The Master Storyteller | TBN

The Master Storyteller

Watch The Master Storyteller
November 5, 2019
27:30

Living Proof with Beth Moore

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The Master Storyteller

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  • and partners of Living Proof Ministries.
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  • Parables, stories,
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  • Jesus inviting us into these short stories
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  • called parables
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  • so that he can invite the listener
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  • into the larger story, which is his own story.
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  • Would you turn with me to the gospel of Mark chapter 4,
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  • the gospel of Mark chapter 4?
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  • And I want to center on verses 24 through 34.
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  • As we launch our topic this weekend,
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  • I'm very, very excited about what we've come to talk about.
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  • But I want to get to verses 1 through 3
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  • at the very beginning of the chapter first,
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  • just so we can put it in place and you can hear
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  • the repetition of some wording that he is going to use.
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  • So, we're jumping in Mark chapter 4,
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  • I want to read verses 1 through 3
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  • and then I'm gonna hop over to verse 24
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  • and I'll tell you when it's coming.
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  • Mark 4, verse 1, "Again he," and he is Jesus,
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  • "began to teach beside the sea.
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  • "And a very large crowd gathered about him,
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  • "so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea,
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  • "and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.
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  • "And he was teaching them many things in parables,
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  • and in his teaching he said to them--"
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  • Let me give you just enough of it
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  • to know where it's headed.
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  • "Listen, behold, a sower went out to sow."
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  • And so, in the next verses, he's going to tell the parable
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  • of the seed and the seed is representative
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  • of the Word of God.
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  • Keeping that in mind, jump with me to verse 24.
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  • "And he," still Jesus, said to them,
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  • 'Pay attention to what you hear.'"
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  • Do you remember what it said back in verse 3?
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  • That he began his teaching with the word
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  • "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow."
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  • Verse 24, "'Pay attention to what you hear:
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  • "with the measure you use,
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  • "'it will be measured to you, and still more
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  • "'will be added to you.
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  • "'For to the one who has, more will be given,
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  • "'and from the one who has not,
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  • "even what he has will be taken away.'
  • 00:02:24.130 --> 00:02:27.130
  • "And he said, 'The kingdom of God
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  • "'is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground.
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  • "'He sleeps and rises night and day,
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  • "'and the seed sprouts and grows;
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  • "'he knows not how.
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  • "'The earth produces by itself, first the blade,
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  • "'then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
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  • "'And when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle,
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  • "because the harvest has come.'
  • 00:02:51.060 --> 00:02:53.070
  • "And he said, 'With what can we compare
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  • "the kingdom of God,
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  • "'or what parable shall we use for it?
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  • "'It's like a grain of mustard seed,
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  • "'which, when sown on the ground,
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  • "'is the smallest of all the seeds on earth,
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  • "'yet when it is sown it grows up
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  • "'and becomes larger than all the garden plants
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  • "'and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air
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  • "can make nests in its shade.'
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  • With many such parables he spoke the word to them,"
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  • listen to that again, "with many such parables
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  • he spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it.
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  • He did not speak to them without a parable,
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  • but privately to his own disciples
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  • he explained everything."
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  • When it comes to the Word of God, stories teach.
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  • Stories don't just entertain, they teach.
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  • When it comes to the Word of God and the approach that Jesus
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  • had in his teaching,
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  • stories were not fluff, stories were not just filler.
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  • They literally were part of the sermon,
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  • not a break in the sermon.
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  • It wasn't just for entertainment that Jesus would tell stories
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  • over and over again in his teaching,
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  • and that was the primary approach
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  • he used for his teaching out in the crowds.
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  • It is by no accident.
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  • It was a way of inviting somebody
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  • through a side door that might have been reluctant
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  • to go in through the front door.
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  • Does anybody know what I'm talking about?
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  • Parables, stories, Jesus inviting us
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  • into these short stories called parables
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  • so that he can invite the listener
  • 00:04:41.020 --> 00:04:43.110
  • into the larger story, which is his own story.
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  • I want to say to you, we're studying
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  • the master storyteller, Jesus Christ,
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  • and we're looking at the fact
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  • that he taught so often by using story
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  • because he knew there was power in it,
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  • that there was something about a story
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  • that people would want to hear
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  • when they didn't even want to hear the point of the story,
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  • but they wanted to hear how it went.
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  • Those that think that the Bible
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  • was divinely inspired without pictures
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  • have somehow managed to miss the parables
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  • because the parables are inspiration
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  • through illustration.
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  • They are pictures, they are pictures.
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  • They're the way he brought the listeners
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  • in to something that captured,
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  • in living color, the things of normal life
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  • to which they could relate
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  • so that he could teach them something unknown
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  • through something known to them.
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  • You know, the Scriptures are God breathed,
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  • we know that from 2 Timothy chapter 3
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  • that literally inspired from beginning to end,
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  • God breathed.
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  • And so, throughout the Word of God,
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  • there are numerous genres that he uses
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  • in all these different pens of men
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  • that he inspired to write his Word,
  • 00:06:10.280 --> 00:06:13.180
  • to complete it from Genesis 1:1
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  • to the very end of Revelation 22,
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  • all these literary genres.
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  • But did you know we'd have like, let me throw out
  • 00:06:20.110 --> 00:06:22.140
  • a couple in case somebody new to the Word,
  • 00:06:22.150 --> 00:06:24.140
  • we would have laws, commands.
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  • We'd have prophecies, letters in the Word,
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  • poetry, proverbs, and so on.
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  • But did you know that the one that is used,
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  • the genre used most in the Word of God is narrative?
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  • In other words, it's telling a story
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  • that of all the ways he chose to lay out his Word
  • 00:06:46.090 --> 00:06:49.140
  • when he breathed it on the page,
  • 00:06:49.150 --> 00:06:51.160
  • he chose that most of all, he would use narrative.
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  • He would tell history through stories.
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  • He would tell what it happened.
  • 00:07:01.170 --> 00:07:04.080
  • He would tell the redemption of Israel
  • 00:07:04.090 --> 00:07:09.000
  • throughout the Old Testament,
  • 00:07:09.010 --> 00:07:11.210
  • and how he chose out a nation
  • 00:07:11.220 --> 00:07:14.000
  • through which he could bless all nations
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  • so that then he could bring about the one,
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  • the one seed that was promised from the very beginning
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  • to bring salvation to the world, all of it through this gorgeous,
  • 00:07:27.230 --> 00:07:32.040
  • gorgeous narrative.
  • 00:07:32.050 --> 00:07:34.220
  • Now, narratives and parables are not synonymous,
  • 00:07:34.230 --> 00:07:39.000
  • but they're both ways that he tells stories
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  • throughout Scripture and they show us,
  • 00:07:42.240 --> 00:07:45.080
  • without a doubt, and I hope to prove this to you,
  • 00:07:45.090 --> 00:07:48.010
  • that God has a strong affinity
  • 00:07:48.020 --> 00:07:51.110
  • for a really, really great story.
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  • Now, here's the thing, if you're like me,
  • 00:07:54.160 --> 00:07:56.070
  • I was trying to think what I would have
  • 00:07:56.080 --> 00:07:58.220
  • running through my head when I realized
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  • that this is what we were studying
  • 00:08:01.060 --> 00:08:02.190
  • at our conference this weekend,
  • 00:08:02.200 --> 00:08:04.090
  • and I got to see that up in front of me.
  • 00:08:04.100 --> 00:08:06.050
  • And I thought to myself, I might be,
  • 00:08:06.060 --> 00:08:08.260
  • if I were really new to this kind of environment,
  • 00:08:08.270 --> 00:08:12.250
  • I might be a little bit relieved.
  • 00:08:12.260 --> 00:08:14.120
  • Okay, I understand something about story.
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  • I think this may be interesting after all,
  • 00:08:16.160 --> 00:08:18.200
  • or maybe if I were a seasoned student,
  • 00:08:18.210 --> 00:08:20.220
  • I might think, you know what?
  • 00:08:20.230 --> 00:08:22.040
  • This is gonna be nothing but fluff this weekend.
  • 00:08:22.050 --> 00:08:23.290
  • We're just gonna talk about sweet little stories.
  • 00:08:24.000 --> 00:08:26.150
  • But let me tell you something, if there is anything
  • 00:08:26.160 --> 00:08:30.180
  • they weren't,
  • 00:08:30.190 --> 00:08:33.180
  • it was fluff as part of the story.
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  • I want you to hear this with me.
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  • Look throughout the parables that Jesus told
  • 00:08:40.070 --> 00:08:44.060
  • and you find that they can bring comfort,
  • 00:08:44.070 --> 00:08:46.230
  • they can bring courage, they can bring conviction,
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  • and in Christ's case, they could bring a cross.
  • 00:08:49.290 --> 00:08:54.140
  • And until I studied this, I did not realize.
  • 00:08:54.150 --> 00:08:57.280
  • I had read this parable over, and over,
  • 00:08:57.290 --> 00:09:00.170
  • and over again but it never occurred to me
  • 00:09:00.180 --> 00:09:03.280
  • how significant it was in timing to the decision
  • 00:09:03.290 --> 00:09:09.070
  • being made to do whatever it took
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  • to see to it that Christ would not only be arrested,
  • 00:09:13.100 --> 00:09:16.260
  • tried, and found guilty, but then he would be killed.
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  • Let me read to you out of Mark 12.
  • 00:09:20.170 --> 00:09:22.160
  • You're right there in 4, turn with me to 12.
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  • You're close.
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  • "And he began to speak to them in parables.
  • 00:09:25.260 --> 00:09:28.000
  • "'A man planted a vineyard and put a fence around it
  • 00:09:28.010 --> 00:09:31.030
  • "'and dug a pit for the winepress
  • 00:09:31.040 --> 00:09:33.100
  • "'and built a tower,
  • 00:09:33.110 --> 00:09:34.200
  • "'and leased it to tenants and went into another country.
  • 00:09:34.210 --> 00:09:38.160
  • "'When the season came, he sent a servant
  • 00:09:38.170 --> 00:09:40.210
  • "'to the tenants to get from them
  • 00:09:40.220 --> 00:09:42.020
  • "'some of the fruit of the vineyard.
  • 00:09:42.030 --> 00:09:43.250
  • "'And they took him and beat him and sent him away empty-handed.
  • 00:09:43.260 --> 00:09:47.120
  • "'Again he sent to them another servant,
  • 00:09:47.130 --> 00:09:49.110
  • "'and they struck him on the head
  • 00:09:49.120 --> 00:09:51.040
  • "'and treated him shamefully.
  • 00:09:51.050 --> 00:09:52.240
  • "'And he sent another, and him they killed.
  • 00:09:52.250 --> 00:09:55.260
  • "'And so with many others:
  • 00:09:55.270 --> 00:09:57.270
  • "'some they beat, and some they killed.
  • 00:09:57.280 --> 00:10:00.200
  • "'He had still one other, a beloved son.
  • 00:10:00.210 --> 00:10:06.090
  • "'Finally he sent him to them, saying,
  • 00:10:06.100 --> 00:10:10.020
  • "'"They will respect my son."'
  • 00:10:10.030 --> 00:10:13.020
  • "But those tenants said to one another,
  • 00:10:13.030 --> 00:10:15.210
  • "'"This is the heir.
  • 00:10:15.220 --> 00:10:17.240
  • "'"Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance
  • 00:10:17.250 --> 00:10:19.290
  • will be ours."'
  • 00:10:20.000 --> 00:10:21.100
  • "'And they took him and killed him
  • 00:10:21.110 --> 00:10:22.210
  • "'and threw him out of the vineyard.
  • 00:10:22.220 --> 00:10:24.130
  • "'What will the owner of the vineyard do?
  • 00:10:24.140 --> 00:10:27.180
  • "'He will come and destroy the tenants
  • 00:10:27.190 --> 00:10:28.280
  • "'and give the vineyard to others.
  • 00:10:28.290 --> 00:10:31.010
  • "'Have you not read this Scripture:
  • 00:10:31.020 --> 00:10:33.020
  • "'The stone that the builders rejected
  • 00:10:33.030 --> 00:10:34.230
  • "'has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord's doing,
  • 00:10:34.240 --> 00:10:38.090
  • "and it is marvelous in our eyes'?
  • 00:10:38.100 --> 00:10:40.100
  • "'And they were seeking to arrest him
  • 00:10:40.110 --> 00:10:42.230
  • "'but feared the people,
  • 00:10:42.240 --> 00:10:44.040
  • "'for they perceived that he had told the parable against them.
  • 00:10:44.050 --> 00:10:49.010
  • So they left him and went away."
  • 00:10:49.020 --> 00:10:51.060
  • They perceived that it was against them.
  • 00:10:51.070 --> 00:10:54.250
  • And so, he is talking when he gives a parable
  • 00:10:54.260 --> 00:10:59.010
  • on a whole lot of different levels there
  • 00:10:59.020 --> 00:11:01.090
  • as they were able to hear it
  • 00:11:01.100 --> 00:11:03.090
  • because they were different people that had different ways
  • 00:11:03.100 --> 00:11:05.150
  • of understanding based on what they knew,
  • 00:11:05.160 --> 00:11:08.230
  • based on what they knew, and how they could receive it.
  • 00:11:08.240 --> 00:11:11.240
  • But I'm telling you, he gave those scribes
  • 00:11:11.250 --> 00:11:14.090
  • and those Pharisees the ability in that moment
  • 00:11:14.100 --> 00:11:16.230
  • to know, "This thing was about us."
  • 00:11:16.240 --> 00:11:20.180
  • And man, did they have a reaction to it.
  • 00:11:20.190 --> 00:11:22.290
  • And what you and I are gonna understand is the importance
  • 00:11:23.000 --> 00:11:25.220
  • of perceiving,
  • 00:11:25.230 --> 00:11:27.190
  • of not just hearing, but perceiving,
  • 00:11:27.200 --> 00:11:31.220
  • of somehow leaning in with open ears enough
  • 00:11:31.230 --> 00:11:36.000
  • to understand the Word of God
  • 00:11:36.010 --> 00:11:39.120
  • and what he's trying to say to us.
  • 00:11:39.130 --> 00:11:41.180
  • Hi, I'm Natalie, and this is Selena.
  • 00:11:42.200 --> 00:11:44.270
  • I'm excited to tell you about this month's Living Proof offer.
  • 00:11:44.280 --> 00:11:48.080
  • It's a storybook.
  • 00:11:48.090 --> 00:11:49.180
  • And friends, this one part, it gripped my heart
  • 00:11:49.190 --> 00:11:52.280
  • because it helped me to see my story
  • 00:11:52.290 --> 00:11:55.260
  • and one of the greatest stories ever told,
  • 00:11:55.270 --> 00:11:58.150
  • and I've seen just how much it moves people
  • 00:11:58.160 --> 00:12:01.000
  • every time Beth shares it.
  • 00:12:01.010 --> 00:12:03.010
  • Let's take a quick peek.
  • 00:12:03.020 --> 00:12:04.220
  • "I'm writing a story worth telling
  • 00:12:05.010 --> 00:12:07.230
  • "with your life intertwined in mind.
  • 00:12:07.240 --> 00:12:10.290
  • "It will have all the elements that make the story rich,
  • 00:12:11.000 --> 00:12:13.190
  • "hopes and dreams and what seems
  • 00:12:13.200 --> 00:12:15.200
  • "to be there dashing.
  • 00:12:15.210 --> 00:12:17.220
  • "Oh, I see you squirming there.
  • 00:12:17.230 --> 00:12:21.010
  • "A little nerve wracking, isn't it?
  • 00:12:21.020 --> 00:12:23.000
  • Oh, don't you worry, it's gonna be so good."
  • 00:12:23.010 --> 00:12:27.060
  • (Selena) I love how Jesus, the master storyteller,
  • 00:12:27.070 --> 00:12:30.260
  • knows the power of a story.
  • 00:12:30.270 --> 00:12:32.220
  • Friends, I want you to know that Beth wrote this
  • 00:12:32.230 --> 00:12:35.130
  • with you in mind to give us a fresh reminder
  • 00:12:35.140 --> 00:12:38.010
  • of how our individual stories are significant
  • 00:12:38.020 --> 00:12:40.220
  • within his story.
  • 00:12:40.230 --> 00:12:42.140
  • Right now, we're offering the full storybook
  • 00:12:42.150 --> 00:12:45.040
  • as our thank you for your donation
  • 00:12:45.050 --> 00:12:47.080
  • and with your book, you'll get a free audio download
  • 00:12:47.090 --> 00:12:49.290
  • of Beth reading it aloud.
  • 00:12:50.000 --> 00:12:51.260
  • (Selena) And let's be honest, Natalie, there's nothing quite
  • 00:12:51.270 --> 00:12:54.000
  • like the way the Beth reads it.
  • 00:12:54.010 --> 00:12:55.190
  • Everybody in your life needs a copy of this.
  • 00:12:55.200 --> 00:12:57.180
  • Oh, you know I'm getting my copy.
  • 00:12:57.190 --> 00:12:59.090
  • To get your, text the word "gift" to 57682.
  • 00:12:59.100 --> 00:13:03.020
  • (Selena) Beth is going to read more of this story
  • 00:13:03.030 --> 00:13:04.280
  • during next week's show.
  • 00:13:04.290 --> 00:13:06.110
  • You don't want to miss it.
  • 00:13:06.120 --> 00:13:07.210
  • So don't forget to tune in, and we'll see you then.
  • 00:13:07.220 --> 00:13:09.120
  • About a month ago, I dropped my iPhone
  • 00:13:11.180 --> 00:13:16.060
  • on a walk,
  • 00:13:16.070 --> 00:13:17.160
  • and it dropped down in some gravel.
  • 00:13:17.170 --> 00:13:19.140
  • And when I picked it up, it just really started
  • 00:13:19.150 --> 00:13:21.170
  • with a small little crack in the corner
  • 00:13:21.180 --> 00:13:23.270
  • but by the time it'd been about three days,
  • 00:13:23.280 --> 00:13:26.190
  • it had run all over that screen and it looked like
  • 00:13:26.200 --> 00:13:29.130
  • big inkblots on it until I couldn't use it.
  • 00:13:29.140 --> 00:13:32.050
  • Well, I could use it for a while,
  • 00:13:32.060 --> 00:13:33.230
  • but I couldn't use the "N" for some reason.
  • 00:13:33.240 --> 00:13:36.040
  • You cannot imagine how important the "N" is for your texting
  • 00:13:36.050 --> 00:13:40.070
  • because it replaced the "N" with an "M" and it got really,
  • 00:13:40.080 --> 00:13:43.110
  • really awkward and just finally pushed toward the point
  • 00:13:43.120 --> 00:13:46.040
  • where I was gonna have to have a new phone.
  • 00:13:46.050 --> 00:13:47.250
  • And so, I was writing a really heavy
  • 00:13:47.260 --> 00:13:50.170
  • under a writing schedule and my assistant said,
  • 00:13:50.180 --> 00:13:53.020
  • "I tell you, you give me your phone.
  • 00:13:53.030 --> 00:13:54.160
  • I'm gonna go get you a new one."
  • 00:13:54.170 --> 00:13:56.000
  • And so, she got me the brand new iPhone
  • 00:13:56.010 --> 00:14:00.020
  • that has all sorts of capabilities
  • 00:14:00.030 --> 00:14:02.100
  • my other iPhone did not have.
  • 00:14:02.110 --> 00:14:04.050
  • But one of the ones I noticed that phone has face ID,
  • 00:14:04.060 --> 00:14:09.090
  • oh, yes, indeed.
  • 00:14:09.100 --> 00:14:10.230
  • You can hold it up right to your face.
  • 00:14:10.240 --> 00:14:12.150
  • I thought, how simple is that, just right up to the face?
  • 00:14:12.160 --> 00:14:16.000
  • And so, I got my instructions for it.
  • 00:14:16.010 --> 00:14:18.070
  • It tells you one screen after another
  • 00:14:18.080 --> 00:14:20.170
  • this is how you set it up.
  • 00:14:20.180 --> 00:14:22.070
  • And so, here's how you have to do it.
  • 00:14:22.080 --> 00:14:23.190
  • So, please picture that there are cars on both sides of me
  • 00:14:23.200 --> 00:14:27.130
  • while I'm doing this because you hold your phone up like this
  • 00:14:27.140 --> 00:14:30.220
  • right in front of you and you have to do this...
  • 00:14:30.230 --> 00:14:37.100
  • and if that's not embarrassing enough,
  • 00:14:37.110 --> 00:14:40.010
  • they ask you to do it three sets of times.
  • 00:14:40.020 --> 00:14:43.100
  • And it just went so well for about three days
  • 00:14:43.110 --> 00:14:46.240
  • until early one morning
  • 00:14:46.250 --> 00:14:48.170
  • when I tried to open it up pretty early on in the morning
  • 00:14:48.180 --> 00:14:52.150
  • without any makeup on, without my hair brushed,
  • 00:14:52.160 --> 00:14:56.090
  • nothing, and it would not open for me.
  • 00:14:56.100 --> 00:15:00.240
  • I was so mad at that phone I was going,
  • 00:15:00.250 --> 00:15:02.160
  • "It's me, you idiot.
  • 00:15:02.170 --> 00:15:04.040
  • "It is me. I mean, what do you want?
  • 00:15:04.050 --> 00:15:08.000
  • What do you want from me?"
  • 00:15:08.010 --> 00:15:09.140
  • I was so frustrated I thought, "Why don't you recognize me?"
  • 00:15:09.150 --> 00:15:12.260
  • I thought, "You too, et tu, Brute?
  • 00:15:12.270 --> 00:15:16.240
  • You too demand my mascara from me?"
  • 00:15:16.250 --> 00:15:20.030
  • Can I not not go anywhere, not anywhere, not anywhere?
  • 00:15:20.040 --> 00:15:24.030
  • I can't even open my phone?
  • 00:15:24.040 --> 00:15:27.070
  • Listen, we recognize ourselves in the parables
  • 00:15:27.080 --> 00:15:32.080
  • with enough perception.
  • 00:15:32.090 --> 00:15:34.170
  • We're hearing these things going,
  • 00:15:34.180 --> 00:15:38.160
  • "I think that could be me.
  • 00:15:38.170 --> 00:15:41.000
  • "I'm somewhere between yes and no,
  • 00:15:41.010 --> 00:15:44.240
  • but I think, I think that could be me."
  • 00:15:44.250 --> 00:15:51.080
  • So, his parables were simple enough
  • 00:15:51.090 --> 00:15:53.160
  • for the elementary listener,
  • 00:15:53.170 --> 00:15:57.080
  • but complex enough for the curious student
  • 00:15:57.090 --> 00:16:02.070
  • because the thing that he esteemed
  • 00:16:02.080 --> 00:16:04.180
  • in his disciples over and over again--do
  • 00:16:04.190 --> 00:16:07.140
  • you remember when he told them, "Ask and you will receive,
  • 00:16:07.150 --> 00:16:12.190
  • "seek and you will find, knock and the door
  • 00:16:12.200 --> 00:16:16.280
  • will be open to you"?
  • 00:16:16.290 --> 00:16:18.130
  • Well, they get back alone with him and go,
  • 00:16:18.140 --> 00:16:20.200
  • "What did that mean?"
  • 00:16:20.210 --> 00:16:23.080
  • And I just wonder if there's anybody
  • 00:16:23.090 --> 00:16:25.000
  • in the room who doesn't know
  • 00:16:25.010 --> 00:16:27.220
  • that you really do have full freedom to just look up
  • 00:16:27.230 --> 00:16:32.290
  • from the Scriptures and go, "What does that mean?"
  • 00:16:33.000 --> 00:16:37.150
  • Not one time has he ever answered me out loud,
  • 00:16:37.160 --> 00:16:41.020
  • not one time.
  • 00:16:41.030 --> 00:16:42.240
  • Sometimes I don't know anymore four years later
  • 00:16:42.250 --> 00:16:45.100
  • than I knew the first time I asked him,
  • 00:16:45.110 --> 00:16:47.290
  • but there is a beautiful intimacy in the fact
  • 00:16:48.000 --> 00:16:50.280
  • that you do dialogue with God
  • 00:16:50.290 --> 00:16:54.020
  • through the study of his Word
  • 00:16:54.030 --> 00:16:55.270
  • where you can say because where you can literally
  • 00:16:55.280 --> 00:16:58.250
  • be reading and going, "Lord, that is one
  • 00:16:58.260 --> 00:17:00.210
  • of the most beautiful things I've ever heard."
  • 00:17:00.220 --> 00:17:02.200
  • Do we leave God out of his own Word,
  • 00:17:02.210 --> 00:17:08.270
  • or do we engage with him?
  • 00:17:08.280 --> 00:17:10.250
  • Because you got dialogue going here.
  • 00:17:10.260 --> 00:17:13.080
  • He speaks to you through his Word,
  • 00:17:13.090 --> 00:17:15.140
  • and you talk back where it's not just
  • 00:17:15.150 --> 00:17:17.210
  • a one-way conversation.
  • 00:17:17.220 --> 00:17:19.010
  • We go, "You know, I just want God to speak to me.
  • 00:17:19.020 --> 00:17:20.280
  • I just want God to speak me."
  • 00:17:20.290 --> 00:17:22.190
  • He has spoken. He has spoken.
  • 00:17:22.200 --> 00:17:26.220
  • And what he does over and over again is,
  • 00:17:26.230 --> 00:17:29.010
  • he will give us deeper and deeper understanding.
  • 00:17:29.020 --> 00:17:32.260
  • He'll connect some things, connect some dots
  • 00:17:32.270 --> 00:17:35.210
  • that are so meaningful to us.
  • 00:17:35.220 --> 00:17:37.110
  • And sometimes, and I don't know how to explain this.
  • 00:17:37.120 --> 00:17:39.160
  • This is just a work of the Spirit.
  • 00:17:39.170 --> 00:17:41.030
  • Sometimes I just get peace over a matter.
  • 00:17:41.040 --> 00:17:44.080
  • I don't even have an answer.
  • 00:17:44.090 --> 00:17:46.210
  • Just for some reason, I have peace over it.
  • 00:17:46.220 --> 00:17:50.290
  • I just have peace over it.
  • 00:17:51.000 --> 00:17:53.270
  • The power of this words, the power of listening,
  • 00:17:53.280 --> 00:17:58.190
  • "What, Lord, does that mean?"
  • 00:17:58.200 --> 00:18:01.120
  • The parable not only invites our imagination,
  • 00:18:01.130 --> 00:18:06.110
  • it insists upon our imagination.
  • 00:18:06.120 --> 00:18:08.270
  • You don't have to choose,
  • 00:18:08.280 --> 00:18:10.080
  • "No, I want to look at it intellectually.
  • 00:18:10.090 --> 00:18:12.160
  • No, I would just want to look at it with my imagination."
  • 00:18:12.170 --> 00:18:15.100
  • No, both of them are required for being good students
  • 00:18:15.110 --> 00:18:20.130
  • of the Word of God.
  • 00:18:20.140 --> 00:18:21.260
  • So, the church, the preacher, the teacher who communicates,
  • 00:18:21.270 --> 00:18:26.170
  • whether blatantly or subtly, that the Word of God
  • 00:18:26.180 --> 00:18:30.050
  • can only be rightly divided academically or intellectually,
  • 00:18:30.060 --> 00:18:35.070
  • is every bit as off base as the one
  • 00:18:35.080 --> 00:18:37.140
  • who communicates that the Word of God
  • 00:18:37.150 --> 00:18:41.020
  • means whatever you imagine it to mean.
  • 00:18:41.030 --> 00:18:44.250
  • Both are extremes, both are out of place,
  • 00:18:44.260 --> 00:18:48.130
  • because what the Holy Spirit does,
  • 00:18:48.140 --> 00:18:51.140
  • I love where the Word of God says to us at the end
  • 00:18:51.150 --> 00:18:56.070
  • of 1 Thessalonians in chapter 5,
  • 00:18:56.080 --> 00:18:59.100
  • and I believe, verse 23 when he says,
  • 00:18:59.110 --> 00:19:03.040
  • "May God himself sanctified you completely,
  • 00:19:03.050 --> 00:19:07.080
  • "and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless
  • 00:19:07.090 --> 00:19:11.150
  • "to the day of Christ Jesus.
  • 00:19:11.160 --> 00:19:13.120
  • He is faithful and he will surely do it."
  • 00:19:13.130 --> 00:19:18.030
  • He will surely do it.
  • 00:19:18.040 --> 00:19:19.240
  • Listen carefully to what it's saying,
  • 00:19:19.250 --> 00:19:21.100
  • spirit, soul, and body,
  • 00:19:21.110 --> 00:19:22.280
  • that every part of us is meant to be informed
  • 00:19:22.290 --> 00:19:27.040
  • by the Holy Spirit, that there is no boundary we put on it.
  • 00:19:27.050 --> 00:19:31.020
  • In other words that, you know, the Holy Spirit
  • 00:19:31.030 --> 00:19:32.290
  • just informs my spirit.
  • 00:19:33.000 --> 00:19:34.110
  • That's not true.
  • 00:19:34.120 --> 00:19:35.210
  • He informs every single part of us.
  • 00:19:35.220 --> 00:19:38.030
  • He informs the intellect.
  • 00:19:38.040 --> 00:19:39.200
  • He informs our imagination.
  • 00:19:39.210 --> 00:19:42.070
  • He was meant to inform our emotions.
  • 00:19:42.080 --> 00:19:45.090
  • He was meant to inform the way we treat our physical bodies.
  • 00:19:45.100 --> 00:19:50.170
  • He's meant to invade the whole person.
  • 00:19:50.180 --> 00:19:53.080
  • That's what it means to walk in the fullness of the Spirit.
  • 00:19:53.090 --> 00:19:57.220
  • Now, before I studied up for you,
  • 00:19:57.230 --> 00:20:00.040
  • I would have had the word "allegory"
  • 00:20:00.050 --> 00:20:02.230
  • as part of my definition for parable
  • 00:20:02.240 --> 00:20:05.110
  • because it makes sense to me.
  • 00:20:05.120 --> 00:20:06.250
  • Some of you would be thinking the same thing well, parable,
  • 00:20:06.260 --> 00:20:09.080
  • what would make it different from a narrative,
  • 00:20:09.090 --> 00:20:11.220
  • which is telling a story, telling history in story?
  • 00:20:11.230 --> 00:20:15.030
  • What would be different there is that a parable
  • 00:20:15.040 --> 00:20:17.100
  • would be an allegory.
  • 00:20:17.110 --> 00:20:18.200
  • Not exactly.
  • 00:20:18.210 --> 00:20:20.030
  • And just if you like this kind of thing and this kind of thing
  • 00:20:20.040 --> 00:20:22.070
  • interests you, let me tell you what the difference is.
  • 00:20:22.080 --> 00:20:24.080
  • Because an allegory is going to have all fitting parts.
  • 00:20:24.090 --> 00:20:30.010
  • In other words, all the segments of it represent something
  • 00:20:30.020 --> 00:20:34.240
  • that is significant to the telling of the story.
  • 00:20:34.250 --> 00:20:38.020
  • "Pilgrim's Progress," if you have ever read that classic,
  • 00:20:38.030 --> 00:20:41.200
  • that is a classic allegory,
  • 00:20:41.210 --> 00:20:44.130
  • every part of it means something.
  • 00:20:44.140 --> 00:20:47.010
  • Now, some of the parables are allegories.
  • 00:20:47.020 --> 00:20:49.160
  • In other words, there'll be multiple ways,
  • 00:20:49.170 --> 00:20:51.250
  • multiple players and parts in it,
  • 00:20:51.260 --> 00:20:54.280
  • that do have a significance to it.
  • 00:20:54.290 --> 00:20:57.200
  • Others, have you ever noticed that you're trying
  • 00:20:57.210 --> 00:20:59.150
  • to take it apart and figure
  • 00:20:59.160 --> 00:21:00.270
  • who all of these figures are in it
  • 00:21:00.280 --> 00:21:02.220
  • and you're going, I can only get this one thing to fit?
  • 00:21:02.230 --> 00:21:05.180
  • That's because in a parable, that's all it takes.
  • 00:21:05.190 --> 00:21:09.030
  • A parable, all it takes to own up
  • 00:21:09.040 --> 00:21:13.200
  • to being that kind of a genre in teaching
  • 00:21:13.210 --> 00:21:17.080
  • is that it is a mini story M-I-N-I,
  • 00:21:17.090 --> 00:21:20.030
  • mini story that makes a main point of comparison.
  • 00:21:20.040 --> 00:21:24.130
  • So, here's what I really love.
  • 00:21:24.140 --> 00:21:26.180
  • I kept thinking about this through my preparation for you.
  • 00:21:26.190 --> 00:21:31.210
  • What I love about it is that the door
  • 00:21:31.220 --> 00:21:36.200
  • of the parables of Christ,
  • 00:21:36.210 --> 00:21:38.140
  • which are many, may lead you from the outside,
  • 00:21:38.150 --> 00:21:44.160
  • inside, or it can take you from the inside, outside.
  • 00:21:44.170 --> 00:21:50.290
  • Now, think through this with me because I want to throw out
  • 00:21:51.000 --> 00:21:53.020
  • a couple to you.
  • 00:21:53.030 --> 00:21:54.120
  • For instance, if we were studying
  • 00:21:54.130 --> 00:21:56.090
  • the parable of the lost coin,
  • 00:21:56.100 --> 00:21:58.140
  • we'd be going from the outside with Jesus,
  • 00:21:58.150 --> 00:22:01.100
  • into the house of the woman who is sweeping out
  • 00:22:01.110 --> 00:22:05.230
  • her whole house because she has lost
  • 00:22:05.240 --> 00:22:08.220
  • one of her coins and she needs to find it desperately.
  • 00:22:08.230 --> 00:22:12.130
  • And when she finds it, she is so happy
  • 00:22:12.140 --> 00:22:15.080
  • that she calls all her girlfriends
  • 00:22:15.090 --> 00:22:17.190
  • to celebrate with her.
  • 00:22:17.200 --> 00:22:19.080
  • That is an indoor parable.
  • 00:22:19.090 --> 00:22:22.190
  • We also see in the parable of the persistent widow,
  • 00:22:22.200 --> 00:22:26.090
  • we go from the outside,
  • 00:22:26.100 --> 00:22:28.010
  • only this time we wouldn't be going into a house,
  • 00:22:28.020 --> 00:22:30.260
  • we would be going into a courtroom
  • 00:22:30.270 --> 00:22:33.100
  • where the persistent widow stands before the judge
  • 00:22:33.110 --> 00:22:37.060
  • and he finally says, "Because you have asked me
  • 00:22:37.070 --> 00:22:40.160
  • and asked me and asked me, I just will finally say yes."
  • 00:22:40.170 --> 00:22:46.240
  • Outdoor to indoor.
  • 00:22:46.250 --> 00:22:49.120
  • Then we have the parable of the great feast
  • 00:22:49.130 --> 00:22:52.250
  • where we are invited from the outside
  • 00:22:52.260 --> 00:22:55.030
  • into a great banqueting hall.
  • 00:22:55.040 --> 00:22:58.160
  • But here's the thing, we're only invited
  • 00:22:58.170 --> 00:23:01.150
  • into the banqueting hall long enough
  • 00:23:01.160 --> 00:23:04.120
  • to be invited back out to the streets
  • 00:23:04.130 --> 00:23:07.200
  • where Jesus then says,
  • 00:23:07.210 --> 00:23:09.160
  • "Go into the streets because so many have refused
  • 00:23:09.170 --> 00:23:13.060
  • "to come, and find the poor and crippled,
  • 00:23:13.070 --> 00:23:16.200
  • and blind, and lame."
  • 00:23:16.210 --> 00:23:19.270
  • Outside, outside, outside, outside,
  • 00:23:19.280 --> 00:23:24.070
  • most of the parables are happening out of doors
  • 00:23:24.080 --> 00:23:27.260
  • where there are fields, and there are seeds,
  • 00:23:27.270 --> 00:23:30.130
  • and there are soils, and there are vineyards,
  • 00:23:30.140 --> 00:23:33.040
  • and there are fig trees, and there are pearls,
  • 00:23:33.050 --> 00:23:35.120
  • and there are sheep,
  • 00:23:35.130 --> 00:23:36.220
  • and goats, and farmer, and fishermen, outdoors.
  • 00:23:36.230 --> 00:23:41.110
  • I've found the most wonderful segment
  • 00:23:41.120 --> 00:23:44.050
  • over the last couple of months.
  • 00:23:44.060 --> 00:23:45.230
  • This is by Wendell Berry.
  • 00:23:45.240 --> 00:23:47.030
  • Are any of you familiar with the poet and writer Wendell Berry?
  • 00:23:47.040 --> 00:23:50.280
  • This is a segment I want to read you
  • 00:23:50.290 --> 00:23:53.050
  • that comes out of the compilation
  • 00:23:53.060 --> 00:23:56.020
  • of his essays called "The Art of the Commonplace."
  • 00:23:56.030 --> 00:23:59.090
  • Listen to this, "I don't think it is enough appreciated
  • 00:23:59.100 --> 00:24:02.190
  • "how much of an outdoor book the Bible is.
  • 00:24:02.200 --> 00:24:06.110
  • "It is a hypaethral book, such as Thoreau talked about,
  • 00:24:06.120 --> 00:24:10.140
  • a book open to the sky."
  • 00:24:10.150 --> 00:24:13.010
  • Hypaethral, meaning open to the sky essentially
  • 00:24:13.020 --> 00:24:17.200
  • means to be roofless, to be not ruthless,
  • 00:24:17.210 --> 00:24:21.080
  • but roofless.
  • 00:24:21.090 --> 00:24:23.070
  • I'll pick back up with his excerpt.
  • 00:24:23.080 --> 00:24:26.070
  • "It is best read and understood outdoors,
  • 00:24:26.080 --> 00:24:28.240
  • "and the farther out of doors the better,
  • 00:24:28.250 --> 00:24:31.100
  • "or that has been my experience of it.
  • 00:24:31.110 --> 00:24:33.120
  • "Passages that within walls seem improbable or incredible,
  • 00:24:33.130 --> 00:24:37.190
  • "outdoors seem merely natural.
  • 00:24:37.200 --> 00:24:40.200
  • "This is because outdoors, we are confronted everywhere
  • 00:24:40.210 --> 00:24:44.000
  • "with wonders.
  • 00:24:44.010 --> 00:24:46.010
  • "We see that the miraculous is not extraordinary,
  • 00:24:46.020 --> 00:24:48.260
  • "but the common mode of existence.
  • 00:24:48.270 --> 00:24:50.200
  • "It is our daily bread.
  • 00:24:50.210 --> 00:24:52.250
  • "Whoever really has considered the lilies of the field
  • 00:24:52.260 --> 00:24:56.020
  • "or the birds of the air
  • 00:24:56.030 --> 00:24:57.140
  • "and ponder the improbability of their existence
  • 00:24:57.150 --> 00:24:59.230
  • "in this warm world within the cold
  • 00:24:59.240 --> 00:25:02.020
  • "and empty stellar distances
  • 00:25:02.030 --> 00:25:04.000
  • "will hardly balk at the turning of water into wine,
  • 00:25:04.010 --> 00:25:08.190
  • which was, after all," he says, "a very small miracle.
  • 00:25:08.200 --> 00:25:12.290
  • "We forget the greater and still continuing miracle
  • 00:25:13.000 --> 00:25:15.240
  • "by which water, with soil and sunlight,
  • 00:25:15.250 --> 00:25:18.270
  • is turned into grapes."
  • 00:25:18.280 --> 00:25:22.000
  • He said, we're gonna be all freaked out about water
  • 00:25:22.010 --> 00:25:25.140
  • being turned into wine when isn't the stranger thing
  • 00:25:25.150 --> 00:25:31.130
  • that water is turned into grapes.
  • 00:25:31.140 --> 00:25:35.130
  • What a marvelous thought.
  • 00:25:35.140 --> 00:25:37.150
  • 00:25:37.160 --> 00:25:42.170
  • One reason why we're still in it is because of the mystery.
  • 00:25:43.290 --> 00:25:48.170
  • I've thought this over and over again.
  • 00:25:48.180 --> 00:25:50.040
  • One reason why I am so taken with Jesus
  • 00:25:50.050 --> 00:25:53.080
  • is that he is this perfect blend of security and mystery.
  • 00:25:53.090 --> 00:25:59.090
  • I know he will never let me out of his grasp.
  • 00:25:59.100 --> 00:26:01.190
  • I know that he will never leave me.
  • 00:26:01.200 --> 00:26:03.120
  • He will never forsake me.
  • 00:26:03.130 --> 00:26:04.260
  • I know that my sins are forgiven.
  • 00:26:04.270 --> 00:26:06.190
  • I know that I have been made clean.
  • 00:26:06.200 --> 00:26:08.150
  • I know all of these things for a fact,
  • 00:26:08.160 --> 00:26:11.210
  • but there's still so much that is mysterious about him.
  • 00:26:11.220 --> 00:26:15.010
  • I am so full of joy this morning.
  • 00:26:16.220 --> 00:26:19.140
  • Anybody else got a little joy on 'em today?
  • 00:26:19.150 --> 00:26:23.180
  • We're going to lift it up and let the name of Jesus go forth
  • 00:26:23.190 --> 00:26:28.240
  • in this place, in such power and in such presence.
  • 00:26:28.250 --> 00:26:33.050
  • We are so, so thrilled to be with you.
  • 00:26:33.060 --> 00:26:36.210
  • And I think what God's going to remind us of today is that
  • 00:26:36.220 --> 00:26:40.290
  • we're in the middle of the story.
  • 00:26:41.000 --> 00:26:43.160
  • Do you not think that he's going to tie up every thread where
  • 00:26:43.170 --> 00:26:47.100
  • you are concerned?
  • 00:26:47.110 --> 00:26:49.080
  • That he who started the plan knows how to end it?
  • 00:26:49.090 --> 00:26:53.180
  • We're going to get some confidence in him today,
  • 00:26:53.190 --> 00:26:56.180
  • in his ability to always bring something to a good finish.
  • 00:26:56.190 --> 00:27:02.200
  • Can somebody say, "Hallelujah?"
  • 00:27:02.210 --> 00:27:05.030
  • There's nothing, no sin, no transgression,
  • 00:27:05.280 --> 00:27:09.030
  • that exceeds the power of the cross.
  • 00:27:09.040 --> 00:27:11.290
  • Thank you, God.
  • 00:27:12.000 --> 00:27:13.160
  • (male announcer) Living Proof would like to send you
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  • a thank you gift for your donation.
  • 00:27:18.030 --> 00:27:19.260
  • Visit bethmoore.org/donate.
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