Happy Monday, friends! Be blessed today as you make the purposeful decision to show love to those who may not share in the same sin as you.
Today’s devo selection:
Be Careful of Who You Judge
By Calvary Chapel Boise/Bob Caldwell
Today’s Reading: Matthew 13:24-30, Matthew 13:36-43
Key Verse: “The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age.” –Matthew 13:38-40
It is critical for each of us to understand how the Kingdom of God operates in this age of rebellion against God. It is common for believers to try to separate themselves from the “world” in a way that at times can be counter-productive. In this parable of the sower, there is a reference to tares. They look similar to wheat and, in this parable, are growing among the wheat the sower planted. The wheat represents the people who belong to the Kingdom of God and the tares represent those who belong to the Kingdom of Darkness. Jesus warns us not to try to separate the tares, lest the wheat be uprooted as well.
Yet often well-meaning believers do just the opposite. We sometimes try to use our limited ability to judge the true nature of a person and then try to “weed them out” of the Kingdom of God. “Who are the wheat? Who are the tares?” become the questions we want answered. Yet if we pursue this process we often see genuine believers uprooted and deeply hurt. Conversely, we may honor some people who may in fact be “tares.” Humility requires us to defer to Christ as the only true judge. Of course, this doesn’t mean we compromise truth. Obviously some people by their own words and deeds make their status as “wheat” or “tares” very obvious. But often a person’s heart condition—in relationship to truth—may not be as easy to determine as we think.
By God’s grace, His “wheat seeds” are sown throughout the world to bring revelation of the knowledge of Him. As this occurs, Satan will inevitably sow among us “tares.” These are people who try to appear to be believers but in fact are not. Over time it’s impossible for many of these counterfeit believers to hide who they really are. But we must let this process play out without our interference for two very important reasons. First, if we deal graciously with all people, some of these counterfeit Christians will become sincere followers of Christ. Authentic believers who live a genuinely Spirit-filled life of faith may influence them. The contrast between the life of the Spirit and the life of the flesh can often cause hypocrites to repent of their life of self-deception. Secondly, this careful approach protects new believers who are babes in Christ. In certain areas of life, these immature believers may appear to be nonbelievers. If we judge them as “tares,” they can become overwhelmed with discouragement. They may conclude that their baby steps are not enough for them to belong to the family of God.
Therefore, let us not pretend to be God. We’re not Him! Only God knows the true heart condition of each of us. God will in His own time separate the wheat and the tares, at the Second Coming of Christ.