Read Matthew 13
The Word of God is the seed. We're just told to plant and let it grow. God provides the fruit (Matt. 13:1-23). Mustard seed, yeast, and hidden treasure. The pearl of great price can be yours (13:45-46). Jesus miraculously feeds 5,000 when there is no food (14:13-21) and walks on water (14:25-27).
There are just four kinds of responses to hearing the Word of God. Why do so many fail? Jesus said: Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the Word of the Kingdom, and understandeth it not (has no interest in submitting to Christ because this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed to the Truth — Matt. 13:15), then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the Word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the Word, by and by he is offended (13:18-21).
We behold in one scene man's self-destroying, shallow concern and Satan's opportunity to steal the precious Word (13:19). The difference between the fruitful field and this barren wayside was the shallowness or lack of depth of the hearer. When one receives the Word, God engineers the circumstances.
He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the Word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the Word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the Word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit (13:22-23).
Worldly cares develop as easily from poverty as from wealth and can crowd out Christ and His Word. This conflict of seed sown among the thorns illustrates the double-minded person who is neither hard and indifferent as the first, nor shallow like the second. But there is one fault of eternal consequence — his life is a mixture; there are other seeds in the heart besides those sown by the Master. Many call themselves Christians and profess much that is ethical, moral, and biblical; but their lives are compromised by worldly concerns and activities that dominate their hearts.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon (Matt. 6:24).
Thought for Today:
This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind . . . I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14).
For Matt. 13:14-15: See Is. 6:9-10. Matt. 13:32: See Ps. 104:12; Ezek. 17:23; 31:6; Dan. 4:12. Matt. 13:35: See Ps. 78:2. Matt. 13:41: See Zeph. 1:3. Matt. 13:43: See Dan. 12:3.
13:5 forthwith quickly; 13:15 is waxed gross has grown hardened; 13:20 anon . . . receiveth it immediately accepts it; 13:21 dureth for a while continues only a short time; 13:25 tares weeds — symbolic of satanic activities; 13:33 leaven seemingly insignificant yeast that affects the whole; meal ground grain; 14:8 charger large platter.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Thursday Morning Prayer • Staff: Pam Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX), Rep. Brian Higgins (NY), Rep. Steve Scalise (LA) • Country: Belarus (10 million) in northeastern Europe • Major languages: Belarussian and Russian • Religious freedom • 48% Orthodox; 22% Roman Catholic; 1.1% Jewish; 1% Protestant; .2% Muslim; 27.7% Agnostic/Atheist/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His goodness and mercy (Ps. 106:1).
Memory Verse for the Week: