13.4 BSF Matthew Week 13, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

How do you get a callous?

You don’t get callouses on your hands from laziness or avoiding use.  You don’t get callouses on your hands from wearing well-fitting protective gloves.  You get callouses from friction, wear, pressure and irritation.

They didn’t get a calloused heart because they refused to give their heart to Jesus.  They had a calloused heart because they had already given their heart, many different times, over and over again to things that did not fit and they only caused friction, pressure and irritation in their life.

This is as true today.  A calloused heart today doesn’t start with a rejection of God. Normally, it starts with joining of your heart to the wrong things: idols such as self, money, fame, power.  It isn’t that people aren’t asking and seeking, it is that they are too quick (impatient/disobedient) and give their heart promiscuously to every and anything that promises (lies) to provide peace, contentment and fulfillment.  They are busy calling evil good and good evil, they lose the ability to discern light from darkness.  As the country song put it, “looking for love in all the wrong places.”

When I renewed the license for my car I received a sticker and it provided instructions to apply on a clean, dry surface.  The problem was not that Jesus did not offer them a permit, a nametag, a license for a mansion in heaven.  The problem was that they no longer had any clean surfaces left on their heart and they refused, out of their callousness, to yoke themselves to Jesus and allow Him to work with them to clean even one small area of their hard heart.

The Word of God is powerful.  If Jesus had not elected to cloak his message in parables, the power of the truth would have been too powerful and even the most calloused hearted would have bent to their knees.  You can only stand so close to the fire and continue to deny the heat.  But Jesus did not desire to brute force them into believing.  God has always given man free will to accept a gift that makes no sense to reject, but that is the true message of real love.

My Answers:

9.
a.
Though seeing they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand

b.
Many, who were not His disciples, had come for entertainment but did not repent, change or follow Him

c.
16. but blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.

d.
Many prophets and righteous people longed to see/hear what they/I see/hear

10.
whoever has, given more; does not, taken – careful: with measure you use it measured to you

11.
a.
this people’s heart has become calloused, Is 5:20, Woe to those who call evil good and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness

b.
Try to make their evil acceptable and called good, even though it is still evil

13.3 BSF Matthew Week 13, Day 3

Today’s Scriptures

My Daily Journal:

Thinking and praying about the question regarding “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth” set me back on my heels today (no praying pun intended).

I realized that while there are worries and elements of seeking “more” that related to desires I have for security and to be able to provide better/more for my family, there was also a strong element within it for the desire to be more generous.  I realized that part of the reason I wanted to receive more was to be able to give more.  And, while, on first blush that may not sound like a bad thing, I realized that I wanted to give more without it impacting my way of life.

As I read and study the bible, I realize I have that backward.  Being obedient and faithful in small things leads to being able to be the same with more.  But, shouldn’t we take the first step in the water out of faith, not only after God has parted the water?

I think the net message to me was that God doesn’t want more monetary generosity from me.  He wants more of me.  If my idea is to give more without giving more of me, my weeds and thorns grow in direct proportion to the crops.  My field is in no better shape and I am no closer to God.  But if I give more of myself each day to God, then then confidence in Him is returned which kills the weeds and thorns in the field of my life.

My Answers:

7.
Through lies – spreading confusing messages and mistruths, spreading a philosophy of self-indulgence

8.
a.
What is enough?  self imposed pressure to “succeed/provide”.  The desire to be more generous without it impacting my life.

b.
Where is my heart? (Matt 6:21)
Who am I turning to? (Prov 3:5-6)

c.
My heart is good soil, prepared well by the work of the Holy Spirit, but I’ve allowed the enemy to plan many weeds and thorns which interfere with the production of fruit