That's Not You

Matthew 13

      I was told that in World War II a general would address the troops just before they were to be sent into battle. During the course of the general’s address, the soldiers were told the odds of their survival. It was always observed that some of the men would look at another soldier as if he was the one who was doomed by the statistics. It was always the “other guy” who would not return after the conflict.
     The generals would give those dismal odds because it would actually strengthen the will of the men to survive and overcome. That was important.
     God’s word is written to accomplish the same purpose. We can see this principle in action very clearly in the thirteenth chapter of Matthew.
     After teaching the people His parable of the sower – Matthew 13:3-9 – Jesus’ disciples came to Him and asked Him why He spoke to the people in parables (verse 18).

He answered and said unto them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even what he has. (Compare to Jesus’ parable of the talents - Matthew 25:14-29). Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross (Greek-thick, stupid or dull), and their ears are dull (difficult) of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.- Matthew 13:11-13.

     Ah, but that’s not you, my soldiers in Christ. Look at the other guy instead; he’s the one with the spiritual block – not you.
     You are not like those whose hearts are unreceptive; whose ears have difficulty hearing. Your heart is wide open, and eager to receive the things of God.
     You are not the one in Jesus’ parable who has received the seeds of God’s word by the way side (Matthew 13:4). That’s not you. You have not taken what you have heard for granted, but you have valued it and sought the Lord for His wisdom and understanding (Matthew 7:7, 8) so the devil cannot catch away what was sown in your heart (Matthew 13:19).
     You have not received God’s word in stony places either, (Matthew. 13:5) but will retain the joy and truth of your salvation amid the stormy trials of this life, persecutions and tribulations. And you will never deny your Lord who bought you with His blood just because following Jesus can be hard at times, (Matthew 13:21). Soldier, you are not going to be a statistic; you will survive.
     And you have not received the treasure of God’s word among the thorns of the pleasures and cares of this world, (Matthew 13:22). You have not been so preoccupied with this earthly life, that it has prevented you from serving God in some way, from bearing fruit for His kingdom and His glory. That’s not you, no way.
     For you have received God’s word in the good ground of an willing and receptive heart and the fruit the Lord produces in you because you have chosen to abide in Him (John 15: 4) is the evidence that you are winning the battle. It is the fruit that designates that you are not a counterfeit tare among the wheat, you are the real thing, and you are not a child of the wicked one – that’s not you at all. (Matthew 13:24-30).
     You are not among the spiritually blind; - But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear – Matthew 13:16.
     You are standing with the other members of the Lord’s devoted remnant troop. That’s who you are – you are His disciple.

copyright 2011 by H.D. Shively

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