Applications of the Parable

 
1-20-17
Friday
 
 
 
The Parable this week supplies us with a number of applications that could be made but we are going to look at only two.
 
Because He planted us, Jesus is our king. Because we have been given life there will be growth. Total surrender to Jesus and a hunger for spiritual growth. Those are the two things.
 
The new birth is entrance into the kingdom, and a Christian is somebody who says to Jesus, “Because you saved me, because of what you did on the cross for me, because you forgave me, because through you I am right with God, I will do anything I know you want, anything I can read in your Word, anything I know is your will. Anything. Whether it seems practical, whether it’s something I like, I am utterly submitted to you, your royal will. You have the supremacy in every area of my life.” To say anything less is less than kingdom mentality. To say anything less is less than Christianity. Being a Christian means you obey the one who saved you. You make Jesus your King.
 
 
Why does Jesus use being planted as one of the metaphors?
 
Because a plant exists completely through the operation of something else. A plant can’t plant itself. A baby can’t make itself born. A person who is a Christian knows even though you’ve struggled and worked very hard in the process of becoming a Christian, once you become a Christian, you realize there was an outside power that has come on in and is dealing with you in the center of your life. You realize someone has been opening your eyes. Someone has been guiding you. Someone has been revolutionizing your life.
 
 
How do you really know the difference? Growth! It’s all growth. You see, in the end, the Christian grows into the likeness of Christ. The counterfeit, moral person does not really grow. A Christian is somebody who grows more and more content with God as the years go by. Growth is the evidence of real life.
 
You can’t believe it but you find yourself getting more humble, less arrogant, more sensitive because you know about your sins. At the same time, you feel more loved and more loved and more loved and more loved, because you see, in the end, it’s the kingdom of the Father that we experience, and we sense he is more and more a Father as time goes on and we know we are the children of the King.
 
 
Are you growing in those ways? Have you made Jesus your king?
 
 
Prayer: Thank you Father for giving me the examples of what the kingdom is like and thank you Christ who is my savior and my King and the person who is being formed in me. Because of him I am alive and planted in the kingdom of my Lord.


Counterfeit

1-18-17
Wednesday
 
 
The Parable of the wheat and the weeds tells us three things. There is a farmer who does work. There is an enemy who also does work. The farmer who owns the field is patient. How patient?
 
 
When the farmer is told the enemy has sown weeds in his field he is not alarmed. When the workers are panicking about what to do the farmer insists on being patient. “Leave the weeds alone and let them grow alongside the wheat. One day they will be identified. And how will they know? They will know them by their fruit… weeds produce no fruit.
 
 
The enemy comes sows a weed called zizania. Now you don’t want to grow zizania anywhere. It was the disease of the farmers (especially wheat farmers) in this part of the world at this time because zizania was actually a degenerate form of wheat. It looked just like the wheat as it grew up, and it grew in the fields with the wheat, but when it came to maturity, it showed there was no grain. There was no head of grain at all. It was just stalk. Yet what will happen is the zizania grows alongside of the wheat, and it soaks up the nutrients and soaks up the moisture and stunts the growth of the crop.
 
 
An average stalk of wheat contains about of 200 pieces of grain. At the harvest, two plants that appeared to be the same while they were growing in the field become obviously different. In the growth process of real wheat, fruit has been produced.
 
 
Jesus tells us there are two kingdoms growing side by side in our reality. We need to know to which kingdom we belong. How do we know for sure?
 
Weeds with no fruit in them are gathered and burned. Is there real fruit that God is producing in your life? God knows the difference between real and counterfeit… do you?
 
 
Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.


Two Kingdoms

1-17-17
Tuesday
 
 
 
Matthew 13:36-43
36 Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” 37 He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the Evil One, 39 and the enemy who sows them is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40 As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41 The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.”
 
 
This parable is serious stuff. When Jesus explains this to the disciples I wonder what their reaction was. Did their eyes get really big? Could they even imagine that the Rabbi they follow was the very one who would send angels to collect the sons of the evil one and deliver them to Hell? Did Thomas really say “I doubt he has angels!” or am I just imagining that? Here is the point. There was some serious and painful self-evaluation that must have taken place.
 
 
The parable requires that kind of self-evaluation. It starts off with farmers and crops and harvests and ends up with weeping and gnashing of teeth. But Jesus doesn’t tell stories to scare people, even if this is a little scary. There is a purpose in Jesus explaining this parable to the ones he loves. But what is he telling them?
 
 
There are two kingdoms. One is the kingdom of God and the other is the kingdom of the evil one. But the twist to this parable is that the sons of the evil one look just like the sons of God. The sons of the evil one are not twisted and grotesque and obvious, they look just like the ones in the kingdom of God.
 
 
But here is the deal: Sometimes the sons of God aren’t sure they are really sons of God and sometimes the sons of the evil one think they are the sons of God. Confusing right?
 
 
That’s why this parable is so important. You need to know to which kingdom you belong. There are 2 kingdoms. One of them ends really badly. You need to know which one you are a part of? It is the most important question you will ever answer.
 
 
Prayer: Thank you for the assurance of my salvation.



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