Sovereign Lord, lead me to follow you in joyful obedience this day. May your will be my desire.
Read Matthew 13:18–23
18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat’s your favorite fruit? Appreciate the amount of time it took to grow from seed and thank God for it. If you can, find some to enjoy!
Today, through this passage, we get the same privileged insight into the kingdom that Jesus gave his disciples. I’ve been growing tomatoes and peppers from seed, observing their slow progress each day. The peppers took far longer to shoot: for about a month I was watering what appeared to be a pot of dead soil before there were any signs of life. It’s reassuring to hear Jesus’ use of agricultural and organic imagery in this passage to describe the kingdom of heaven. The slow growth that I’m observing reminds me of how much patience God has with each of us!
We can be confident that what Jesus sows in our lives is good, fruitful seed: in this passage it is ‘the word of the kingdom’ (v 19, ESV). The words of the kingdom are the powerful, fruitful words of the king – Jesus – and his teaching about the nature of the kingdom that will grow miraculously – ‘a hundredfold’ – despite appearances. Along with the disciples, we are alerted to how the fear of persecution (v 21), worries, and wealth (v 22), or a hardened heart can stop us from growing and bearing more kingdom seed that will extend his kingdom to others.
What does it mean for you to be fruitful in the kingdom of God? Do you feel the pressure of comparison with others, or are you content to enjoy the way God is working through you?
Mighty God, I can be so impatient. Thank you for the reminder that you are working in my life maturing me in the ways of the kingdom.
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