April 12

Text: Matthew 13:3, 8

"Behold, the sower went out to sow; . . .  And others fell on the good soil, and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. (NASB)

One huge mistake many Christians make involves lending support to a false impression.  The false impression is that faithful Christians basically are clones.  No matter what the culture, not matter what the social environment, no matter what the educational level, no matter what the level of wealth, no matter what system of family they grew up in and helped sustain, faithful Christians look alike, sound alike, act alike, and produce at the same level because they have adopted the same likes and dislikes.

Consider only the concept in Jesus’ parable.  The “good soil” did not all produce at the same level.  No soil does.  However, it all produced.  There is an incredible difference between a hundredfold and thirtyfold!  There is no indication that the planter was elated with the soil that produced a hundred times what was sown (an incredible yield!) and disappointed with the part of the field that produced only thirty per cent more than was planted (a good yield then!).

People are big on comparisons to other people—Jesus is not.  People test, measure, contrast, etc. so they can increase their ability to compare.  Often they make their decisions—even their important decisions—on comparisons.  Not Jesus!  Jesus functions on mercy and grace.  Jesus taught of the Samaritan who taught us what meant it to be a neighbor and of the prodigal son who taught us about repentance.  Mary Magdalene, one of Jesus’ friends, who originally had seven demons, taught us about the devotion of appreciation.   Later, the persecutor Saul became the most prolific New Testament writer and an able defender of Jesus.

Jesus Christ is not focused on how much we produce but what we produce.  He looks for those who are willing to be remade, willing to love because they understand, willing to obey because they appreciate, and willing to serve because they value.  These people dare to be what Jesus made them.

Suggestion for reflection: Do you wish to be what God can make you?  (Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.)

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