Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
I DON’T WANT TO UNNECESSARILY DWELL ON BAD NEWS ONLY, AND GIVEN OUR CURRENT WE ARE BOM-BARDMENTED WITH SEEMINGLY TORRENTS OF BAD NEWS. SO, WITH THAT BEING SAID I ALSO DON’T WANT TO PRETENT, PRESENT OR WORST YET, PAINT A PICTURE OF UNREAL, NONEXISTENT REALITY.
FOR FAR TOO LONG, TOO MANY CHURCH’S PRESENTED AND OFFERED A WORSHIP EXPERIENCE OF WHAT CAN BEST BE DESCRIBED AS AN HOUR OF ESCAPISM, FOCUSING SOLELY ON HEAVEN, AND NOT DELVING WITH OR ADDRESSING THE HELL INDIVIDUALS THOSE SITTING ON THE VERY PEWS, OR THAT OUR CULTURE WAS IMMERSED WITH RIGHT HERE ON THIS EARTH, WHICH GOD HAD CREATED AND THEN BLESSED.
I LEARNED AS A YOUNGSTER, AND AS I GREW INTO ADULTHOOD THAT ONE OF THE VERY FIRST RESPONSIBILITIES OF LEADERSHIP IS TO KNOW AND PRESENT THE CURRENT REALITY…WHAT WE ARE FACING, WHAT WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF, WHAT OUR POSSIBLE OPTIONS ARE, WHAT ARE OUR POSSIBLE OUTCOMES, AND CONSEQUENCES? THEN PLAN AND WORK THE PLAN FOR ONE’S BEST POSSIBLE OUTCOME.
FUNCTIONING IN SUCH A MANNER OVER TIME ONE COMES TO APPRECIATE THE GRAY AREAS, THE GRAY MATTER, MEANING WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE. SUCH TOOLS ALONG WITH BEING DISCERNABLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE METHODOLOGICAL APPROACH ONE IS OR OUGHT TO UTILIZE WHEN READING SCRIPTURE, THEN LOOKING TO APPLY IT TO ONE’S LIVING AND LIFE.
SUCH IS CRITICAL, BECAUSE AS HISTORY HAS PROVEN AND SHOWN TO US AGAIN AND AGIN IN TRAGIC CONSEQUENCES, FLAWED, FAILED AND WRONG UNDERSTANDING’S, TEACHING’S AND APPLICATIONS OF TEXT HAVE LED TO MASSIVE KILLINGS AND SUFFERING’S. THIS IS WHY TODAY’S MESSAGE “WE’RE ALL IN THIS MESS TOGETHER’ IS SO CRITICAL. LET US FOR A MOMENT CRITICAL REVIEW SOME TEXT THAT IS SOMEWHAT PARALLEL TO OUR SCRIPTURE READINGS OF TODAY, SO FOR CLARITY SAKE FOR WHAT TRGIC GO WRONG WHEN BIBLICAL SCRIPTURE IS MIS-READ OR MIS-APPLIED LET’S LOOK AT “PSALM 91:1-11”
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say  of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling– even the LORD, who is my refuge–then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
VERSES 1-5, ONE CAN AND SHOULD TAKE A PROMISE OF ASSURANCE FROM AND WITH GOD. BUT AS WE READ V-6, “…YOU WILL NOT FEAR THE TERROR OF THE NIGHT, NOR THE ARROW THAT FLIES BY DAY,(BE FAITHFULLY CONCERNED, BUT NOT PARALYZED BY FEAR)…AFTER THESE WORDS WE READ THE NEXT, AND ONE MUST USE EXPERIENCE, KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM WITH THESE SCRIPTURAL WORDS…
“NOR THE PESTILENCE THAT STALKS IN THE DARKNESS, NOR THE PLAGUE THAT DESTROYS AT MIDDAY.”
WE MUST UTILIZE COMMON SENSE, COUPLED WITH THE ADVANCEMENTS OF MEDICIENCE, SCIENCE, AND ASSOCIATED DISCIPLINES OF TECHNOLOGIES, SUCH AS PHARMACEUTICALS ALLOW AND GIVE US WAYS AND MEANS TO SURVIVE AND ADJUST OUR LIVING UNTIL CURRENT THREATS ARE REMOVED…
TAKING SCRIPTURE LITERALLY WITHOUT APPLICATION OF NUANCE, OF WISDOM, OF KNOWLEDGE, OF EXPERIENCE, CAN AND WILL ALWAYS BE BOTH HURTFUL AND DEADLY. WE READ THESE WORDS IN MARK 16:18, “THEY SHALL PICK UP SERPHANTS/SNAKES WITH THEIR HANDS AND NOT E BITTEN; WHEN THEY DRINK DEADLY POISON, IT WILL NOT HARM THEM AT ALL…”
DON’T TAKE THAT, AND SUCH SCRIPTURE LIKE THAT LITERALLY, AGAIN USE AND APPLY THE WISDOM, THE KNOWLEDGE, THE EXPERIENCE AND THE COMMON SENSE GOD GAVE AND GIFTED YOU WITH LIVE, AND NOT DO, GIVE OR CAUSE HARM TO OTHERS!
TODAY’S TEXT ARE WORDS OF ASSURANCE, WORDS OF AFFIRMATION OF GOD BEING ITH US, AND NOT NUETRAL IN OUR TIME OF CHALLENGE, DISTRESS OR TROUBLE, BUT THEIR WITH US. THESE TEXT NEARLY PREACH FOR THEMSELVES;
Teach me your way, Lord,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.
14 Arrogant foes are attacking me, O God;
ruthless people are trying to kill me—
they have no regard for you.
15 But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
show your strength in behalf of your servant;
save me, because I serve you
just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
AND AS I CONCLUDE AGAIN WORDS OF ASSURANCE FOR THE LORD GOD TO BE WITH US AS WE JOURNEY THROUGH THE MESSES OF LIVE AND LIVING, SOME MESSES WE’VE CREATED, SOME MESSES OTHERS HAVE CREATED. OR ENTANGLED US IN.
Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ An enemy did this,’ he replied “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
JESUS THEN EXPLAINS THE PARABLE:
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40 “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS MARVELOUS, MESSY CREATION OF GOD’S WORLD TOGETHER, BUT SOME HAVE BEEN CALLED, SOME SET-ASIDE TO LIVE, SHOW AND REFLECT GOD’S NATURE AND LOVE BACK TO GOD’S CREATION. JESUS TALKED FURTHER ABOUT SEPERATING THE SEEDS OF RIGHEOUSNEES SOWN FROM THOSE SOWN IN SIN, LIES, AND OPPOSITION TO THE WILL OF GOD!
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (MATTHEW 25: 35-40)