Highlights In Today's Reading:
What a generous, loving Savior who communicates His love to all who hath ears to hear (a desire to obey) (13:9,43). No one is excluded. Everyone qualifies who accepts His terms. Pray for understanding, read all seven parables, and then listen for His voice! The account of John the Baptist's murder is in 14:1-13. This is followed by two magnificent miracles. They are very important.
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 (have no interest in submitting to Christ, for this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed — 13:15 — to the truth), 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 our 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 (Matthew 13:22-23).
Worldly cares develop as easily from poverty as from wealth and 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 — their lives are 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 (Matthew 6:24).
Thought for Today:
What kind of ground is your heart? Is it hard and stony or is it good and fruitful? Maybe there are too many thorns that need to be removed.
13:5 forthwith =b> quickly; 13:15 is waxed gross =b> has grown hardened; 13:20 anon =b> immediately; 13:21 dureth for a while =b> continues only a short time; 13:25 tares =b> weeds — symbolic of satanic activities; 13:33 leaven =b> yeast — symbolic of sin; meal =b> ground grain; 14:8 charger =b> large platter.
For Matthew 13:14-15: See Isaiah 6:9-10. Matthew 13:32: See Psalm 104:12; Ezekiel 17:23; 31:6; Daniel 4:12. Matthew 13:35: See Psalm 78:2. Matthew 13:41: See Zephaniah 1:3. Matthew 13:43: See Daniel 12:3.
Pray for Spanish International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Pauline Zuniga • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mrs. Doyle Foss • Bible Pathway Accountant: Joe Sarsfield * Government Officials: Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX) and Rep. Brian Higgins (NY) • Country: India (986 million) in southern Asia • Major languages: Hindi and English • Religious freedom, but increasing harassment and persecution of Christians by religious radicals • 78% Hindu; 12% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 3% Christian; 2.5% Indigenous; 2% Sikh; .9% Buddhist; .5% Jain; .3% Parsi; .2% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; .5% non-Religious • Prayer Suggestion: Be glad in the Lord and rejoice at all times (Psa. 32:11).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33