Friday, August 11, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: God's way of taking care of wheat and weeds

Growing Amongst the Wheat and Weeds
A devotional by Anthea Kotlan

I still remember seeing a commercial for a garden weasel.

This tool would easily uproot those pesky young weeds, break them up and mix them with dead leaves to create a beneficial mulch. Regarding weeds in the Kingdom of God, Jesus Christ (God’s Son) had a different approach.

Let’s read what Matthew 13:30 (ESV) says about this matter: Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

In Matthew 13, Jesus teaches about the Kingdom of God as He shares a parable about a man who plants good seed for a wheat harvest. Then after he is asleep, an evil man comes to sow weeds in this field. The man's workers offer to root out the weeds, but the man warns that the wheat roots may be damaged in ripping out the weeds. Jesus knows how important it is to allow a thriving wheat crop to develop a good root system. Therefore, Jesus says, “Let them both grow together until the harvest….”. Then Jesus said he will allow the reapers to separate the wheat and weeds and send them to where they belong.

Where will the weeds go? To be bundled and burned up in destruction.

Where will the wheat go? To be gathered into the man’s barn in eternity with God.

Jesus warned His disciples that we will grow up in the church, the Kingdom of God, alongside brothers and sisters who may not be believers. They will appear to be exactly like us, but in the end, they will be sent to destruction.

Now here are some questions for you to answer:
Should I figure out who the wheat and weeds might be? Should I be surprised if I find weeds in the Kingdom of God? Can I tell the wheat from the weeds? The correct answer to all of these questions is, “No.”

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus gives His followers examples of wheat and weeds—two people who looked alike until the harvest. Let’s read a few examples from God’s Word (The Holy Bible) about this topic: 

Pharisee and Tax Collector 

In Luke 18:9-14, Jesus shares a story about a pharisee who brags about how he is so glad he is not a tax collector. He lists all he has done for God, yet he does not repent for his sins. Meanwhile, the tax collector beats his breast, bows his head, and begs for mercy and forgiveness. Both men appear to be weeds because they are both sinners. However, at the altar, the weed or unrepentant man is revealed. The other man repents and reveals himself as wheat.

Wheat and Weeds at the Cross

The most powerful illustration of wheat and weeds may be at the moment of the crucifixion. Hanging on either side of Jesus were two thieves. These men had both been found guilty of various crimes, and they had been sentenced to death. They appeared to be weeds. One thief even taunted Jesus and revealed his hard and unbelieving heart. But the other believer spoke kindly to Jesus and requested mercy. Let’s read this conversation that took place at the Cross of Calvary:

And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 
(Luke 23:42 ESV)

Jesus responded with love and the promise of eternity.

And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
(Luke 23:43 ESV)

Let’s Pray:
Dear Jesus, You are the ultimate gardener and granter of mercy. Thank you for caring for the wheat and weeds in your kingdom. I am not called to be a reaper or a weed remover. I am called to grow in grace amongst the weeds and be grateful for the gift of salvation. In Your Matchless and Mighty Name I pray. Amen.

Song of Reflection #1:
“Kingdom Come” by Rebecca St. James and for King & Country. Listen to it here.

Song of Reflection #2:
“Remember Me” by Wintley Phipps. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Anthea Kotlan is a recovering perfectionist with a passion for coffee and tea. 

For almost a decade, she have served in the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast as a women’s ministry leader. Recently, she became part of a team serving women at the Provincial level (the Women’s Leadership Network part of ACNA’s Next Generation Leadership Initiative).

Anthea writes and blogs about soul tending and discipleship, focusing on the psalms on her blog/website.

She is a mom to two amazing adult daughters, a wife of a bi-vocational Anglican priest, and Gran to two grandbabies with another on the way. Recently, Anthea worked with her husband to help plant All Saints, Conroe, which is a brand-new Anglican church plant in Conroe, Texas.

Connect with Anthea:

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