain. Certain prayers are asked over and over and nothing happens, yet the Lord commands us to pray. We obediently follow his Word and at times feel dismayed and want to give up. Don’t, just obey. The Lord will bless you even if it is just for your simple yet profound act of obedience.
Maranatha! (Our Lord Cometh!)
A young boy and his family ventured into an antique store. Somehow in the midst of the beautiful trappings the boy got separated from his parents. It was too quite for too long and the parents got nervous. They started looking for their child. They found him, to their despair, in the back of the store with his had and arm reaching into a very expensive and very old vase. They hurried over to the child and calmly asked him to remove his hand and to stop messing around as they did not want him to break anything. To their horror, the child could not remove his hand. They tried everything while trying to avoid the shop owner’s scanning eyes. What would they do? They finally gave up and decided to tell the owner. He went to the back to get some liquid soap and water. They tried everything. They finally decided there was no hope. They would have to break the vase and pay for it too. The owner went back to his desk to find a hammer. When he returned and just before he was going to smash the antique into pieces the child’s father asked him, “Son, is there anything you would like to say before we do this?” and he replied in a sheepish tone, “Dad?… Would it help if I let go of the quarter?”
How often do we hold onto the trappings of this life. While it is our only perspective, it is not the ONLY perspective. God has something far better for us waiting in Heaven. The angels must pity us knowing what they know. Let go of all those things in your life that really do not mean anything.
(Parable derived from Pastor Mike Fabarez)