August 16, 2017 – Wednesday
Matthew 13:23 [NIV] But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
Mark 4:11(b)-12 [NIV] The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!
Around the coffee pot at work today, you may be consumed by talk of recent political events. Your country may be different than ours, but here there seems to be so much bigotry and hatred being expressed and endorsed. Neo-Nazis, KKK, white nationalists – in our country many claim the Bible and His salvation. Yet their hate is directed towards others who claim the same Bible and even the same Savior. How could that be?
Jesus warns about hearing the Word without understanding it. When you read just what you want to read, you lose accountability with God. The soil sours – you sour – and Satan uses you to hate. You become a slave to the manipulation of parables, or to the prejudice of a misguided pastor, or to the shouts of the crowd in a torchlight parade. You become accountable to Satan. The crop then yields nothing of value – just a small bucket of bigotry and hate.
Wherever you live, whatever crisis is infecting your nation, remain accountable to God. Being angry is fine – God understands anger – even His Son grew angry at times. But you need to understand the Word, not just read it. Understand what Jesus would do in your situation. Understand what Jesus wants you to do in the face of bigotry and hatred.
So today at the coffee pot, be of good soil. Understand what Jesus wants of you. Be accountable only to Him. Satan will not win. And your seeds will yield much more than a small bucket of bigotry and hate!
Father, in the name of Jesus, we pray. Give us eyes to read the Word, and hearts to understand the Word. Let us do what You want us to do with our anger and with our love. Around all discussions today at work, let us be of good soil that yields much value to Your glory. Amen.
Jimmy Davis, Jr.
Z-557 Unit N-10
Holman Correctional Facility
Alabama Department of Corrections
Holman, Alabama USA
and James D. Slack, Ph.D., Ph.D.
Department of Public Policy & Administration
Jackson State University
Jackson, Mississippi USA