August 30

Matthew 13-14, Psalm 88

In the branch of mathematics known as algebra we learn to solve problems with constants and variables. The concept of what are constants and variables in real life leads to major source of problems, especially surrounding the area of faith. Many who choose not to believe in God mistakenly make God the variable. They question His love, His fairness, His relevance, His justice, etc. But He and His Word are the constants, they never change. We read in Malachi 3:6, "For I am the Lord, I do not change;". We read in Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." So, the variable when it comes to coming to faith in God depends on the choice we as individuals make. His message has not changed throughout the generations since Jesus walked the earth and it was just as relevant for the next generation after Jesus as it is today.

Notice when we read the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:1-23, the sower and the seed are the constants. The variable is the condition of the soil. The first soil was the hardened soil on the wayside. For these individuals the seed or God's Word does not penetrate their hard hearts and makes no sense to them nor has any impact on them. The seed that fell along the stony places represents those who accept it with emotion and excitement, but they immediately abandon His Word when difficulty and persecution come their way. Picture the person who raises his hand at a crusade but never goes any further once he/she undergoes difficulty from their family. The third soil is the thorny soil which represent those who hear His Word but get caught up in the distractions, desires, etc that the world brings their way. These distractions choke out any fruit which might have been produced. Lastly, we see the good soil which receives His Word and immediately spreads it as it takes root. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, we see another set of constants being presented in Matthew 7:24-27. We will all experience the rains, floods, and the winds of life. No one will escape these various trials. The variable is whether we choose to place our faith and hope on the rock of Jesus or the sand of the world.

We live among a people with different soils. Each one of us at one point heard the gospel message presented and made a choice. If we accepted the Sower's Seed as the constant, perfect Word of God and emptied ourselves of all the pride and things which prevent one from responding to that Seed then we have experienced the peace and freedom which exists in no other relationship than being in a relationship with Jesus. As we go out and share this Seed with others, like John in Matthew 3:2 and Jesus in Matthew 4:17, it must begin with a call to repentance in order to till the soil and prepare it for the Seed. We have all broken each and every one of the Ten Commandments, and simply showing this to others in your own life and allowing others to see it in their own lives is a good way to start. Once they realize their need for forgiveness and salvation then their soil is properly prepared to receive the unchanging, beautiful, constant Seed of Jesus Christ. Remember as we approach each day Jesus' words to those He sent out in Matthew 9:37-38, "The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest."

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster