The essence of the meaning of the parable of the weeds is that judgment is coming. In this parable weeds represent evil. They will be dealt with, but for now they remain. In today’s message, we are urged to learn the explanation of the parable, live with expectation and listen to the exhortation. Not to hear this is to suffer forever. The stakes are too high!
How the Word of God is received as it is proclaimed determines the fruit it produces. Today’s message is an explanation of the four soils representing four types of people as the Word of the kingdom is proclaimed to their ears. The good soil will be those who hear, who see, who understand, who are favoured and fruitful!
The two main reasons Jesus teaches in parables are to reveal and to conceal. The parables reveal truth to those who could truly see and hear and conceal truth to those who could not truly see and hear spiritually. Today’s message introduces a new sermon series on the purpose of the parables. They are given to persuade us to live differently in the light of eternity—because true listening is the secret to the kingdom of heaven and transformational living!
Even the best of us have days of doubt and discouragement. In the midst of our discouragement we are called to look to Christ who will provide us with his power, perseverance and faith. Even in our doubt, we can call out to Him and Jesus provides us freely with his grace. In today's message, John finds himself in prison and feeling doubtful and growing impatient. Yet even in John's despair, Jesus gives him His undeserved grace. Awesome!
Today we study the passage that contains the verse at the heart of this series - Less is More! He must increase and we must decrease. How do we prepare room for Christ in our hearts? It's time to remove the clutter of the world, and the clutter of self and replace it with Christ. God has freely given so much grace, the only right response is gratitude.
Throughout the Bible, the coming of the Christ is foretold, sent by God to die for our sins. 'Behold the Lamb of God!' was the theme verse of John the Baptist's life. His entire existence centred around Christ and knowing that nothing compares to living for Him first and foremost. As followers of Christ, like John,our lives should point to and worship Christ for He alone is worthy!
One of the most powerful themes in the Gospel is that of 'Less is More'. Jesus Christ said, 'He who loses his life for my sake will find it'. John the Baptist truly believed this and lived this belief out in his life. He lived a simple, sincere and obscure life, and to this lowly man comes the word of God. God chose him to become the prophet of the most high. Indeed, God humbles the proud, and exalts the humble!
Today we begin a new series examining the life of John the Baptist. John was a unique character - some would even refer to him as eccentric, socially awkward or perhaps even strange! Yet, he devoted his life to faithfully fulfill the single purpose to which he was called: to be the messnger for Christ. He knew the only way to true Joy was through Jesus. When John said of Christ, 'He must increase, but I must decrease' , he was sharing the way to find true life.
This Jesus - The Name above all names. The Lord of lords. The reason we celebrate today. The Man crucified for our sins. Risen from the dead. Ascended into heaven. Exalted at the right hand of God. See how He is the center of everything.
Today is Sunday, the day when Jesus rises from the dead. The grave could not hold Him. Sin is defeated, satan is defeated. For those who believe this by fatih, the resurrection confirms the forgiveness of their sins and eternal life. Jesus is now intereceding for us by the right hand of God. One day we will join him. This is the power of Easter.