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Look a Little Closer

Mark 4:4 Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. 25 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”

When reading God’s Word, known as the Bible, we can sometimes get into a habit of just “reading” it and not get the deeper message and truth in the passage(s). When that happens we might miss a deeper truth that leads us to a whole new way of thinking. In Mark 4 Jesus is sharing a parable about the farmer scattering seed. In verses 3-10 Jesus tells the parable and then in verses 13-20 Jesus explains the meaning in more detail.

There is a saying that I hear from time to time and here is the origin of the saying “the devil is in the details.” This expression is a derivation of God is in the details. This earlier version most likely originated in the 1800s and is attributed to German-born architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohebut. Interestingly, the original phrase God is in the Details had a slightly different connotation than the modern phrase the devil is in the details. The idea was that whatever one does should be done thoroughly and the truth, if it exists, is in the details. The modern phrase does not speak of truth in this sense. The devil is in the details really only refers to problems or difficulties that result from the unforeseen nature of unexamined details. It refers to a catch hidden in the details rather than the truth in its abstract sense. The variant form the devil is in the details became popular from 1960 onward.

We many times leave out the details when learning a truth and those details can give an abstract understanding of the real truth itself.

I watch quite a few British Mystery shows and I am always very impressed by the writer’s weaving of a story when adding more and more details along the way. I will try to guess “who done it” early and I usually miss it because there are more details I find out later and that changes my position. In an earlier verse in Mark 4 Jesus says 22 For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. 23 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Sometimes our minds don’t quite get the details because of a lack of understanding about a certain scripture or Bible reference. Then later on it’s like a light comes on as the deeper part of that truth comes to light. Which causes me to look on a verse earlier in Mark 4:21 Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine. All of this is found right after Jesus explains the parable of the sower, so it is right in line with the truth of the parable where He says 20 And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When the seed gets on good soil it causes a good result and that person reproduces themselves far more after coming to Christ than thought possible.

Closing thought!!! Our obedience to the result of life change should cause our light to shine in such a way as to lead others to follow Christ. Christ gives great worth to our life to not only receive Him but share Him with all the people we interact with on a daily basis. This is a daunting thought but keep in mind it is His light that is shining and it is shining through us. Why does He need to shine that light through us? Because there is darkness and we are compelled to “show the way.” Look a little closer and you will see that God really does have a great plan for your life and it involves sharing eternity!!

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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