Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Good Soil: Hear, Understand, Produce

Today's Reading:
Ezekiel 20:1-49
Matthew 12:46-13:23
Proverbs 14:5-14
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Focus Verses: Matthew 13:22-23
22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

Both worries and wealth—the burdens and the blessings—have the capacity to choke out the productivity of God's word in our lives. Problems and needs can lead to stress. Wealth and comfort can lead to apathy and half-heartedness. Those who are eager to receive God's word, ready to understand and respond to it, are like rich soil that welcomes a seed, letting it put down deep roots and push up a bountiful crop.

Response and Action:
I will be careful to not let the worries and concerns of life distract me from God's word. I will be just as careful to not let the comforts and blessings of life lull me into apathy toward God's word. God's word must be more important to me than worries or wealth. I must be quick to receive God's word and ready to respond to it.

Allowing God's word to take deep root in my heart and mind is what prepares me for hardship and gives me peace in stressful circumstances. God’s word planted in my heart helps me remember what is most important in times of comfort and blessing.

O God, protect from the worries of life. Do not let them distract me from your guiding and sustaining word. O God, protect me from the blessings and comforts of life. Do not let them cause me to trust in them or love them more than you. Give me a love and a hunger for your word. May it teach, rebuke, correct, and train me in order that I might live a fruitful life that honors you. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  2 Timothy 3:16-17
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Transforming Bible Study: 
Understanding Scripture Like You've Never Read It Before
by Bob Grahmann

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