Matthew 13:10-17

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Eyes Screwed Shut

Scripture 

10 The disciples came up and asked, “Why do you tell stories?”

11-15 He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it. I don’t want Isaiah’s forecast repeated all over again:

Your ears are open but you don’t hear a thing.
    Your eyes are awake but you don’t see a thing.
The people are blockheads!
They stick their fingers in their ears
    so they won’t have to listen;
They screw their eyes shut
    so they won’t have to look,
    so they won’t have to deal with me face-to-face
    and let me heal them.

16-17 “But you have God-blessed eyes—eyes that see! And God-blessed ears—ears that hear! A lot of people, prophets and humble believers among them, would have given anything to see what you are seeing, to hear what you are hearing, but never had the chance.

Lectio Divina 

Read – – read the passage carefully. 

Think – – notice what Jesus says about human hearts. What does he draw attention to about our receptively to his message? How does he deal with our resistance? What does he want for us?
     Now read Jesus' words again, and hear them as if he is saying them all to you personally. Meditate on his words until the message becomes familiar. What stands out that relates to your life? 

Pray – – tell Jesus about your meditation – your thoughts and feelings. Listen for his response. 

Live – – search your memory (or your journal) for any insights God has given you in recent weeks as you have interacted with God's message. What have those truths led you to do? Were there times when God invited you to act on or think about something, but you ignore the request or put it off? Why? Revisit that experience with Jesus. Remember that his greatest desire is not to get you to act a certain way but to engage with you in a relationship. 

 

Our Lectio Divina posting is take from The Message: Solo - An Uncommon Devotional by Eugene Peterson

Matthew 11:28-30

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Walk With Me

Scripture 

28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” 

Lectio Divina 

Read-- Read the passage slowly. 

Think -- read the passage again, listening for the words or phrases that stand out to you, such as: 
     *"come to me"
     *"recover your life"
    *"real rest"
     *"walk with me and work with me"
     *"watch how I do it"
     *"keep company with me"
     Notice man different ways Jesus says, "Hang out with me." Which one do you find most inviting? Why?
     What would it feel like to walk with Jesus and work with him? It's okay to be honest; "freely and lightly" may not describe what you think it would really be like. Instead you might think it would be forced and difficult. If so, what would you desire for it to be like?
     Have you feared that a walk with Jesus might require heavy or ill-fitting things?what are they?

Pray -- Jesus speaks very personally and conversationally in this passage, using phrases like, "come to me." In fact, I or Me occurs eight times, and you occurs five times.  So consider that Jesus has been talking to you. What is your reply? What do you need to discuss with Jesus today? 

Live -- Walk with Jesus, either in your mind or on an actual walk. As you do, turn these words from Jesus over in your mind: Rest, unforced, keep company with me, freely, lightly. 

Our Lectio Divina posting is take from  The Message: Solo - An Uncommon Devotional by Eugene Peterson

Nahum 3:14-17

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What Are You Counting On

Scripture

14-15 Store up water for the siege.
    Shore up your defenses.
Get down to basics: Work the clay
    and make bricks.
Sorry. Too late.
    Enemy fire will burn you up.
Swords will cut you to pieces.
    You’ll be chewed up as if by locusts.

 

15-17 Yes, as if by locusts—a fitting fate,
    for you yourselves are a locust plague.
You’ve multiplied shops and shopkeepers—
    more buyers and sellers than stars in the sky!
A plague of locusts, cleaning out the neighborhood
    and then flying off.
Your bureaucrats are locusts,
    your brokers and bankers are locusts.
Early on, they’re all at your service,
    full of smiles and promises,
But later when you return with questions or complaints,
    you’ll find they’ve flown off and are nowhere to be found.

Lectio Divina 

read – – read the passage slowly to yourself. Be aware, this sad passage describes the ancient city of Nineveh, which is doomed. Everything in the countdown has fallen through. 

think – – read the passage again, noting what Nineveh counted on to keep itself out of trouble.why is it so tempting to rely on economic prosperity (shopkeepers, brokers, and bankers) and the government (bureaucrats)? (we even use phrases such as "having faith in" the stock market or "having faith in" government officials.) What would your life look like if you relied on God for your future and your safety. Instead of on the economy or the government?

pray – – examine what you have, that comes from the economy for the government, such as a job, streetlights, or public library. Ask to show you how much you count on these things and what counting on God in a deeper way would mean. 

Live – – imagine yourself living in a place where the economy and the government have formed part. What might you feel like if you relied only on God? 

Our Lectio Divina posting is take from  The Message: Solo - An Uncommon Devotional by Eugene Peterson