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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"The Side-by-Side Planting"

June 2, 2004

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“When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.” Matthew 13:26

Jesus tells a parable about a man who sows wheat in his field. By night his enemy comes and sows weeds among the wheat. Not until the wheat sprouts do the servants realize that weeds stand side by side with the wheat. The bearded darnel weed or tare is deceptive. In the early stages it resembles wheat exactly. Its roots become intertwined with the wheat. When headed out, the darnel weed has a slightly poisonous effect, causing dizziness and sickness.

Satan, the enemy, still plants weeds today among the believers. He sows an evil influence in society. Side by side with believers live people who strive to undermine God’s law. We often react naively in an undiscriminating fashion. We see people as “nice, beautiful, friendly.” We begin to accept their values. We intermarry and choose close friends from among them. Before we recognize them as weeds, we discover intertwined roots and a tremendous weakening of our faith. Destruction threatens.

While we should oppose Satan’s evil planting in society, we should not judge the individual plants or – as unfortunately happened in past centuries – urge the government to root them out. We must realize that only faith in Christ makes the difference. Some whom we consider our kind of people may in fact be weeds, and vice versa. Some make early mistakes and repent. Others begin in the faith and fall away. Only God can judge the heart.

Jesus cautions us to await God’s judgment at harvest time. Then the weeds will be separated and receive eternal punishment in hell. The wheat will be harvested and gathered to eternal life in heaven. God alone makes us wheat by His grace in our baptism. He sent His Son to die for us. He keeps us growing to maturity.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, keep me true to Your Word. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 53, 55, 58    John 13:1-20

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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