The Mustard Seed

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 13:31-33 How does the church grow; how does God’s kingdom come? Jesus’ parable of the Mustard Seed offers us a clue about the way God’s work advances in the world. Hint: it doesn’t happen the way most people expect it would. Just once I would like to hear an introduction for a Christian speaker that went something like this: “John Doe is pastor of one of America’s smallest and slowest growing churches. His messages are heard on …

Wheat and Weeds

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 Where does evil come from? The problem of evil is age-old, and one of the biggest struggles for faith. Why is so much wrong in God’s good world? What should we do about it? Jesus answers both those questions by means of a parable – but his answers may provoke more questions for you. If you ask atheists why they don’t believe in God, they will point to all the harm done in our world …

The Hearing Ear

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 13:10-17 You know why Jesus told so many stories, don’t you? It was to engage and entertain his audience (unlike so many boring sermons); it was to make his teaching clear and memorable (unlike so many obscure lectures). Or was it? “And he told them many things in parables.” So Matthew introduces the 13th chapter of his gospel, a chapter full of parables. Perhaps you learned the definition of a parable long ago in Sunday school, as …

The Sower

Rev. David Bast

READ : Matthew 13:1-9 Matthew 13:18-23 How do I respond to the gospel message? Jesus’ told a story about the sower, the seed and the different kinds of soil. Its meaning seems clear. Isn’t it all about the different ways people respond to the gospel? Or is it also about how I respond? Matthew 13 is a chapter of parables that Jesus introduces with the phrase, “The kingdom of heaven is like. . . .” In speaking of the kingdom …

A Joy-filled Certainty

William C. Brownson

READ : Romans 8:18-39 What wonderful certainties can flood our hearts with joy? Welcome, friends to this final study in our series on the heart of the gospel, studies in Romans Chapter 1-8. Today we deal with the triumphant hope of believers in Jesus and their joy-filled certainty about the future. This is one of the distinguishing marks of New Testament Christianity. As Peter writes elsewhere, we have been born again through the resurrection of Jesus Christ to a living …

Led by the Spirit

William C. Brownson

READ : Romans 8:1-17 What does the Holy Spirit bring about in the depths of our lives? Welcome, friends to this ninth in our series on the heart of the gospel, studies in Romans Chapters 1-8. Today we begin chapter 8 which is one of the most pivotal, profound, inspiring chapters in the whole Bible! As we move from Chapter 7 with its agonizing inner struggle to Chapter 8, it’s like a sudden gust of fresh air and a wind …