Daily Devotional - "Through the Eyes of a Cop"
Briefing: Has anyone ever planted a seed in your life? Maybe it was an academy instructor or field training officer. Can you remember being instructed on something that stuck with you? Whether it was positive or negative, it had an impact on your life and/or career.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Matthew 13:1-23, the parable of the sower.
On the Street: Do you garden? Back in Jesus' day, everybody had some experience with fruit and soil. His audience would have understood exactly what He meant. Planting and harvesting was a way of life.
The seed is an incredible thing. Jesus uses it in this parable to describe His message of salvation. Jesus tells us that, "unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." This is amazing! It has to die before it can become a new life. The same is true for humans. In John chapter 3, Jesus tells a Pharisee named Nicodemas that he has to be born again before he can enter the kingdom of heaven. To be born again starts new life which means we must die to our old life. We have to tell Jesus that we are giving our life to Him and we are going to live our new life for Him. This is Jesus' seed.
Back to the parable, this is an explanation of what happens to the seed if we are not careful to take it serious. Do you plant a seed then leave it to water itself and grow on its own? Not if you want it to grow into the plant you hoped it would be.
Our hearts are symbolic of the ground where the seeds are thrown. Jesus is telling us to prepare our hearts so the seed that lands on our heart has the chance to grow roots. Once we have grown roots, we have to continue watering (prayer and reading the Bible) the soil so that the roots grow and get deep. The deeper the root the better chance we have to resist getting choked out by the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. We have to be the good soil.
This is the most important decision anyone can make, the decision to give up this life and live for Jesus. Prepare your heart by prayer and reading the Bible, for this is how you water the seed planted in your heart. This is where you begin to grow roots. The stronger your roots are, the more you will flourish.
Highlights from this Read: Can you imagine the crowds that followed Him? The pushing and the pressing in on Him. It's a good thing He could step into a boat.
Investigational Resources: Read Mark 4:1-20 and Luke 8:4-15 for this parable from their perspective. John 12:24-26 is a good resource on seed and in John 3 Jesus tells us what is meant by being born again and having new life. The mystery can be found in Ephesians 3:6.
Officer Safety Principle: As a cop I was taught, when I go on a call, that death is not an option? for us. Our goal is to go home safe at the end of our shift. This, however, is not true in my spiritual life. I have to die to myself daily. Each day I have to pick up my cross and follow Jesus. In my spirit, death to self, and life for Christ is the only option.
from The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop
©2012 by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.