Friday, March 25, 2011
The Weapon of Compromise
Here is another illustration Jesus used: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”—Matthew 13:31–32
When Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed,” people of His day would have understood that Jesus was comparing it to the smallest of things. A mustard seed was regarded as one of the smallest of the seeds.
But here is the thing we need to know: Mustard seeds don’t grow into trees; they grow into bushes or shrubs. So it was unnatural growth. Jesus was saying the kingdom of God is like something small that grew really big. It would be like a Chihuahua that grew to the size of an elephant. The idea was that it is something that is not normal.
So here is a little bush or shrub that grows into a giant tree, with birds nesting in its branches. In the first parable of this series in Matthew 13, the Parable of the Sower, we see that birds were a symbol of evil. And if you look at all of the parables in this chapter, they are about God working and Satan opposing.
So I believe this is a picture of the church growing freakishly big, in a sense, but also being invaded by imposters. And I think that fits what we are seeing right now. The Bible says that one of the signs of the last days will be people who have a form of godliness, but deny its power (see 2 Timothy 3:5).
This is about compromise in the life of the follower of Jesus Christ. And one of the most effective weapons in the devil’s arsenal is that of compromise. The devil knows he can’t take you down at once, so he takes you a bite at a time. Little things lead to big things. That is the whole point. And this is where a lot of believers fall: through compromise.
P.S. – All month long in April, your Daily Devotions will have a new look as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We’re calling it the Road to the Resurrection, specially designed to deepen your Easter experience and draw you closer to the risen Lord.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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