Receiving God’s Revelation; May 13, 2018

Matthew 13:11-12 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.”

This is one of the several Bible passages that some people claim are unfair. And frankly, on the face of it, it sounds that way to human reasoning. However, this follows verse 9: “He who has ears, let him hear.” God doesn’t force us to receive or reject His revelation, but He knows in advance who will and who won’t. Those who receive what God says to them in all humility and gratitude will indeed receive more and more, to the point of genuine abundance. However, those who hear God’s words as unimportant to them don’t get further revelation, and whatever spiritual understanding they might have soon leaves them. In a sense, we all start out with equal opportunity to know God, because the world itself testifies of Him (Romans 1:20). God holds us accountable for what we do with whatever degree of revelation we have received. That’s what’s behind the stories we hear of people in Islamic countries having dreams of Jesus, drawing them to seek out Christians and get their hands on a Bible. They are surrounded by religious teaching that would separate them from the God of Creation, but He knows their hearts and He gives them opportunity to know Him as He is. On the other hand, there are many who grow up in “Christian” nations who take it all as “cultural myths” and never respond to Christ in repentance and faith. Sadly, that even includes some who are “professional Christians,” just as Judas was one of the original 12 apostles. We are not accountable for what we have not been given, but we are very much accountable for what we have been given.

This certainly applies to me. I was given a great deal right off the bat, growing up in a strongly Christian home, but I very nearly blew it all, falling into the trap of pride. I thought I was a “super Christian” when I had no personal relationship with Him at all. God in His mercy tapped me on the shoulder, and when I turned, He had a mirror for me to see myself. I could only fall to my knees and weep, “My Lord and my God, my Lord and my God.” I wish I could say I’ve been a faithful steward ever since, but at least I have had a growing awareness of my responsibility for stewardship. At this point, I love to teach and share the abundance the Lord has poured into me, but I find an extreme range in people’s reception of what I share. I have a bad tendency to presume more foundation than people have, and people never really hear what I’m saying. I need to meet people where they are and walk alongside them, rather than demanding that they run to catch up. I can’t get it right on my own, but God can do it in and through me, so I’ve got to listen and obey accurately.

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for the past two days of being involved in the national meeting of the Early Morning Prayer Association. I met some sweet brothers and sisters in Christ, but I also was saddened by some of the deception I recognized. Help me be faithful to whatever part You have for me to play in Your plans, so that more and more people will open their hearts to receive Your genuine abundance, and not any counterfeit, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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