Are You On The Inside Or The Outside?
"But when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parable. And he said to them, 'To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables...'" Mark 4:10 Are you on the inside or the outside? Notice that Jesus is addressing not only the twelve he had specifically chosen, but anyone else who stayed "around him." You can get as close to the Lord as you choose to, but it will take effort if you want to get close to him. After the Sunday morning service at your church, everyone will head out for dinner. Likewise, after Jesus finished speaking the parables to the multitudes, they left and went their way. But ...some chose instead to come close to Jesus when he was alone, and hear his explanations of the parables he spoke to the crowds. They were more hungry to understand his words than to to go for dinner. It all depends on the level of importance you put on the Word of God. I heard about a survey which showed that only 10% of those who deem themselves "believers" read the Word of God daily. To my way of thinking, that is a travesty, a sad commentary on the importance "believers" place on the very Word of Almighty God. They consider it enough exposure to just hear it once a week. What if those same people were told they could only eat one meal a week? What an outcry that would produce, wouldn't it! Yes, believers will make sure they nourish their bodies daily, and even more than what is needed, but they nourish their spirit perhaps once a week if that. How then do they think they will grow in the Lord in spite of denying themselves the nourishment HE has prescribed for their spirit? Without food the body will collapse. Without spiritual food, the spirit atrophies. "Your Words were found, and I ate them, and your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by your Name, O Lord God of hosts." Jeremiah 15:16 Brothers and sisters, Almighty God has left us his Word and he expects it to be the most important thing in life to anyone who believes. Pick it up. Dust it off. And commit to feeding in the Word of God daily. Do not worry if you think you won't understand it. When you eat a meal, you don't worry how the vitamins and minerals will nourish your body, you just eat. Likewise, the Word of God is ALIVE (Hebrews 4:12) and you're required only to take it in. Do not worry whether it seems meaningful to you, just read it. If you begin a practice of doing this every day, you will come to see how the Word becomes alive to you, because the Spirit of God will point things out to you personally and once this begins happening, you will be only too happy to take in more and more. To interact this way with God is an absolute delight. He becomes very real to you and through the ministry of his Word to you, you will come to see him manifest himself to you in ways you've never imagined. Just start. Start now.