Strength to Strength Devotional Series: The Parables of Jesus
"Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. As they go through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion."
"Strength to Strength" is a weekly devotional series designed to encourage you in your spiritual growth. The name comes from Psalm 84 because we hope that this time of the Coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented change in our lives will direct our hearts (and the hearts of our family) to the Lord, as we “go from strength to strength; as each one appears before God in Zion” (Ps.84:7).
Each Sunday for 13 weeks, you will see a new link to a video teaching on the Parables of Jesus from the Bible, along with suggested readings from two books, also focused on the Parables of Jesus, that we recommend you get. The first book is a family devotional called Listen Up: 10-Minute Family Devotions on the Parables by Marty Machowski. The other is a light commentary for your personal devotion time called The Parables of Jesus: Entering, Growing, Living and Finishing in God's Kingdom by Terry Johnson.
Here is an introduction to the series:
The Study Plan
Using Listen Up will guide you each day through Scripture passages and discussions. However, if you are using The Parables of Jesus, we would encourage you to read the text each day, slowly meditating on that truth. For further study, we would encourage you to look at other passages that reinforce the same teaching that Jesus is emphasizing in the specific parable, as well as the other gospel accounts with the same parable.
Week 1 teaching: Parable of the Sower
(Listen Up week 1 and The Parables of Jesus chapter 3)
Week 2 teaching: Parable of the Two Foundations
(Listen Up week 2 and The Parables of Jesus chapter 16)
Week 3 teaching: Parable of a Treasure, a Pearl, and a Mustard Seed
(Listen Up week 3 and The Parables of Jesus chapters 9 & 12)
Week 4 teaching: The Good Shepherd
(Listen Up week 4 and The Parables of Jesus chapters 13 & 14)
Week 5 teaching: Forgiveness
(Listen Up week 5 and The Parables of Jesus chapters 22 & 18)
Week 6 teaching: The Good Samaritan
(Listen Up week 6 and The Parables of Jesus chapter 21)
Week 7 teaching: Prayer
(Listen Up week 7 and The Parables of Jesus chapters 23 & 24)
Week 8 teaching: Give
(Listen Up week 8 and The Parables of Jesus chapter 6)
Week 9 teaching: Banquet
(Listen Up week 9 and The Parables of Jesus chapter 19)
Week 10: Lost Sheep, Coin, Son
(Listen Up week 10 and The Parables of Jesus chapter 20)
Week 11: Believe
(Listen Up week 11 and The Parables of Jesus chapters 7, 10 & 17)
Week 12: Everybody Needs Jesus
(Listen Up week 12 and The Parables of Jesus chapters 4, 5, 8 & 25)
Week 13: The Return of Christ
(Listen Up week 13 and The Parables of Jesus chapters 28 & 29)
If you are unable to get the books but still want to follow along or re-watch videos, you can continue to study the Parables of Jesus and always find the running collection of recorded videos here. While we are in this time of social distancing, it is best to watch the teaching videos on Sundays, perhaps at the time when evening worship would typically take place. That way, it can aid you in family worship throughout the week.
We want this to be an avenue in which you are encouraged spiritually to drink deeply of God's truth and to be able to give generously to those around you because of your time with God. The Lord has many lessons for us to learn through this time of being stretched and isolated. May we have the eyes of faith to see them, and the hearts to believe and trust.