Devotional

One Fruitful Soil Produces Life (Matthew 13:8-9, 23)

What kind of heart does our Heavenly Father desire for each one of us? Jesus shed light on the answer to this question when He described the fourth soil in His Parable of the Sower. The “good” soil was soft (Matthew 13:8), and it received a divinely multiplied blessing: “It produced a crop, a hundred […]


A Thorny Heart (Matthew 13:7; 22)

In Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, the third soil that received the seed was “among the thorns” (Matthew 13:7). This soil was thorny. The result was the thorns “grew up and choked the plants” (Matthew 13:7). Jesus equated this earthly truth with the spiritual: “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns […]


A Shallow Heart (Matthew 13:5-6; 20-21)

In Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, the second soil that received the seed was “on rocky places, where it did not have much soil” (Matthew 13:5). This soil was shallow. The result was a quick, but short-lasting germination of the seed: “It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came […]


A Hard Heart (Matthew 13:4; 18-19)

In His Parable of the Sower, Jesus described three unfruitful soils of destruction, each representing a condition of the heart with different obstacles to receiving the word of God (see Matthew 13:4-7; 18-22). The first soil that received seed was “along the path” (Matthew 13:4). This soil was hard. It had been beaten down and […]


The Parable of the Sower – The Seed (Matthew 13:1-23)

Can you recall an experience that has hardened your heart toward God? The event seemed to put an obstacle in your inner being that continually hinders the movement of God in a particular area of your life. Jesus addressed this scenario when He shared the story known as The Parable of the Sower (see Matthew […]


The Parable of the New and the Old (Matthew 9:16-17)

What rules, regulations, and stipulations do you add to Jesus’ message of heart transformation? They probably fall into two categories: do’s and don’ts. Do go to church, do fast, do vote for a particular political party, do have it all together, do serve in church programs, do dress for success, do go to public Christian […]


Your Unique Expression of God’s Kingdom (Matthew 13:48b-50)

Are you pursuing God’s will for your life? Our Creator has designed each one of us for a special purpose. Accordingly, Jesus concluded His Parable of the Net describing the Father’s pursuit of our response. God fishes for the unique expression of His kingdom in us: “Then they sat down and collected the good fish […]


When God Examines Your Heart What Does He See? (Matthew 13:47-48a)

When God examines your heart what does he see? God fishes for Christ in us: “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and […]


The Parable of the Net (Matthew 13:47-50)

Have you ever asked yourself, “What does God fish for?” The answer might affect what you wake up seeking each day. In a parable about God’s net, Jesus addressed this question (see Matthew 13:47-50). First, God fishes for all: “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the […]


The Parable of the Yeast (Matthew 13:33)

Before we attempt to assimilate others from the outside in to our churches, we must first be transformed from the inside out. Jesus addressed this in The Parable of the Yeast: “He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of […]


The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32)

Have you considered how the kingdom of God grows in your communion with Him, in your community, and in your culture? Most ministries, including businesses, attempt to start big and eventually, they grow small. This is an example of pretense, which is the problem. However, the solution is authenticity. Authentic ministries start small and then […]


The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:12-14)

What do you think God does when something of value is lost? In a parable about a shepherd’s lost sheep, Jesus described God’s passion for lost people (see Matthew 18:12-14). First, God seeks the lost (see Matthew 18:12). Jesus described the shepherd with the lost sheep leaving his other ninety-nine in order to find the […]


Who is My Neighbor? (Luke 10:36-37)

“‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise’” (Luke 10:36-37). In His Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said that the Samaritan felt […]


The Dealer of the Loving Deed (Luke 10:33)

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him” (Luke 10:33) In His Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus painted a picture of a robbed, stripped, and beaten man lying half-dead along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. After leading worship in the […]


Have You Built a Box Around God’s Love? (Luke 10:25-37)

Do you find yourself wanting to show God’s love only to other believers? Jesus addressed this discrimination, the restriction of God’s limitless love, in The Parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:25-37). Who is my neighbor? (see Luke 10:25-29). An expert of the law wanted to test Jesus, so with impure motive, he asked […]


Delayed Obedience is Better than Disguised Disobedience (Matthew 21:31-32)

Is God asking you to take a risk? Jesus taught that saying “No,” then doing, “Yes” with God is better than saying, “Yes,” then doing, “No.” Delayed obedience, saying, “No,” then doing, “Yes,” has a relationship with our heavenly Father. Jesus taught the chief priests and elders: “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors […]


The Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-30)

Delayed Obedience is Better than Disguised Disobedience Do you respond to God with good intentions and, yet, do not do what He asks? Do you say, “Yes,” then do “No.” The Jewish leaders had questioned Jesus’ authority (see Matthew 21:23-27). It was most likely Tuesday of Holy Week under one of the Temple porches. Jesus […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (1 Peter 4:10)

“Each one should use whatever he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). Love the Word Would those closest to you describe you as greedy or generous? We were designed to be generous with our gifts of time, talent, and treasure. God desires that we use […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (1 Peter 2:23)

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). Love the Word Has someone insulted you or caused you harm? When either occurs, our first inclination is to retaliate or to make threats. However, […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (Colossians 3:13)

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). Love the Word Have you had the opportunity to forgive someone who has wronged you? Jesus likened withholding forgiveness to a prison (see Matthew 18:21-35). The irony is that the person who will […]