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Seeds of the Kingdom

Spiritual Seagulls

by John Berry

When anyone hears the message of the Kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.
Matthew 13:19, NIV

I have often wondered about the parables that Jesus taught and how they were very much grounded in the environment in which He lived. The problem is how to relate them to our everyday context. We can of course say they were just meant for the first century setting, but that doesn’t fit too well with our understanding of God’s word being timeless. Rather I find that those parables fit very well in today’s world if we allow God to reveal the truth in our context.

I had an example of this when my wife and I were on holiday recently. We have a bit of a problem with seagulls in England, especially by the coast. We were sitting in an outside cafe having lunch in the sunshine. I went into the building to get a glass of water and left my half-eaten lunch on my plate. When I returned, my wife and those around were laughing and my lunch was minus one sausage! A seagull had swooped down and snatched the sausage from my plate, without bothering to stop and land first.

This reminded me of Jesus`s parable about the sower and the seeds. He warns us to be on our guard about the ‘birds of the air’ who would snatch away the word of God that had been sown into our lives. We may have heard the words but not really taken them on board and understood them. Jesus is telling us to be aware of the enemy, just as Peter does in 1 Peter 5:8. The devil is continually looking out for opportunities to steal God’s truth from our hearts. He can fly in when we are not on our guard.

So perhaps you are leaving yourself vulnerable and in danger of having what is so precious being stolen from you. Jesus wants us to develop good soil around us so that his word can grow and take root and be protected. We must also remain alert. My lunch was vulnerable, as it was not protected, and thus my sausage was snatched away! Where are you vulnerable? Watch out for those sharp-eyed spiritual seagulls and remain alert.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for entrusting us with the seed of Your word. Sometimes we take it for granted and don’t protect it in our hearts where it can grow, but leave it unprotected where the enemy can snatch it away. Help us to keep on our guard at all times so that Your word will remain in us and nurture us. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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