Category Archives: Daily Living

Practical wisdom drawn from the teachings of the Bible.

RECEIVING THE TRUTH IS A MATTER OF THE HEART | THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER

Photo by Septian simon on Unsplash


This parable of Jesus gets right to the heart of what it means to hear and believe.  Quite literally.  Jesus contrasts four different types of soils and draws a spiritual correlation to the condition of our hearts when we hear the truth of the gospel message.

That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea. 2 And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.

3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”

An Explanation

10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

‘You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; 15 For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’

16 But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

The Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower. 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the [j]word, immediately he falls away. 22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

– Matthew 13:1-23 (NASB)

Continue reading

CONFESS YOUR SINS WITH HUMILITY | THE PARABLE OF THE PRODIGAL SON

Photo by Liane Metzler on Unsplash


Once again, we need to be mindful that this parable is the third in series of stories, that Jesus began to teach, in response to the scribes and Pharisees grumbling, because He was spending time with “those sinners.”

The Prodigal Son

11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29 But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30 but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

– Matthew 11:15-32

Continue reading

THE VALUE OF ONE PERSON | THE PARABLE OF THE LOST COIN

Photo by Jessica Furtney on Unsplash


How The Conversation Started

This is the second parable in a series of three, as Jesus pushes back against the scribes and Pharisees grumbling about Him spending time with, as they put it, “sinners.”

Jesus began by sharing the parable of a Lost Sheep. Emphasizing the peril of being lost and challenging the Pharisees understanding of why He was spending time with these people they looked down on, and ultimately pointing them to the blindness of their own sin.

He then transitions into a second story about a lost coin. This time with a different emphasis.

The Lost Coin

8 “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’ 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

– Luke 15:8-10 (NASB)

Continue reading

THE PERIL OF BEING LOST | THE PARABLE OF THE LOST SHEEP

Photo by Cassie Boca on Unsplash


A parable is nothing more than a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson.  This was one of Jesus’ primary teaching methods.  Below is the first of three parables that Jesus shared in response to the Pharisees grumbling about Him spending so much time with “sinners.”

The Lost Sheep

Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. 2 Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”   3 So He told them this parable, saying, 4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

– Luke 15:1-7 (NASB)

The Pharisees And Scribes Are Unhappy With Jesus

Jesus had gained influence among the every day populace of His day and this did not sit well with many of the religious leaders.  The religious leaders of Jesus time, are often found to be condescending to those that were not in their ranks.  We see these men in their positions of power, grumbling, because Jesus is choosing to associate with and relate to “sinners.”  You can feel the posture of superiority that these religious leaders have.  Through their spiritual blindness, they do not consider themselves to counted among these people that they labeled as sinners.

To address the real issue at hand, Jesus launches into a series of stories to confront this attitude in the scribes and Pharisees. Continue reading

5 LESSONS TO HELP YOU GROW IN YOUR FAITH

Learning To Ride A Bike

I remember as a young boy trying to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels. Many of the kids that lived in our neighborhood were older than I was and had already made the transition, and I didn’t want to feel like a little kid anymore.

I remember the frustration that I experienced when that bike would fall over. It seemed that I was never going to get it to stay up right so that I could ride more than a few feet. Then one day, just like magic, it happened.

I hopped on a boy’s bike that was older than I.  His bike was taller than mine. When I climbed on, my feet could not touch the ground. To get started, I put my left foot on the pedal and pushed with my right foot, sort of like starting out on a skate board. When the bike began to roll, I hopped up and put my right foot on the pedal and began pumping my legs.

I don’t know how it happened, but away I went.

A Parable Of Jesus

Jesus said something similar one day when he was teaching.

26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29 But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

– Mark 4:26-29  New American Standard Bible

Continue reading