The Work of the Enemy

Book Reflection // August 13, 2022

The Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice

Chapter 2 // Matthew 13:24-43

Just like the previous parable that focused on the different types of soil that receive the gospel seed, Boice classifies this triplet of parables as dealing once again with the Kingdom of God. In this section Boice takes a bit of a different approach than what I have heard in the past and what I have seen in my small circle of Christian influence. Boice groups these three parables (weeds, mustard seed, and leaven) as speaking directly about the influence and work of evil in the Kingdom of God as it spreads throughout the world. These parables highlight the work of the enemy in our lives and the life of the church. Jesus tells us these parables to highlight the strategies and designs of our enemy to infiltrate, influence, and ultimately hinder the work of God in this world.

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The Seed and the Soil

Book Reflection // August 6, 2022

The Parables of Jesus by James Montgomery Boice

Chapter 1 // Matthew 13:1-23

In this book by Boice, he classifies this parable as one dealing with the Kingdom of God. In particular he marks this particular parable as unique in this category since it is dealing more so with the origin of the Kingdom. Meaning that this specific parable is focused more on the beginnings of the spreading of the grace and gospel of Christ throughout the world. The uniqueness of this parable is that Jesus uses the picture of seeds being scattered and planted in different types of soil to represent the different stages of readiness to receive the gospel message of hope and salvation – hard heart, shallow heart, strangled heart, and an open heart.

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The Ministry of Intercession

Book Reflection // July 17, 2022

The Ministry of Intercession by Andrew Murray

The reason I started reading this book was two-fold. One, I have enjoyed reading other books by Andrew Murray and have greatly appreciated the way he conveys his passion for Christ in his writing. Second, I was looking for a book on prayer that was more focused on the motivation behind prayer and would be a source of encouragement and challenge. I really enjoyed this short but focused dive into understanding the intercessory nature of prayer and Murray’s call for the church and its people to engage more deeply and consistently with prayer. I appreciated how often Murray brought me to engage with the Bible as I read through the different chapters. There was a deep passion for the Word of God in his writing and his desire for us all to engage with Jesus in prayer. This book challenged some of my misunderstandings and wandering away from the simple truths of praying in the name of Jesus. He motivated me to not only pray more, but to engage on a deeper level with Jesus as I pray. What I appreciated most about his writing was that it presented a beautiful picture of a life thoroughly engaged with the heart of Christ. Murray simply sought to present the heart of Jesus to me and let the Words of Christ work in me. My prayer is that I will be more engaged in prayer. That I will continue to see prayer not as a necessary addition to the journey, but the lifeline of this journey connecting me with the Father, the Son, and the Spirit.

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