Is your heart fertile soil?

June 8, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”
(Matthew 13:1-9 (NIV))

When Jesus spoke these words, people did not understand that He was speaking of the Kingdom of God and how it is planted in people’s hearts.

What was true then is still true now. Each heart is the planting field for the seed of the Word of God. If your heart is hardened, then it will not take root and grow. If it is easily turned, it will not be fertile soil for the Word to take root. It will be choked out by whatever the world offers it. If your heart is truly receptive, then the Word of God will take root and grow stronger and stronger.

Is your heart fertile soil?

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Has your faith grown or is it still the smallest of all seeds?

July 10, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”
(Matthew 13:31-32 (NIV))

The kingdom of heaven is indeed like a mustard seed. Like something small, it is there for us to find. Yet, if you are not looking for it, it will be missed. Once it is found, it grows within us until it is all consuming, until it is the focus of our lives.

God intended it to be this way. We must find it by faith. If it were visible to everyone, where would faith be? God planned it that way. He knew that if everyone could see the visible effects of the kingdom of heaven, then people would choose without testing their faith. God wants people to come to Him of their own free will, not because of His power.

How big is your mustard seed? Has it grown or is it still the smallest of all seeds?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Pray that you don’t lose your saltiness!

September 18, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people– not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
(1 Corinthians 5:9-11 (NIV))

I know that I am going to ruffle some feathers with this verse.

It ruffled mine!

Did you catch that second to last sentence? What does it mean to you? Does it convict you? Think about that for a moment.

We,as the Body of Christ, are instructed to stay away from those who profess a faith in Jesus, yet do not live according to His teachings. We are not to associate with someone who claims Jesus as their savior yet is still sexually immoral – heterosexual and homosexual; someone who is greedy; or someone who worships idols, even worldly possessions; or many other sinful traits.

We are told to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. How can we focus on Jesus if we associate with those who would temp us to sin?

I know that this is a fine line that we walk, for we are to be the salt and light to the world. But, if we are in situations where we can fall into sin, we can lose our ability to be the salt.

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
(Matthew 5:13 (NIV))

If we lose our ability to be the salt, what does that mean that we are good for in God’s plan?

I know that this almost sounds like the Pharisees and the Sadducees, but think about the way that lepers used to be cast away. This was done so that they would not infect others. What about the old saying that one bad apple spoils the barrel?

I realize that we are instructed to confront believers if they sin. This is done out of love and a hope that they will repent. What about those who have no desire to repent? Are they really members of the Body of Christ, or are they like the seed from the parable that did not fall on good soil?

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”
(Matthew 13:3-9 (NIV))

Pray that you don’t lose your saltiness!

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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