Once, when I was a teacher in a vacation bible school, in a denomination I left years ago, I sat stunned and heart sore at the seemingly innocuous curriculum before me concerning Matthew 13.
We were to teach the four and five year olds the parable of the seeds. How the kingdom of God is like a man who went into the field and sewed seeds and some fell on rocky ground, some on thorns and thistles , some on a well-traveled by way and was stolen by birds, and some on good soil.
And what we were to teach the sweet’uns was that the seeds represented love.
It seemed harmless enough, sweet really.
In a deadly kind of way.
Because, it was bad theology, contradicting the interpretation that Jesus himself gave.
The seeds represent the Word of God.
We were skewing the plumb-line, and at the beginning the falseness is almost imperceptible, but as we build, the structure leans to the point that it is unstable and vulnerable to falling in winds and storms of life.
The seeds represent the Word of God.
Build on that foundation.
We are to bring the Word of God to the world. Sew it everywhere. Some hearts will be too hard, some too taken with the cares of this world, some have shallow roots. But some will be good soil, prepared by the Master Gardener’s hand and only He knows which one.
That’s why it is important to follow His command. Do what He says, when He says do it, and gird yourself for the persecution to come, strengthened by the fact that you are doing it for hearts hungry for His Truth.
I thought about it this morning when viewing the pontifications and feel good nothings being strewn about social media in the name of some worldly interpretation of love.
Christians chastising Christians that in light of social upheaval and change contrary to God’s Word, we must be loving and kind. We must not judge. We must love.
Is it love to say the popular thing? To sanction indulgences that will lead to death?
Or is it love to say the tough thing. To speak the truth that will set free.
Oh, it is the latter! Love that is tough. That will go to the cross. That will trust in God’s word and not what makes our own deceiving hard hearts feel. . .shall I say it? . . .proud for being so “loving.” As if we are more loving than the rigors of God’s word.
The indescribable gift He has given us in His Word and in His Son! At supreme cost, He has made provision for us to set us free from our own vain and tempestuous hearts, hearts that mislead us to say the popular thing in order to be crowned compassionate for embracing waywardness.
You do not, my friend, love that person in bondage more than a God who calls from the deep to him with truth. What you’ve done is just made yourself more comfortable. And the world will applaud you.
But true love, the lonelier way, the love I’m talking about is uncomfortable. Willing to say the hard thing for the lost one. Anything to keep them from the snares of the devil and the fires of hell.
Take me to task for mocking, shaming, reviling the lost, hold me up for censure if I do not bring them food, clothing, shelter in time of need. Take away my rights and call me a bigot, if I will not treat him with dignity and respect.
But do not lay blame at my door for bringing him the Truth. Rather, see to your own motivations.
It makes a big difference to re-teach a parable that Jesus himself interpreted.
Those four and five year olds needed to know that it is God’s Word we are to sew.
That is true love.
Not bringing the world our weak and inconstant love, but to bring them the Truth about the God who loves them so much He sent His only Son to die on a cross.
He is, after all, the only one who will never leave nor forsake them, the only one with the power, knowledge and ability to heal, redeem, restore.
The rest of us? Sooner or later we will fall away.
Sew that seed.
Build from there.