April 15

Text: Matthew 13:24, 25

"The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.” (NASB)

Why would a good man doing only helpful things that hurt no one have enemies?  Try it!  Be dedicated to being good, doing helpful things, and hurting no one.  I make two predictions.

Prediction one: We would be pleasantly moved by those who responded to a genuine sense of concern.  Once they passed the versions of “What is he (or she) up to?” and were convinced this was not a new way to be hurt or exploited, they would embrace the caring with moving devotion and strong friendship!

Prediction two: The people who opposed you would astound you.  There will be strong opposition!  First, those who are afraid would oppose you.  They will not understand the why—impersonal benevolence is fine, but direct association?  Second, there would be those who declared, “That is just not the way it works!  Do you not understand what this will produce?”  Third, some would quickly calculate what such efforts would cost “us.”   Fourth, some consider anything “good” to be an undesirable threat.  “Unselfishness” that does not serve “my” agenda is a bad thing.

Note the landowner immediately knew that the weeds (tares) were the work of an enemy.  The problem was not produced by buying inferior seed!  The problem was not produced by his servants’ work!  The problem was produced by someone who hated him!

If we serve God’s purposes, we will do good and care about people!  There always are those who despise God’s purposes.  That hatred covers those devoted to God.  Never expect to be praised by all if you are devoted to God’s goodness expressed in doing good to people.

Suggestion for reflection: Do God’s purposes define you and your deeds?  (Read Ephesians 6:10-13.)

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