Read thru the New Testament 2018
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids
Bible Reading: Matthew 13:1-32
In this devotional we will talk about how to have a heart that is receptive to God. We might think that it is automatic…but it’s not. It takes intentional effort to prepare and keep our heart receptive to God. Over the years, I have spoken to many, many people who say, “I used to be close to God, but something happened.” I’ll tell you what happened…they had a heart attack. Their heart was attacked by other things (some good, some bad) that stole their attention away from God. They may not have even realized it. But they were affected by things that made their heart hard to God, or that consumed all of their heart’s love and passion. There was nothing left for God. And now, they no longer sense God’s presence, love, grace, peace…nothing. It takes attention and effort to keep your heart receptive to God.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
I have a friend who has a green thumb. No…she’s not a little green person from Mars. To say that someone has a “green thumb” means that they are really good at growing stuff. You know…flowers, and vegetables, and fruits. She knows exactly what each plant needs in order to grow and be healthy. One day I was telling her that my tomato plant was not doing well. She said that in order to be healthy it needed the right amounts of air, light, warmth and water. I said, “Yeah, I think it’s getting those things.” Then, she asked me if I had checked the nutrient levels in the soil. Now, you need to understand something about me…I have the “thumb of death” when it comes to plants. In fact, I can buy a new plant at the store and by the time I get it home you can hear it gasping, “Help me, I’m dying!” So, I asked her what nutrients are. She said that a nutrient is something in the soil that provides nourishment to the plant. Nutrients are plant food. Then she named several nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. There are others, as well. I told her that I didn’t think that they were all that important. After all, my tomato plant was in the dirt. She stopped trimming a plant, put her hands on her hips and said, “Well, did you have breakfast this morning? And what about lunch? You plan on having supper, tonight, don’t you?” I gave a brilliant answer, “Uhhhh…” She said, “How long would you be healthy if you didn’t eat the foods that you need?” Before I could answer, with great emphasis on each word, she said, “Not…very…long!” Then she said, “And it is the same way with your tomato plant. It needs food and nutrients are food. In order for your tomato plant to grow you have to prepare the soil. You have to make sure that the soil has in it what is necessary for the plant to grow and be healthy.” Sounds like a lot of work to me. I think I’ll just buy my tomatoes at the grocery store.
Jesus loved to teach in parables. A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. One day He told a parable about tomatoes. Well, sort of. The same idea was there. You see, He told a parable about how men respond when they hear the Gospel…the story about God’s love and how He sent Jesus to pay for our sins. He said that a farmer was planting his seeds. Some of the seeds fell onto ground that was as hard as a sidewalk. There was no hope that it would ever be able to grow roots. No nutrients, there. On top of that, birds swooped down and gobbled them up. Other seeds fell onto ground that was full of rocks. Those poor seeds didn’t have a chance, either. Their roots couldn’t get past the rocks to the water…and when the sun got hot, they withered all up. Other seeds fell into a weed patch. The weeds used up all of the water and nutrients and the seed got none. So, they died. But, some seed feel onto good, rich soil. It had lots of nutrients and water. Those seeds put down deep roots and grew tall. They produced a huge crop. Now, Jesus wasn’t really just talking about seeds and soil. No. He was talking about people and how they respond to the Gospel. You see, the seed represents the Gospel and the soil represents people. Here is the point…if you aren’t ready and prepared to receive the Gospel when you hear it…it will not grow in your heart. How do you prepare your heart to receive the Gospel?
- First, believe. That’s not hard, is it? When you hear that God loves you so much that He sent Jesus to pay for your sin…believe in Jesus as your Savior, the one who saves you from your sin.
- Second, pray. The more I pray, the more my heart is ready to receive the things that God is teaching me.
- Third, read the Bible. As I read the Bible God speaks to me. I learn His truth and how He wants me to know Him.
- Next, go to church. God wants you to have other believers to help and encourage you.
- And finally, go tell someone else about Jesus. It always amazes that when I tell other people about Jesus…I want to know more about Him, myself and my faith is strengthened.
Any good farmer knows that if he is going to have a healthy crop…he has to work to prepare the soil. And the same thing is true about your relationship with God. You have to prepare your heart for Him. So, get out there and go to work…get your heart ready for God!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,