Monday, March 30, 2009
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Mark 4:32-34 – "Yet when planted, [a mustard seed] grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds of the air can perch in its shade." With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. (NIV)

I bought my husband an ocotillo cactus last week. It is supposed to grow rather large, but it looks rather dead. The roots are hacked close, and we really have doubts that it will grow. What we need is good soil for this dead trophy in our dry southern Californian cactus garden. We do a soil inspection, looking for the erosion paths where the water runs and puddles. Is it rocky, sandy, loamy? Preparing soil that doesn't receive a soaking is not what we are looking for to plant this ocotillo.

There are a plethora of analogies we could harvest from this plant. As believers, the Bible is our erosion path — it brings the water that gives life to our soil. The parables that Jesus spoke give us comparisons of life with and without Him. Without Him, my life would be like that of a lame beggar, compared to life with Christ: walking, running, productive, independent. Without Christ, my life would be like that of a blind man, never seeing or understanding, always somewhat dependent on another. But with Christ I can see! — colours and shapes, smiles and faces.

The Bible is full of comparisons so that we might understand the difference between life with Him, upright and walking, and life without Him, on the ground, begging.

My favourite is the comparison between the prodigal son, living weakly on his own strength, and his father, who is waiting, ready to forgive, ready to make him flourish, with open arms and a banquet waiting — meaning a better, more abundant life.

Faith in Him changes our lives for the better! It is like the water in the soil that determines our growth.

Matthew 13:34 – Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables, he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: "I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world." (NIV)

Prayer: Abba Father, we are so thankful that You have changed our lives! You have given sight to our eyes and strengthened our legs to walk upright! Your forgiveness has picked each of us up from the mud we were in and given us Your abundant life. We owe You but cannot repay, and You don't ask us to, because You paid the price for us. Such is the God that loves us, and we love You. Amen.

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Terry Karr <>
Wildomar, California, USA

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