Sunday, January 24, 2016

Satan Can Plant and Remove Seeds

Jesus told a parable, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. . . The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’” (Matthew 13:24-28)

In this parable, the enemy came at night and sowed weeds in their field while the slaves were sleeping. They didn’t realize what the enemy had done because it wasn’t obvious at first. But after the wheat and tares sprang up together, the slaves couldn’t understand how tares got in the field when the landowner had only sown good seed. The landowner explained to the slaves that his enemy had done it. Even though he hadn’t seen the enemy do it, he figured out the tares came from bad seed that was sown by someone who hated him. Here are 2 tactics that Satan uses:

1. Satan can remove good seed planted in people’s hearts. In the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:3-23), Jesus said the evil one has the ability to snatch away good seed sown in a person’s heart (v.19). The good seed is God’s Word (Mark 4:14) which will produce good fruit (13:8), so the devil’s first tactic is to attack the Bible. When someone hears God’s Word, he or she must decide to receive and act upon it. If someone doesn’t do this, the evil one can actually take it away, presumably through making the person forget about it before it can take root.

2. Satan can plant immoral seeds in people’s hearts. His second tactic is to plant immoral seeds in people’s hearts while they are “sleeping.” This means they aren’t aware of what’s happening to them in the spiritual realm. The enemy isn’t noticeable when he tempts people. He plants his tares in people’s hearts and it is not until later that the harmful consequences become obvious.

He’s busy sowing seeds of hate and discord, seeds of unfaithfulness in marriages, and discontentment in people’s hearts. The world is in such a mess today because the immoral seeds sown by the devil have taken over the field. Yet some people have never figured out their troubles began as tiny seeds sown by a spiritual enemy while they were sleeping.

How can you prevent tares from being sown in your heart? By staying spiritually aware and refusing to let him trespass on your property. “Let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober” (1 Thess. 5:6). Let the good seed produce its good fruit, and keep the corrupt seed from entering your heart. If it’s already in there, you can pull the weeds out (repentance) and let the Holy Spirit germinate God’s Word in your heart. It will change your life. Twitter:  @Kent Crockett

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Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Reaping What We Sow

Reader's Digest told a story about a company that glued a tiny seed to a brochure that was advertising their product. The brochure said, "If you have the faith as a mustard seed in our product, it will produce profound results for you." Several months later, a customer wrote back saying, "You will be very interested to know that I planted your mustard seed and now I have a beautiful plant covered with tomatoes!"  It was a tomato seed, not a mustard seed. Keep two principles in mind:

1. We reap what we sow.  Galatians 6:7 says, "Don't be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." If a farmer plants corn, he’s not going to reap okra. If you plant watermelon seeds, you will reap watermelons, not asparagus. I can look at a field of wheat and tell you exactly what kind of seed was sown, even though I wasn't there to watch the farmer plant it. We always reap the kind of seed we plant.

The Scripture warns, "Don't be deceived" because many people think they can sow evil seeds and not suffer any harmful consequences. But they will. On the other hand, wise people sow good seeds because they want to reap a good harvest.  And they will.

2. We reap later than we sow.  What we are planting doesn’t become obvious until much later. The consequences, whether positive or negative, will be delayed—sometimes for years. People who do evil will not get away with it. And people who do good will be thrilled when the harvest comes. Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary." 

So keep planting good seeds. And don’t lose heart if nothing seems to be happening. The harvest is coming!  @Kent Crockett

Making Life Count Ministries
P.O. Box 680174
Prattville, Alabama 36068-0174