Week 7: Days 3 and 4
Read Matthew 13:24-30, 13:36-43, 13:44-46, Joel 1:1-12, Deuteronomy 28:38-47, Joel 2:12-25.
Ignore the weeds.
That’s my response whenever I look out my front window. I hate weeding. All those pretty yellow and pink flowers crowd together and reach their heads up to the sun, but among them lurk the weeds. There are also pests in my garden—red ants love that area of my yard. It’s critical to use the proper poison to get at them without killing the flowers. Luckily, I can tell the difference between my flowers and the weeds. There was a time, however, when the flowers I planted were not familiar to me and so I had to wait until much later to discern that the strange plants growing among the flowers were just weeds.
“It is important to understand that as tares grow they look like wheat but they are very poisonous. It is not until their final stage of growth that the farmer can tell the wheat from the tares.” says Carla McDougal. In the NIV notes the weed or tare is probably darnel which looks very much like wheat while it is young, but can later be distinguished. Matthew 13:25, however, does not refer to unbelievers, but illustrates how the field is the world. People of the Kingdom live side by side with people of the evil one. God sowed good seeds, but the evil one came in and sowed bad seeds among the good. Verses 24-30 made me think of friendships even though the verses are actually talking about the “end of the age.”
It’s difficult to tell a good friend from a bad friend. A bad friend doesn’t care if you go against the Bible. Fun is on his agenda. He doesn’t think beyond the right now or how his actions affect people. A bad friend is persuasive. To quote Lord of the Rings, Frodo, “I know what you would say. And it would seem like wisdom but for the warning in my heart.” A good friend will tell us what we don’t want to hear. Christ is a good friend. His Word is available to us online. For some of us, it sits on our shelves unused. Others hold their Bibles in high esteem. The binders are creased, the pages marked up and some are dog-eared. I saw one Bible whose pages fell away from its binder and the person who owned it could not bear to part with it. A good friend will not run with the popular crowd. A bad friend on the other hand spends his life in disobedience. Ignore the weeds in your garden to your own peril. As my husband pointed out using his sarcastic wit, “Ignore the weeds, and end up having yards like the neighbors.”
Ignore the warning signs in our life and end up having a life like the worlds. The Bible tells us in various places to not live like the world. “Take a moment to be honest with the Lord,” Carla writes. “Have you been trying to control some areas in your life that the Lord is calling you to release to Him? Pour your heart out to the Lord and ask forgiveness and for His mercy and grace beyond your understanding. Nothing is too big for him!” There are three words that pop out as I read this particular study: Disobedience, Godly Sorrow, and Repentance. Joel 2:25 talks especially about grace and mercy in abundance to those who repent. I don’t want my life to grow like a tare, instead I want to be harvested with the rest of the wheat. In order to do this, I simply have to believe in the One who died for me. But because I love Him I don’t want to take Him for granted. I want to love Him better than I love my husband, not because it would earn my way to Heaven, but because He has done so much for me in my life. Would we sell everything we had for that “treasure hidden in a field?” The notes for Mathew 13:44-46 says, “The kingdom is of such great value that one should be willing to give up all he has in order to gain it. Jesus did not imply that one can purchase the kingdom with money or good deeds.” While I ignore the weeds in my front yard, I can’t ignore the weeds in my own life.
How long has it been since you picked up the Bible and really read the Words? Our pastor is currently speaking about the Glory of God. How many of us consider God’s Glory in the every day? How many of us take Him for granted (i.e. common lies we tell each other: It’s just a little lie. It’s just a little drug. It’s just a party. My actions don’t affect anyone else. My attitude doesn’t affect anyone else.) and quickly go to Him to the next day to say, “Sorry,” but then do it again?