… This is what the kingdom of heaven is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. … the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how … Mark 4:26-27 (NIV)
Come be a seed scatterer
A kingdom of heaven gatherer.
Sow seed into wide swaths of soil
For planting is the laborers toil.
Growth comes only by God’s hand
The sprouting seed not caused by man.
Who can know how a seed does grow
Where the wind of the Spirit might choose to blow?
When he comes may he find my sack
Empty of seeds upon my back.
Sown in soils where he has led
A harvest sprouting from entrusted seed heads.
“Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Last week someone asked if I was ready for Christmas. I said yes. This week…not so much. The last minute baking, food prep, packing for travel and that one-more-box of cards to buy leave me feeling unprepared.
With every task I check off, the to-do list only seems to grow. What happened to being ready?
Mary got it right. She focused on what mattered. She spent time with the Lord rather than bustling around with preparations. Yes, chores have to be done. But approaching the list with a fresh attitude is key.
This Christmas, I’m trying to remember to take a breather. To sit at the fit of Jesus before the preparations of the day. To listen. To pray. I want to focus on what can’t be taken away.
Lord, grant your presence. Be my calm before the day begins, remain during the hustle and bustle, and linger long after the last plate is washed and crumbs are swept.
“This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10
Love is not based on our love for God. That foundation would be unstable at best because it’s based on human capabilities. Love is based on what God did for us. He sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. All other love springs from that foundation…or is it an ocean?
An ocean deep,
Is the well of God’s love—
where springs begin
and rivers flow—
it’s endless depths
no man can know.
On shores of sand
yet tides of mercy pull
and waves of grace call—
God’s ocean reverberates
for one, for all.
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” I John 2:6
So, how did Jesus walk?
Jesus broke bread and fed crowds; he fried fish for his hungry friends. Jesus broke tradition and spoke with a Samaritan woman. He did not condemn one caught in adultery. Jesus put mud on a blind man’s eyes and welcomed little children. He accepted an extravagant gift of perfume and wept over a good friend’s death. Jesus dipped bread with a traitor and died for sins he didn’t commit.
That’s how Jesus walked.
He walked in humility. He served others. He fully accepted God’s call on his life. Jesus came to connect with people and provide a way to God. He became the bridge to God.
Am I a bridge to God? A connector? I wonder if others find the way to God when they see my life, or do they see barriers that send them in another direction. Would I be willing to break with tradition or muddy my hands if it meant becoming a bridge?
Lord, push barriers away, that nothing keep others from coming to you. Help me walk as you walked.
May others find their way to God
When on my path they trod.
May barriers be pushed aside—
An open bridge beckon wide.
“…no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11
What if I miss
the good he brings
because I’m not worthy
to receive such things?
It’s not about
but a sacrifice given
that washed me blameless.
I don’t want to miss out on any good you want to send my way! Yet, I don’t feel blameless—I’m human. I sin. Yet, you forgive. You restore. You make white as snow. You bore my blame on the cross and labeled me blameless. That’s how you see me. Amazing.
I accept what you’ve done and hold arms wide open to accept the good.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient path, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.'” Jeremiah 6:16
Years ago a friend shared the above passage with me as she was entering the empty nest stage of life and looking to God for direction.
Now my nest has emptied and I’d like to move forward in the way the Lord has for me. I’m standing at a crossroads and different options vie for my time and efforts.
Where’s the ancient path and what’s the good way? I trust that he’s going to show me as I follow him. I want his plan for the next stage and would like to invest in a kingdom that lasts forever. I cling to this heartbeat of truth—that God has a plan and purpose for me. That’s the ancient path and the good way I’d like to travel.
Lord, show me the good way, that I may walk in it. There is rest in the center of your will. Keep me there—wanting what you want.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. Your love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105