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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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“Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.”—Matthew 13:13 (NKJV)
Why didn’t Jesus give us a list of things to do when He was here on earth? It would have made things so much simpler. It would have been easier for us to have a list of things we could check off and feel good about ourselves. Yet when Jesus was here, He spoke to the people in parables. He told them stories that they could remember with life illustrations they couldn’t forget. Jesus told the disciples that the people’s hearts had become calloused. The Pharisees had given them the list of things to do. They didn’t want to hear anything beyond that.
In Matthew 13 it says that the people had closed their ears and eyes. And yet the people continued to come and hear the prophet Jesus. Though their minds were closed maybe their hearts were yearning to connect with God.
Christianity is so simple and somehow we make it so complicated. I think that is why Jesus told His disciples that they needed to come as little children. The children would come and climb up on Jesus’ lap and simply listen to His stories.
Ultimately, Jesus wanted the people to understand with their hearts, not their minds. So how can we go from having a calloused heart to a heart of understanding? The Parable of the Sower was about the heart of man connecting with God.
How do we connect with God? We believe His Word. And yet for most of us believing is sometimes the most difficult thing to do. Read Mark 9:20–27 (NKJV). This is a story of a man who asks Jesus to heal his son. Jesus tells him, “All things are possible to him who believes.” And I love the father’s response. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” This is a prayer we need to pray every day. We believe that Jesus is the Son of God. But do we believe all the things He has promised us in His Word?
God promised He will never leave us or forsake us. Do you believe it? Jesus promised that one day He will return to earth. Do you believe it? And if we really believed it, would we live our lives a little bit differently? As you read the Bible, ask God to help you believe all the truths that you read. Ask Him to give you a heart of understanding.
DIG: Read Mark 9:20–27.
DISCOVER: Ask God to help you believe His truths about a situation in your life.
DISPLAY: Write this on a notecard: “I do believe, help me to believe more.” And put it somewhere that you can see it until the Lord answers your prayer.