Monday, October 22, 2012

Scarcity and Abundance

In Adult Sunday School, we are reading St. John’s account of the feeding of the 5000.  This miracle of Jesus never fails to impress.  Five thousand men plus their families have come to Him to hear His teaching and perhaps get a glimmer of the miraculous because, for many in the crowd, there have been rumors of miracles: rumors that people were healed, blind could see, life was transformed into something new.  Who wouldn’t want to be present for something like this?
This would be especially appealing after your life has been spent occupied and controlled by a foreign power, yet the promise of God to your family and religious leaders is that God has given you this land, you will be strong, you will be great, your kingdom will never end...
read the rest here

Theron Mathis

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Bible Landscaping Secrets

A couple years ago my main water line burst.  The fix was not a pretty sight.  Half my front yard was excavated leaving a landscaping nightmare.  Years later after much work and settling, the yard is beginning to recover.

not my yard, but a close second

Turning the earth from the bottom up brought up sizable prehistoric rocks into the front yard.  My first priority to restore any green grass was to remove these large rocks. 

From behind the house, the wheelbarrow made its appearance and I bribed a couple of my children to help dad move rocks out of the front yard.  Of course, for them it was not about moving rocks but looking for ancient fossils and possible dinosaur discoveries.  

Soon the big rocks were gone, but lo and behold there were still rocks.  Hidden among the large stones were others of lesser size, still preventing a lush landscape of enviable green grass from taking root.  

So these smaller stones were hauled away along with a "dinosaur tooth" or two.  

Now the work of planting grass could begin.  As I gathered the tools to prep the soil, more rocks had moved in, unfortunately they were smaller than the last batch.  

Eventually enough rocks and fossils were removed for grass to grow, but even today I am constantly finding insidious little rocks pushing through the dirt.  

I was reminded of this story while studying to teach John 3 in our Adult Church school class.  

In John 3, Jesus talks to Nicodemus about exposing himself to the light as part of life in the kingdom of God:

"But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen..."
Light has a way of revealing defects, and like my upturned front lawn, we first see the big boulders, those things that are not only obvious to us, but even those around us.  

Once cleared, the light reveals more that wasn't noticed until the large defects were removed.  And the task continues as more and more sins are revealed and excavated from our life.  

This is why the saints, who seem beyond sin in our eyes, bemoan their own defects.  We don't feel like such large sinners because we only see one or two of the big rocks.  But they never leave the light, having cleared the boulders, they see fields of small pebbles.  

"For everyone who does what is hateful, hates The Light and does not come to The Light, lest his works should be convicted."

Theron Mathis


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