“Three factors determine what pay an employee” receives: The amount of time invested (if paid by the hour), the ability of the employee, and the profit he brings to the company. Reward in the Kingdom of Heaven is determined by faithfulness to opportunity rather than by any of these three. …Your reward in heaven will not be determined by what God gave you, but by what you do with what God gave you and why you do it.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt”)
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” Matthew 13:13
Matthew 13 records the beginning of Jesus’ parables. Upon finishing His first, the parable of the sower, the disciples stopped Him asking, “Why are you speaking in parables?”86 The Savior gives a remarkable answer: “I speak in parables so those listening will not understand what I said. The situation today parallels that of Isaiah the prophet. I want them to hear without understanding lest they should be converted and I should heal them.” Then Jesus explains the parable to those He wishes to understand, His disciples.
The crowds who heard this series of parables returned home enthralled with the various stories Jesus told, but void of any understanding of the point He sought to make. Jesus barred them from understanding because He knew that they had no intention of applying the truths of the parables in an endeavor to change their lives.
God opens your heart and the eyes of your understanding so that you can know and apply His will for your life. Justification is never an end in itself. God justifies you in order to sanctify you. He reveals the Scriptures to you first, “to bring you from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God,”87 and second, “to conform you into His image.”88
If at any time you elect to ignore what you learn, the Holy Spirit will close your mind and you will no longer understand the Bible. Like the people listening to Jesus’ parables, you will be enthralled with His wonderful words without having any idea of their import. And tragically, you will never know that it happened! There is only one way you can reverse or avoid such a terrible state and that is to apply what He says.
86 Matthew 13:10
Numbers 1-2 Mark 3:1-19 (New King James Version)
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