Serving an international
Vol. 10 No. 7 July 2008
Have you ever had a vegetable garden? You prepared the soil by breaking it up and watering it. You may have even put fertilizer on the soil. Then, you planted the seed. After a short time, the seeds sprouted, and the plants started growing. The plants may have even grown to the point where they should start producing their fruit. The plants may have been corn, beans or peas. If you took good care of the garden, you made sure that no weeds grew up in it. You kept the garden clean of all weeds.
However, if you had not taken care to pull out weeds as they sprouted up, the weeds would have grown right alongside the vegetable plants. The weeds would take some of the nutrition and water from the soil for themselves. Eventually, the weeds would even overpower the vegetables and choke them out. The vegetables would not produce what they were supposed to produce. The vegetable plants might not die completely, but they would be unfruitful. You would eventually have to cut them down along with the weeds.
Jesus said there were some people like this situation.
Do not allow thorns to choke you. Keep your garden clean of weeds. Study your Bible and learn all you can. Then, obey what you have learned. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
In ancient times, armies traveled by foot most of the time. When large armies traveled into very rocky areas, they needed the way cleared of many of the rocks. When traveling into forested areas, they needed trees cut down to make the way clear for them to travel. Sometimes, it was some of the soldiers who went ahead and did the clearing. Other times, it was civilians that were hired to do it, and sometimes it was slaves who were made to do it.
ll this work made it easier for the army to travel. This was very necessary work that had to be done so that the army could go where it was needed. We have instances where the word for this preparation is used in the Bible.
Paul is saying that even though some bad things had happened to him, they always had made it in some way possible to preach the Gospel. Everything that happened allowed Paul to preach the Word of God to someone. Sometimes the things that happened to him made others want to listen to what he had to say. Other times, people were impressed with his commitment to overcome obstacles.
This is the way that we should look at the bad things that happen in our lives. Rather than focusing on how bad things are, we should look to see what good can come from the situation as far as spreading the Gospel. We should be looking for the opportunities that come from the things that happen to us. We must remember that others are watching us to see if we really believe in God.
If we handle our problems in this way, we can be assured that God will be pleased. Keep reading your Bible. Learn what God wants you to know. Learn about those who lived in the past and overcame all obstacles. Get courage from them. If any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.