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Friday, January 30, 1998

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2 Samuel 11:1-4, 5-10, 13-17
Psalm 51
Mark 4:26-34

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think big

The kingdom of God "is like mustard seed which, when planted in the soil, is the smallest of all the earth's seeds, yet once it is sown, springs up to become the largest of shrubs, with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in its shade." —Mark 4:31-32

For centuries, Christians have talked and heard about the parable of the mustard seed. However, the point of the parable in Mark's Gospel is not only the smallness of the mustard seed, but also the largeness of the mustard shrub "with branches big enough for the birds of the sky to build nests in its shade" (Mk 4:32). Thus we can rightly speak of the parable of the mustard shrub.

The Lord wants us to think big. This doesn't necessarily mean that we should "begin big" or be frustrated if our work doesn't "look big." However, we should "end big," that is, we should bear fruit abundantly (Jn 15:5) and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).

We think big and want to share the Gospel with large numbers of people because these large numbers are not just large numbers; they are people. Because we love God, we love people — all people and each person. Because we love all people and each person, we want all to be saved (1 Tm 2:4) and not one to be lost (Mt 18:14). In love, we want as many people as possible (1 Cor 9:19) to come to Jesus. We think big because He is Love and we love Him and each and every person. In love, think big.

Prayer:  Father, may I lead many thousands into your kingdom. May I lead at least one person to You today.

Promise:  "Have mercy on me, O God, in Your goodness; in the greatness of Your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me." —Ps 51:3-4

Praise:  Jesus used a three-year-old girl's cancer to renew an extended family. Many of the family members have since participated in Life in the Spirit seminars, and the grandmother has witnessed to every one of her co-workers about Jesus.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, June 1, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 9, 1997