Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday, January 26th: Isaiah 11-13, Mark 4:1-20 - Conrad

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Isaiah 11-13, Mark 4:1-20

At the end of chapter 10 in Isaiah, we read that God in His judgment is going to cut down the nations like the trees of Lebanon.   God will wipe out the nations and leave behind some sort of stumps.

In the beginning of chapter 11, it begins with painting a picture saying, "A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.".

Jesse was the father of David, Israel's greatest king.  God chose his family as the permanent royal family.  God promised here that even though the day would come when it would seem as though David's line would "dry up", God would raise a new shoot from the stump of Jesse to assume the throne of David.    

Today we see the world as it is suffering as a result of man's rebellion against God.  In verses 6-9, I do not see a picture of the world today, but a world as God created it and maybe intended it.  People and wild animals living in harmony with themselves and one another.  Hard to imagine - I've always wanted a tiger as a pet...... 

But there is hope!  We read about the Lord's return, and the Lord establishing His Kingdom.  All glory will be given to Him on that day!  

Chapter 13 provides a tone of triumph for believers - not so much for the others left behind.  The land will be completely destroyed and God will clean out all the sinners.  I found it ironic how sin and evil is typically done in darkness and we read that the sinners will be punished in darkness.  (Isaiah 13:10-11)

It is important for us to ensure that our "seed" in Christ is planted deeply and firmly into good soil.  We need to, "hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop-thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown." (Mark 4:20)

Lord, I pray that I would have a teachable heart.  Give me the desire to continually add the "fertilizer" required so that I can grow.  Let me be a large, healthy plant that provides good fruit, not just one that is pleasing to the eye, but one that would please You.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Isaiah 14-16; Mark 4:21-41


Nathan said...

When I've read this passage from the book of Mark over the years, to often I've been distracted while ready verses 3-8, thinking of different people in my life and which seed they are, are they planted firmly in good soil or are they withering away because they're planted in rocky soil that makes it difficult to grow? I need to rather be caring for them and praying for them, instead of thinking like a judge towards them.

Tammy said...

I love the imagery of the shoot from the stump of Jesse (and love our Christmas tradition of the Jesse tree). There is always hope. There is always a remnant of believers. And Christ is coming back - where the lion WILL lie down with the lamb (and maybe we can have pet tigers!).

I love chapter 12 - full of praise for God for the joy of His salvation.

What strikes me about the parable of the soils is what our responsibility is, and what God's responsibility is. Obviously Jesus is the ultimate sower of the seed, but we are as well. We are responsible to sow the seed. Are we doing that? Are we sharing the gospel with those around us?

It is the Holy Spirit who prepares the soil, who causes the seed to sprout and to bear fruit.

We are not responsibility for the result, but we are commanded to sow.

Tammy said...

To clarify - we are not responsible for the result and fruit in other people's lives, but of course we are in our own.

Pamela said...

I thought of the Jesse tree devotional too, Tammy! When I think of a stump...I think of a dead tree. We had a big sort of stump in the front yard of our first house and in the 4 years that we lived there we saw nothing happen to it. A stump does not grow. But this passage reminds us that what seems impossible is possible through God.

The parable of the sower is sobering. Not everyone who makes a commitment to Christ lives it out for their whole lives and establishes the roots needed to produce fruit. I think this passage reminds us that we are not always rooted in Christ just because we once made a decision to follow Him. It is in daily repentance that we see growth in our walk.