TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Matthew 13:1-24

What is the kingdom like? If “words of the kingdom” were taught, would you listen to understand how to obey them? Matthew 13 is a chapter of Jesus’ words about the kingdom. Jesus spoke in parables so those who believe would understand the kingdom and those who do not believe would not understand (Matthew 13:10-17). Has your life in the kingdom been shaped by these teachings of the kingdom?

In Matthew 13:18-23, “the words of the kingdom” are to be understood and kept in the heart. They should change our lives so that we bear fruit. Consider the simple, yet profound instruction of the four responses to preaching the kingdom. Some hear the words of the kingdom but let Satan snatch away the message from their hearts. Others hear the word but don’t allow it to take root in their lives, therefore when hardship comes they leave the kingdom, never coming to a point of fruitful maturation. In Jesus’ parable others hear the message of the kingdom but are so distracted by cares of earthly concerns and riches that the word of the kingdom is pushed out of their hearts. The fourth are those who hear the word of the kingdom and seek to understand it. They study until they figure out what life looks like when living for the King. Their lives become productive, spiritual ground bearing much fruit.

So now the question for each of us is, “What will we do with the teachings on the kingdom that follow this parable?” Will we allow them to take root in our hearts and souls in order to change our lives and make us productive in the kingdom? Say “yes.” And read tomorrow’s lesson with that fervent, zealous intent.

Today I will…contemplate three things I can do that will help me be a better listener when the Word of God is being taught. I will also evaluate my personal study time to see if I have been successful at deepening my spiritual roots and avoiding distractions that compete with my spiritual growth. Finally, I will allow Psalm 119:59 to shape my prayer to God.