Scripture text for Wednesday, March 24th, 2010: Matthew 13:1-13:58
I am constantly amazed at how the Lord works in my life. One would think I’d have it figured out by now, but I often feel more like a Pharisee than one of God’s elect. At the very beginning of this E100 challenge I was asked to do a devotion and I let someone else pick which reading I would write about. The passage that was chosen could not be more applicable in my life.
Over the past three months I have been blessed to mentor, disciple, and minister to a lost soul. During that time we grew very close and Chris felt lead to accept Christ into his life. This was a huge step in recovering from the addictions of his past and we knew it meant new life for Chris. 2 Corinthians 5:17 states that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old is gone, the new has come!” Unfortunately his history overtook his future and two weeks ago he was sentenced to 12 years in prison for his past transgressions.
When I read chapter 13 of Matthew’s gospel, the parable of the sower jumped off the page. This is a perfect illustration of the uncertainty Chris faces. Chris spent his life not understanding the gift that was given to him as he grew up in a church. The “evil one” had been stealing what was sown in his heart for years. Chris hit rock bottom and voluntarily entered Trinity Mission where he could get help. This gave him an opportunity to step off the path he was on and head into much richer soils. My fear for Chris is that he has now been placed among the thorns. He will spend at least the next 5 years in prison. Matthew 13:22 explains “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.” Chris will spend the next 5 years worrying about those around him and when he reenters society he will also be faced with a lot of debt due to his past decisions. I pray and hope the worries of this life will not choke out his faith, thus rendering him unfruitful. He has been in my prayers daily and I would encourage you to pray for him as well.
Think about how the seeds of the Word have fallen in your life. Do you need to recognize the gift God has given you and use it? Do you have a “Chris” in your life that could use you reaching out to him/her? Maybe you feel like your spiritual life is being choked out and you need to look for someone to help sow more seeds in your life. I believe Matthew 13 calls us to action and encourages us to help one another as we continue on this journey through life.
Devotion prepared by Zach Brennan