“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field.” (Matt. 13:31)

WHO WOULD THINK anything about God’s kingdom could be as small and insignificant as a mustard seed? Over the last two thousand years, however, we have seen how this kingdom began with just a few people and grew into a vast assembly with many branches and millions of believers.

Yet a tidbit that Jesus added to this parable causes me to pause and think. He showed us that the largest garden plant becomes a tree and soon attracts the birds to perch in its branches. The birds in another parable of the kingdom were no good (see the parable of the sower in Matt. 13). The seeds that the farmer scattered on the path were snatched away and eaten by those pesky birds. When Jesus explained the parable of the sower, He said that the birds were the Evil One who comes and steals the seed sown in a person’s heart.

Yes, growth is always good, but with it comes the pain of bad birds that find sanctuary in the branches of God’s congregation. Sadly, I have seen too many church people whose actions have snatched away the seeds of God’s Word planted in hearts. Jesus prompted us to prepare the soil of our hearts so when His seeds are sown, even the small ones, they are safe from our Enemy, able to grow and thrive.

Prepare your heart to receive the good seed of His Word.

Susan Browning Schulz is a Bible teacher, wife, and mom of three grown children. She lives on the Etowah River in Northwest Georgia and loves leading her church small group.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.