Daily Devotionals

"Give us each day our daily bread."  ~ Luke 11:3

Read Pastor Karl's daily devotionals!

 

 

New devotionals will be posted Monday through Friday, and will remain here on the website for a week's time.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.  Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture.  Some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it.  Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold."  As he said this, he called out, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”  (Luke 8:4-8)

 

 

Some of the seed scattered by the Sower fell among the thorns.  Like the seed that fell on the rock, this seed germinated and began to grow.  Also like the seed that fell on the rock, the seed that fell among the thorns failed to grow and produce good fruit.  The reason for this failure, however, is different.

 

Notice two things.

 

First, the seed that fell among the thorns was not lacking nourishment; rather, is was not cared for.  Farming involves: sowing the seed, watering the seed, and weeding the field.  Weeding is a difficult and never ending task.  Weeds need to be removed, even as they always seem to return.

 

“As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature."

 

There are threats to our faith after the seed germinates, and after it is watered.  These threats are ongoing.  They threaten to “choke the life” out of the Word of God.

 

Second, notice how those things that choke faith are not what we would normally consider “evil”.  The devil is not the only threat to the seed.  We don’t usually think of the cares, riches, and pleasures of life as against the Good News.  But, they can be.  They can be when they become the main things in our lives.

 

It is suggestive how Jesus says that this happens “as they go on their way.”  Apparently, the Sower’s seed  can become something less than the most important thing in our lives.

 

Can we "weed out” of our lives those concerns that threaten to become more important than Jesus?  Can we put them in their proper place?  Dare we do so?

 

Blessings,


Pastor Karl

Wednesday, July 21, 2021
 

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.  Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture.  Some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it.  Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold."  As he said this, he called out, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”  (Luke 8:4-8)

 

 

Like farming, the sowing of the Word of God is complicated.  The seed that fell on the path (yesterday’s reflection) was simply trampled and eaten by the birds.  Today we see that the seed that fell on the rock was different.

 

The seed that fell on the rock did germinate, it became a living organism and began to grow.  However, it soon withered from a lack of moisture.

 

"The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy.  But, these have no root; they believe for only a while and in a time of testing fall away."

 

I still remember a tall, heathy pine tree in my grandparents yard.  It blew over in windstorm.  The tree itself did not break, rather it was pulled up by its roots.  After it toppled over we could all see that the roots of this tree did not go deep.

 

In this passage we notice two things.

 

First, the seed on the rock did germinate and begin to grow.  Again, the Sower is good and the Seed is powerful.  Receiving the seed brought joy to those on the rock.  All began well for the seed on the rock.

 

Second, the seed is not completely self-sufficient.  The seed needs a chance to germinate.  And, after it germinates, the resulting plant needs to be nurtured.  It needs deep roots that will pull in water for it to grow.  Jesus says, “When the time of testing comes, those on the rock fall away."

 

Those on the rock exhibit a shallow faith that will allow the Word of God to penetrate only the surface, and not into the depths, of their hearts.  When the times of testing (strong winds) comes, it falls.

 

How deeply do we allow Jesus into our hearts?  Do we allow Him to enter the dark and shameful places that lie in the depths?  Do we allow Him into the very places that need forgiveness and healing?

 

Can we read Scripture, pray, and hold spiritual conversations which put down deep roots that will hold us tight in times of testing?

 

Blessings,

Pastor Karl

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.  Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture.  Some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it.  Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold."  As he said this, he called out, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”  (Luke 8:4-8)

 

 

The first “soil” the seed falls upon is the path.

 

This seed did not fare well, for the path was impenetrable and the seed never had a chance to germinate.  Rather, it was trampled before the birds came and ate it up.

 

The hard path speaks of the hard heart.  Some heats are so hard from being beaten down by others, that the seed cannot find its way in.  “The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved."

 

Notice two things.

 

First, hearts can become hard.  When are our own hearts hard?  When have we become so trampled by others that hour hearts becomes impenetrable?

 

These past eighteen months have been terribly difficult.  Many of us feel as if we have been trampled by the events that have taken place.  Have our hearts become hard as a result of what we have experienced?

 

Second, there is an adversary, the devil.  There is one who opposes both the Sower and the Seed.  Jesus likens the birds in the parable to the devil.  There is one who desires to undermine the purposes of Jesus Christ.

 

The life of discipleship involves taking the devil seriously enough to be aware of his attacks, while not becoming so obsessed with the devil that he becomes the focus of our lives.

 

The Sower is good and the Seed is powerful.  However, when the seed falls on the hard heart, it fails to germinate.

 

How might you and I make our hearts softer given the realities, and the difficulties, of life?

 

Blessings,


Pastor Karl

Monday, July 19, 2021

"When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.  Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture.  Some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it.  Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold."  As he said this, he called out, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”  (Luke 8:4-8)
 


Each day this week we are going to reflect upon a different aspect of Jesus’ Parable of the Sower.  In this parable, Jesus uses the image of a Sower casting seed upon the ground to speak of His own mission and ministry of proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

If you turn to Luke chapter eight in your own Bible you can see Jesus’ explanation of this parable beginning in verse eleven.

Today we notice two things.

First, this parable is ultimately about the goodness of the Sower and the power of His Seed.  The Sower is Jesus.  The seed sown is the Word of God.

Should the seed fail to germinate, grow, and produce fruit, the problem is not with the seed, but rather with the soil.  The seed is always, without fail, vital and effective.  Any failure of the seed can be traced to the soil.

Second, the Sower is extravagant in His sowing of His seed.  Rather than carefully determining which soil worthy of receiving the seed, the Sower simply scatters the seed in every direction.  The Good News is to be cast out in every direction to every people.

As we follow the example of Jesus and “sow” the seed of the Gospel, we are to cast the Word of God far and wide.

Tomorrow we will begin to reflect upon the four different soils upon which the seed falls.

We do so only after we recognize the goodness of the Sower and the power of His seed.

 

Blessings,

Pastor Karl

Friday, July 23, 2021

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: "A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.  Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture.  Some fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it.  Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold."  As he said this, he called out, "Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”  (Luke 8:4-8)

 

 

There is a soil in which the Sower’s seed will germinate, grow, mature, and produce good fruit.  This is the good soil.  When the seed falls into the good soil it will produce good fruit.

 

“But as for this in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance."

 

Here we notice two things:

 

First, the seed falls into the good soil.  Some seed fell on the path.  Other seed fell on the rock.  Still other seed fell among the thorns.  Finally, some of the seed falls into the good soil.  There is a difference between the seed staying on the surface and penetrating deeply.  The Word of God must penetrate deeply into our hearts if we expect to produce fruit.

 

Second, the seed’s purpose is to produce good fruit.  The purpose of the seed is not the temporary joy experienced by those on the rock.  The purpose of the Good News is to produce Good Fruit, fruit in keeping with the nature and purpose of the seed.

 

Warm and joyful feelings are great by-products of the Christian life.  We are called to be joyful.  However, our purpose is to be fruitful.  It is in our fruitfulness that we will find joy.

 

Have we considered what a privilege it is that the Living God, the Creator God, the Redeeming God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has chosen to bring His fruitfulness to this world through us?  We should wonder in awe at this amazing calling that is ours.

 

One way of reading this parable says something like, “Well, the soils are what they are.”  “Some will believe, others will not.”  “Nothing much we can do about it."

 

Another way of reading this parable says, “Endeavor to be Good Soil.”  “Strive to allow the Good Seed to sprout, grow, and produce Good Fruit in our life.”  “Do your best to have an honest and good heart."

 

This second way of reading this parable seems to me to be much more in keeping with our Lord’s purposes.

Blessings,

Pastor Karl