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Friday, November 10, 2017

2017.11.10 Hopewell @Home ▫ Mark 4:21-34

Questions for Littles: Where is a lamp to be set (v21)? What will happen to hidden and secret things (v22)? What should believers do with what they hear, according to v24-25? What doesn’t a person who scatters seed know (v27)? Who makes the things in v28 happen? Who enjoys the result in v29? How big is a mustard seed? How big is a mustard tree? For how much of Jesus’ public teaching did He use parables? When and to whom did He explain them?
In the Gospel reading this week, we continued to hear about those to whom Jesus has “given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God” by giving them “ears to hear.” The first question for us, of course, is whether that describes me?

Have I responded to the Scriptures as a divine rescue mission to bring me to faith in Jesus Christ, freeing me from slavery to sin and Satan? Have I rejected worry to have Christ as my confidence, and rejected worldliness to have Christ as my joy? Do I take His Word, day by day and week by week, as the operating system of my heart—directing how to think about, feel about, and respond to everything and everyone in my life?

Notice that this isn’t the same as doing so perfectly or even particularly well—but it is a habit of heart and mind in our life of clinging to Christ. Indeed, the Word to which we cling tells us that we will fail often, but it gives us a prescription for renewed faith and reinvigorated repentance whenever we do, coming again and again to Him to whom we eternally belong by His blood.

The next question is: what now? The answer: tell others. They won’t be in the dark forever. One day, they will know plainly about Jesus… and they will know that you knew and could have told them. If you had light and hid it, they will find out. That’s the convicting message of v22-23. So, v24 tells us, remember what to do with what you heard, because in addition to their finding out (v22), the Lord Himself responds with reward. Tell others about Christ!

Perhaps you don’t think it will have much effect. This is the way we often shrink away from telling others. But v26-29 rebuke us in this. Simply put: you do your part, and let the Lord be the Lord. You have no idea when He is going to make that word you speak bear an abundant crop in those who hear. You just scatter the seed, and when the Lord produces the harvest, you rejoice!

In fact, it is the Lord’s pleasure to take even the smallest evangelistic moments to produce the biggest results (v30-32). So, let us be generous in our scattering, and see what He might do. What are we waiting for? What good reason could we possibly have for keeping the gospel to ourselves?

After all, since it glorifies God to be the One who opens the eyes, ears, and hearts, we should not be surprised when He takes what we thought would be nothing and makes it great—that way, it is all the more obvious to everyone that God alone has done this!
How many conversations with unbelievers have you had this week? Where and how could you have more? What are some ways of bringing into those conversations what Jesus has done for sinners?
Suggested songs: ARP180 “Christ Shall Have Dominion” or HB141 “O for a Thousand Tongues”

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