August 10, 2018 Memory Verse

James 5_16

Matthew 13:23 Producing a Crop

“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.” Matthew 13:23

The final part of this parable looks at the seed that falls on good soil. When the soil has the correct mixture of soil, fertilizer and moisture it is a place a seed can grow.

Look at a tomato plant. One little seed is planted in the correct soil. It grows. When it produces tomatoes, you will have dozens of tomatoes on one plant. Each of those tomatoes produce many other seeds that could potentially produce many more plants and more tomatoes.

As the gospel message is passed on to other people, some will reject it immediately; others will accept for a while then reject it; but some will understand and follow.

One sign of a person who has understood the message is one who will produce a crop. The production process for a Christian is planting more seeds of the gospel into the lives of more people.

Just like someone growing a garden: if you only plant one seed, you may or may not get a plant back; but if you plant many seeds you have a great chance of getting a good crop.

As a Christian you should be trying to plant the seeds of the gospel message as much as possible. Tell everyone you meet and know about the salvation that Jesus provides.

Often believers will not tell a certain person because they “know” that, that person is hard and will not accept Jesus. This is not a believers job to decide. Let God deal with the heart of the person. Plant the seed anyway.

Look at the Apostle Paul. He was zealous against Christians. He sought out ways to kill them. Yet, God got a hold of his life and look what has become of it. Half the New Testament was written by Paul.

Jesus wants you to be His witness. Go out today and sow the gospel message to everyone you meet and know. See if God will bring in a crop one hundred times over. Allow God to use you.

I pray that God will place the desire for you to share the gospel message in your heart; that God will reveal opportunities for you to share His message; that God will draw people to Him through you; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.

Matthew 3:7-8 Produce Appropriate Fruit

“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” Matthew 3:7-8

John was going around preaching repentance to the people. As soon as a person repented of their sins he would baptize them in water. As he did this he also pointed out that he was only preparing the way for someone greater than himself.

While doing these baptisms, some Pharisees and Sadducees came to him. These were the ruling religious leaders and lawyers of that time. John does not have any good words for them. He calls them a brood of vipers.

Vipers are a very dangerous poisonous snake. They are classified as some of the most dangerous snakes in the world. It was a very demeaning name to call these professional people.

These people knew the Law of Moses inside out, and they knew all of the prophecies of the prophets very well. They looked very good on the outside, but inside were corrupt. The Pharisees and Sadducees wanted to look good to everyone else, while being greedy and controlling. They would enforce the letter of the law without living up to it themselves.

Here is where John tells them to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Many people will repent of sins and claim to follow Jesus, but will not live the life Jesus tells them to live.

Often one will see no love or forgiveness in their lives. You will not see them following God in everything they do. They live for God on Sunday and in front of the pastor, but outside of that they live for themselves.

If you have repented of your sins and claim to follow Jesus, live that new life God has given you. Be like Jesus in all you do. Do not lead a double life. Do not be like the Pharisees and Sadducees who put on a good show, but really are not living for God. Show the fruits of the Spirit in your life of joy, peace, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and love.

I pray today that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit; that you will produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life; that God will use you to spread His Word; that you will be true to God in all that you do; and that you will not live a double standard in life.