Friday, April 28, 2017

Warren Ravenstock 1 Solid Foundations-


Bible Reading.  Psalm 127:1. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain"
I remember hearing part of this Scripture verse in The Salvation Army, Larsson and Gowans musical, "Take Over Bid":  'Unless the Lord builds the house, they labour in vain who build it'.   
It is important to always have firm or good foundations to build upon. Our beliefs are the foundation for our values and behaviours. Therefore, what we believe is of the utmost matter.
While reading Matthew 13, I realized it contained eight parables that Jesus taught not only to His disciples but also to the crowds.  Six of the parables begin with "The kingdom of heaven is like...." With Jesus’ arrival, the focus of the kingdom was about to change from Law to Grace, and He preached about it frequently.
The disciples approached Jesus and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”  He replied, Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them.Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables,” (Matt. 13:11-13, NIV). Jesus quoted Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa. 6: 9-10) to the disciples to help them comprehend that not everyone would understand or accept the Word of God.  Twice Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear"--once to the crowd (v9) and once to the disciples (v 43). For those of us who have embarked on this journey, we will sometimes discover that not all people are open to understand or to receive the news of the kingdom and the gift of salvation.  Furthermore, Although Jesus taught all His listeners, but only the disciples received explanations of the parables, because Christ was mentoring His disciples and helping them to lay a firm spiritual foundation. This would be necessary for them to build their faith and spread the Gospel while building the early Church.
You might ask the question, "How does this apply to us"? We sometimes seem to take for granted the truths given to us in scripture which were hidden from those before and of Jesus' day.   However, Christians are part of God’s kingdom; therefore, when we study Scripture we need to pray for understanding, which is vital to building a strong foundation for our spiritual growth and to enable us to disciple others.

Warren Ravenscroft
Former Salvation Army Officer

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