Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 16:1-12.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+16&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring any bread.  And Jesus said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  They began to discuss this among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring any bread.”  But Jesus, aware of this, said, “You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread?  Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up?  Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?  How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?  But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  Matthew 16:5-12.

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The Pharisees were legalistic.  They were more interested in the letter of the law than the spirit of the law.  They were more interested in proving their own righteousness than seeking the righteousness of God.

“Then some Pharisees and scribes *came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders?  For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”  And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?  For God said, ‘HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER,’ and, ‘HE WHO SPEAKS EVIL OF FATHER OR MOTHER IS TO BE PUT TO DEATH.’  But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’  And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.  You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”  Matthew 15:1-9.

The Pharisees superficially appeared religious and admirable.  If people did not beware of their teaching, they could be sucked into copying their doctrine and practice and faith in their own righteousness.  “A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough.”  Galatians 1:9.  In other words, a little caving into the Pharisees’ doctrine and practice and faith in their own righteousness would lead to a total transformation to their doctrine and practice and faith in their own righteousness.

“Behold I, Paul, say to you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no benefit to you.  And I testify again to every man who receives circumcision, that he is under obligation to keep the whole Law.  You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law;  you have fallen from grace.  For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness.”  Galatians 5:2-5.

So, beware of the teaching of the Pharisees!  There are Pharisees around us today.  Jesus’ warning was not only for His disciples two thousand years ago.

“For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.  For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.  I have been crucified with Christ;  and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;  and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.  I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”  Galatians 2:18-21.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 15:29-39.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+15&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Departing from there, Jesus went along by the Sea of Galilee, and having gone up on the mountain, He was sitting there.  And large crowds came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, mute, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet;  and He healed them.  So the crowd marveled as they saw the mute speaking, the crippled restored, and the lame walking, and the blind seeing;  and they glorified the God of Israel.”  Matthew 15:29-31.

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The crowd glorified God, because they knew that no mere man could do these miracles.  These miracles must have been a work of God.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16.

When the crowd see our good works, they too will glorify God if they discern that those good works must have been a work of God.

The good works of other doctrine show off man’s goodness, man’s wisdom, and man’s alleged free-will, and the crowd glorifies man.

But, the good works of Reformed Doctrine show off God’s goodness, God’s wisdom, and God’s will, and the crowd glorifies God.

The fruit of the Holy Spirit show off God’s goodness, God’s wisdom, and God’s will.  In a nutshell, the fruit of the Spirit glorify God.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6.

The salvation of other doctrine is ultimately dependent on man’s goodness, man’s wisdom, and man’s alleged free-will showing that the individual being saved is worthy of salvation and glory.

But, the salvation of Reformed Doctrine is solely dependent on God from the beginning to the end:  from the beginning of God’s “Unconditional Election” through God’s “Limited Atonement” through God’s “Irresistible Grace” to the end of God’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “U”, “L”, “I”, and “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  In a nutshell, the salvation of Reformed Doctrine glorifies God.

“11 I shall remember the deeds of the LORD;
Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
12 I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds.
13 Your way, O God, is holy;
What god is great like our God?
14 You are the God who works wonders;
You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
15 You have by Your power redeemed Your people,
The sons of Jacob and Joseph.  Selah.”  Psalm 77:11-15.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 15:15-28.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+15&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon.  And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David;  my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.”  But He did not answer her a word.  And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.”  But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”  And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”  But she said, “Yes, Lord;  but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great;  it shall be done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed at once.”  Matthew 15:21-28.

——————–

The Canaanite woman did not argue with Jesus Who said: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”  She did not claim that it was unfair.  She did not form her own doctrine of God according to her desires and even desperate need.

Even after her plea, “Lord, help me!” when Jesus answered her and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”, the Canaanite woman was humble and did not take offense at Jesus.  She very humbly replied to Jesus:  “Yes, Lord;  but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”  See verse 27.  “Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great;  it shall be done for you as you wish.”  And her daughter was healed at once.”  Verse 28.

Unlike the Canaanite woman, when faced with the clear and repeated truth of God’s election in Scripture, many try to argue.  They remain proud and claim it is unfair.  They form their own doctrine of God according to their desires.  They rebel against the God of Scripture and worship only their own god of their desires.

But, for those who humbly acknowledge the the truth of God’s election in Scripture, but still do not yet experience a lively faith in Christ and an assured confidence that they are among God’s elect, there is hope!

Here is what the Canons of Dordt states.

Article 16.  Those who do not yet experience a lively faith in Christ, an assured confidence of soul, peace of conscience, an earnest endeavor after filial obedience, and glorying in God through Christ, efficaciously wrought in them, and do nevertheless persist in the use of the means which God hath appointed for working these graces in us, ought not to be alarmed at the mention of reprobation, nor to rank themselves among the reprobate, but diligently to persevere in the use of means, and with ardent desires, devoutly and humbly to wait for a season of richer grace.  Much less cause have they to be terrified by the doctrine of reprobation, who, though they seriously desire to be turned to God, to please him only, and to be delivered from the body of death, cannot yet reach that measure of holiness and faith to which they aspire;  since a merciful God has promised that he will not quench the smoking flax, nor break the bruised reed.  But this doctrine is justly terrible to those, who, regardless of God and of the Savior Jesus Christ, have wholly given themselves up to the cares of the world, and the pleasures of the flesh, so long as they are not seriously converted to God.  FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination.

“And blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”  Matthew 11:6.

“But He gives a greater grace.  Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”  James 4:6.

“Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you;  for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;  for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”  2 Peter 1:10-11.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 15:1-14.

“Then some Pharisees and scribes *came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders?  For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”  And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?  For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death.’  But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever I have that would help you has been given to God,” he is not to honor his father or his mother.’  And by this you invalidated the word of God for the sake of your tradition.  You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you:

‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS,
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME.
‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME,
TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”

After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, “Hear and understand.  It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.”

Then the disciples *came and *said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this statement?”  But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.  Let them alone;  they are blind guides of the blind.  And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”  Matthew 15:1-14.

——————-

Scripture emphasizes the importance of truth.

“BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.’”  Verse 9.

Jesus also stated in John 16:13:  “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth;  …”

Jesus also stated in John 4:23-24:  “But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth;  for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.  God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Not any kind of worship will suffice, but “worship in spirit and truth”.

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.  For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.  For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”  Romans 11:1-4.

Not any kind of zeal will suffice, but zeal “in accordance with knowledge”, or in other words, zeal in accordance with truth.

“But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”  2 Thessalonians 2:13.

Not any kind of faith will suffice, but “faith in the truth”.

There are those who “did not receive the love of truth so as to be saved”.  2 Thessalonians 2: 10-13.

Not any kind of love will suffice, but “the love of truth”.

To this day, there continues to be those who prefer their own doctrines over the truth.  We should not be surprised.  They did not receive the love of truth to be saved.  They were not planted by God.

“… “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted.  Let them alone;  they are blind guides of the blind.  And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”  Verses 13-14.

Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 21, 2018

“I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU”

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 14:22-36.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+14&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.  After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray;  and when it was evening, He was there alone.  But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves;  for the wind was contrary.  And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.  When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!”  And they cried out in fear.  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  And He said, “Come!”  And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and *said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.  And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”  Matthew 14:22-33.

——————

Like Jesus made His disciples go ahead of Him to the other side, it is Monday, and for many of us, Jesus sends us to go ahead of Him in the business world.  We leave behind us Sunday and the day of worship and the time of special meditation of God and being in His presence that is special on Sunday.  We may think we are alone on Monday.

But, there is hope!

Like Jesus followed His disciples, Jesus follows us into Monday and the business world.

The challenge for us, as the challenge was for the disciples, is to recognize Jesus Who follows us into Monday and into the business world and into the rest of the week and all of our other activities.  If our image of Jesus is limited to the ghosts of our own desires and imaginations of a jesus whom we can control and manipulate and limit to Sunday appearances, then, like the disciples, we may not recognize the Jesus of Scripture Who comes to us on Monday and into the business world and into the rest of the week and all of our other activities.

But, there is hope again!

Like Jesus identified Himself and strengthened His disciples, Jesus comes to us in the business world, saying “Take courage, it is I;  do not be afraid.”

And, when we do recognize Jesus, let us not take our eyes off of Him.  When we do take our eyes off Jesus and focus on the wind and storm of the business world, like Peter, we begin to sink.

But, there is hope again!

Like Jesus saved Peter, Jesus saves us.

Jesus continually assures us:  “… “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,”  Hebrews 13:5.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 14:1-21.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+14&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself;  and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.  When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.

When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late;  so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”  But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away;  you give them something to eat!”  They *said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”  And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”  Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied.  They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.  There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.”  Matthew 14:15-21.

——————-

Jesus’ compassion is all the more remarkable considering that it arose when He was alone grieving about the death of John the Baptist.  Jesus had every reason to stay withdrawn and secluded.  But, He did not do so.  “When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.” Verse 14.

Likewise, Jesus could have thought that His healing was enough compassion for at least the day and His disciples were also urging Him to send the crowds away.  But, Jesus continued to feel compassion for the crowds and miraculously fed them all.

We may feel that we do not deserve Jesus’ compassion or may feel that Jesus has already shown us enough compassion.  But, Jesus’s compassion is as infinite, eternal, and overflowing of all good as His character.

Article 1:  That there is One Only God.

We all believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth, that there is one only simple and spiritual Being, which we call God;  and that he is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of all good.  Belgic Confession.

“… the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.”  James 5:11.

For the LORD your God is a compassionate God;  He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.”  Deuteronomy 4:11.

“12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help,
The afflicted also, and him who has no helper.
13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy,
And the lives of the needy he will save.”  Psalm 72:11.

“38 But He, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity and did not destroy them;
And often He restrained His anger
And did not arouse all His wrath.
39 Thus He remembered that they were but flesh,
A wind that passes and does not return.”  Psalm 78:38-39.

“2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”  Psalm 103:2-5.

“The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.”  Psalm 103:8.

“13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.
14 For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.”  Psalm 103:13-14.

“Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.”  Psalm 116-5.

“In an outburst of anger
I hid My face from you for a moment,
But with everlasting lovingkindness I will have compassion on you,”
Says the LORD your Redeemer.”  Isaiah 54:8.

“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
But My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,”
Says the LORD who has compassion on you.’  Isaiah 54:10.

“22 The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 13:53-58.

“When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there.  He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?  Is not this the carpenter’s son?  Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?  And His sisters, are they not all with us?  Where then did this man get all these things?”  And they took offense at Him.  But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”  And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.”  Matthew 13:53-58.

———————

God knows all of our thoughts.

“For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind
And declares to man what are His thoughts,
He who makes dawn into darkness
And treads on the high places of the earth,
The LORD God of hosts is His name.” Amos 4:13.

“But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.'”  John 2:24.

Some take delight in the misfortune of others, particularly people close to them, neighbors and even members of their own family.  Some are jealous.  Some feel like they will look better if people surrounding them look worse.  Some want others to fit their desires and expectations of them.  

Thus, it was no surprise to Jesus that people in His own hometown took offense at Him.

“…  Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”  And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.”  Verses 57-58.

And likewise, we should not be surprised even when people close to us take offense at us when we preach and teach and try to do good.

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves;  so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.”  Matthew 10:16.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 13:47-52.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind;  and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach;  and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.  So it will be at the end of the age;  the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, and will throw them into the furnace of fire;  in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

“Have you understood all these things?”  They *said to Him, “Yes.”  And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”  Matthew 13:47-52.

———————

It is not difficult to understand this parable of the dragnet.  It is also not difficult to agree with the justice of God in separating the wicked from the righteous and in punishing the wicked.  “Have you understood all these things?”  They *said to Him, “Yes.”  Verse 51.

In the sense of the scribe who brings out of his treasure old and new things in the following verse 52, this teaching is an old thing (the justice of God in separating the wicked from the righteous and in punishing the wicked).  “And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”  Verse 52.

A faithful teacher must not only teach old familiar things that are easily understandable and agreeable but also new things that are difficult to understand and accept.

“I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:  preach the word;  be ready in season and out of season;  reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;  but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.  But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”  2 Timothy 4:1-5.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 13:44-46.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again;  and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 13:44-46.

———————–

Christ is like “one pearl of great value”.

We tend to focus just on the value of Christ and gloss over the oneness of Him.  There is nothing like Him.

Article 1:  That there is One Only God.

We all believe with the heart, and confess with the mouth, that there is one only simple and spiritual Being, which we call God;  and that he is eternal, incomprehensible, invisible, immutable, infinite, almighty, perfectly wise, just, good, and the overflowing fountain of all good.  Belgic Confession.

The world seek fine “pearls of wisdom” here and there but is never content.

But, there is “one pearl of great value”, namely our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Who is worthy, so to speak, for us to sell all that we have and buy.  “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,”  Philippians 3:8.

And, Christ is like “a treasure hidden“.

Likewise, we tend to focus on the value of Christ and gloss over the hiddenness of Him.  Although Christ is worthy of the best search, we will not find Him unless God reveals Him to us.

Christ is wisdom personified.

“4 If you seek her as silver
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
5 Then you will discern the fear of the Lord
And discover the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:4-5.

In Christ “… are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”  Colossians 2:3.

We have seen that Christ hid Himself in parables.

“And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”  Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.”  Matthew 13:10-11.

“At that time Jesus said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants.  Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.  All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father;  nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” Matthew 11:25-27.

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 13:36-43.

“Then He left the crowds and went into the house.  And His disciples came to Him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”  And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world;  and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom;  and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age;  and the reapers are angels.  So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age.  The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire;  in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father.  He who has ears, let him hear.”  Matthew 13:36-43.

—————-

We may wonder why we need to live in a world with the “stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness”.

Like the slaves of the landowner in the parable of the tares of the field, we may want and even pray that God get rid of them more quickly than God intends to do.  “…  The slaves *said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’  But he *said, ‘No;  for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.” Matthew 13:28-29.

In today’s Scripture, this His explanation of this parable, our Lord focuses on the end result.  “Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father.  …”  Verse 43.

This end result that we will shine in our Father’s kingdom gives us encouragement and patience to endure.

Likewise, we are reminded why God “endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction”.  Romans 9:22.

“And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory,”  Romans 9:23.

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