FAITH BLOG

Showing items filed under “Marc Stern”

THE LOST

In Luke 15, we read 3 parables about 3 lost things, a sheep, a coin, and a son.  The audience...the religious leaders. The purpose...to explain why so many sinners came to hear Jesus teach, and even more so why did He associate with them.  

 

In the three parables, we see LOSS, but not just loss...we see the lost of something valuable.  The value of what was lost is not in a price tag, but in the heart of the one who experiences the loss.  

 

In the parables, we can measure that value by the response to the loss.  Whether it’s the passionate pursuit to find it or the joyful celebration when it’s found, both responses express just how valuable the object was.

 

Jesus is explaining His value system to the religious leaders, and what they are seeing that offends them so much is the heart of God for the lost.  His passion, His will, His pursuit of us is what determines just how valuable we are. Our value comes from the price He was willing to pay!

 

What’s even more profound is that in His manifold wisdom, He saw a fallen world that would experience LOSS on so many levels, and He chose to take this concept of LOSS and give it value.  He chose to use it as a tool to express His love for us, by the teaching of these parables and ultimately by His death on the cross to recapture and redeem that which is lost!

 

 

 

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WHAT WILL BECOME OF THIS DREAM?

In Genesis 37, we read about Joseph. Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son but was hated by his brothers.  One night God gives Joseph a dream which he shares with his brothers.  When they heard his dream, they resented him all the more.  They wanted to kill him.  Their hearts were full of hate towards him.  It was the kind of hate that doesn’t care who it hurts.  They sold him into slavery and let their father believe he had been killed by an animal.  Joseph had to have known how they felt about him.  So, why share the dream in the first place? 

I don’t know the answer to that question, but what I do know is that the same WORD and VISION that sparks hope and faith and passion and excitement in the hearer, also attracts persecution and affliction.

Afflictions come for the Word’s sake (Mark 4:17).   In the parable of the sower, the seed sown in the stony ground is scorched by the sun because the seed has no root.  Jesus explains to his disciples that when afflictions come because of the Word, those with no root are offended.  The sun represents afflictions, and a seed needs the sun.  Affliction and persecution are needed just like a seed needs the sunlight to grow.  Joseph’s brothers said let’s see “what will become of his dream”.  IT WILL GROW!  You see, that’s the real sign of being blessed.  We grow and increase in any environment, because we are good ground. Hearts plowable before the Lord not easily offended by what He allows in our life.

Joseph’s dream and the favor of his father attracted persecution from his brothers, but the affliction and the persecution didn’t kill the dream. It was a catalyst for the dream to begin to grow!  Don’t die, don’t be offended...JUST GROW.

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