I DARE YOU: To Use What You Have

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Welcome back to our ongoing series, I DARE YOU. This is our look at the unique parables of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels found in the New Testament. Once a week, we will examine one of Christ’s stories and let his challenge to his first-century audience speak to us now and provoke us to live in the Kingdom of God better, more fully, more wholeheartedly. We see these parables as dares to step outside of the norm of the world and enter into what God has for us. We hope that you will be likewise challenged and that you will take the dare to live a more Christlike, Kingdom of God-focused life.

This is another one of those parables that are popular. One of the few that quickly come to mind when someone says the “parable”. But just because it is popular, just because you and I have heard it before, it doesn’t mean that we have heard everything before.

Even in this story of Jesus’, there is a challenge, a dare, for believers to rise to. A sacred calling that we must hear in the middle of the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Continue reading “I DARE YOU: To Use What You Have”

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I DARE YOU: To Realize and React

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Welcome back to our ongoing series, I DARE YOU. This is our look at the unique parables of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels found in the New Testament. Once a week, we will examine one of Christ’s stories and let his challenge to his first-century audience speak to us now and provoke us to live in the Kingdom of God better, more fully, more wholeheartedly. We see these parables as dares to step outside of the norm of the world and enter into what God has for us. We hope that you will be likewise challenged and that you will take the dare to live a more Christlike, Kingdom of God-focused life.

This may not strike you as a parable. It doesn’t have the traditional opening and closing of a parable. There isn’t a “There was once” or “The Kingdom of Heaven is like”. So, there may be some that wouldn’t consider this a parable.

But still, Jesus tells a story (which is what a parable is) that has the power change and reshape our lives. It is a story that you know, a story most Christians are familiar with. Try to hear what Jesus says with fresh ears. Let the familiar surprise you.

Continue reading “I DARE YOU: To Realize and React”

I DARE YOU: The Parable of The Sheep and Goats

Welcome back to our ongoing series, I DARE YOU. This is our look at the unique parables of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels found in the New Testament. Once a week, we will examine one of Christ’s stories and let his challenge to his first-century audience speak to us now and provoke us to live in the Kingdom of God better, more fully, more wholeheartedly. We see these parables as dares to step outside of the norm of the world and enter into what God has for us. We hope that you will be likewise challenged and that you will take the dare to live a more Christlike, Kingdom of God-focused life.

It’s one of the most famous parables of Jesus. And maybe one of the most overlooked…

By that I mean, that we have read it so often, heard it preached so many times that we have missed some major points in this parable. Jesus says a lot in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. But have we heard them? Have we heard the “I Dare You” in this parable?

It isn’t easy to hear, nor easy to stomach, but if we are going to honest followers of Jesus, we need to have ears to hear, and hearts ready to obey.  Continue reading “I DARE YOU: The Parable of The Sheep and Goats”

I DARE YOU: The Parable of the Lost Coin

Welcome back to our ongoing series, I DARE YOU. This is our look at the unique parables of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels found in the New Testament. Once a week, we will examine one of Christ’s stories and let his challenge to his first-century audience speak to us now and provoke us to live in the Kingdom of God better, more fully, more wholeheartedly. We see these parables as dares to step outside of the norm of the world and enter into what God has for us. We hope that you will be likewise challenged and that you will take the dare to live a more Christlike, Kingdom of God-focused life.

We’ve mentioned before in this series that sometimes Jesus told parables in threes. This is the case as found in Matthew 13. There the recorded parables are the parable of the Sower or Soil, the parable of the Weeds, and the parable of the Mustard Seed.

And it is also the case in Luke 15, where we find the parables of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son, otherwise known as the Prodigal Son. With the three parables running one into the other, Jesus is making a point through repetition. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to learn from each parable separately. We’ve look at the Lost Son and the Lost Sheep.

Now, we need to learn something from the Lost Coin. Continue reading “I DARE YOU: The Parable of the Lost Coin”

I DARE YOU: To Care

Welcome back to our ongoing series, I DARE YOU. This is our look at the unique parables of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels found in the New Testament. Once a week, we will examine one of Christ’s stories and let his challenge to his first-century audience speak to us now and provoke us to live in the Kingdom of God better, more fully, more wholeheartedly. We see these parables as dares to step outside of the norm of the world and enter into what God has for us. We hope that you will be likewise challenged and that you will take the dare to live a more Christlike, Kingdom of God-focused life.

They are timeless. They are not restricted to a geographical location. They always pack a punch. They always demand a response.

These are the things that I keep finding as I examine the parables of Jesus. There is not getting around these 4 things, no matter how popular or unpopular a parable may be. Even the small one that are only a few verses as we’ve already seen.

While we may have heard the parable before, the challenge Jesus makes is just as fresh as ever. And it demands that you and I respond. Now. Continue reading “I DARE YOU: To Care”

I DARE YOU: Don’t Doubt It Because It’s Small

Welcome back to our ongoing series, I DARE YOU. This is our look at the unique parables of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels found in the New Testament. Once a week, we will examine one of Christ’s stories and let his challenge to his first-century audience speak to us now and provoke us to live in the Kingdom of God better, more fully, more wholeheartedly. We see these parables as dares to step outside of the norm of the world and enter into what God has for us. We hope that you will be likewise challenged and that you will take the dare to live a more Christlike, Kingdom of God-focused life.

“Again he said, What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”” – Mark 4:30-32

It’s a simple parable. With the imagery of a mustard seed being very popular in Christian culture this may be one of those parables that we skip over because “we know it”. We have heard it enough times that we don’t need to rehash these two verses. But that would be a mistake.

In these two verses, Jesus offers a valuable encouragement to all Christians; to missionaries, to evangelists, to pastors and teachers, to anyone that has every shared their faith in Christ in one way or another. And in a world that is routinely beating us down, diminishing our work, mocking our efforts, this may be a most timely message.

And a dare that will give you strength to keep going. Continue reading “I DARE YOU: Don’t Doubt It Because It’s Small”

I DARE YOU: Don’t Do It! (The Parable of the Seed)

Welcome back to our ongoing series, I DARE YOU. This is our look at the unique parables of Jesus Christ from the four Gospels found in the New Testament. Once a week, we will examine one of Christ’s stories and let his challenge to his first-century audience speak to us now and provoke us to live in the Kingdom of God better, more fully, more wholeheartedly. We see these parables as dares to step outside of the norm of the world and enter into what God has for us. We hope that you will be likewise challenged and that you will take the dare to live a more Christlike, Kingdom of God-focused life.

It’s a short parable, one most of us may not be unaware of. But within a few verses, there is a grand challenge. A dare that the original disciples faced, and one that we must face today and respond to now.

So, let’s get right into it!

He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.””Mark 4:26-29

Continue reading “I DARE YOU: Don’t Do It! (The Parable of the Seed)”