READ: Matthew 13:44--14:12
THINK: What do you value most in life? Jesus wants you to be clear about this issue. Using very simple parables, Jesus leaves little doubt about how much His followers should treasure their part in God's kingdom. But nothing of value comes without cost. Jesus paid the ultimate price to provide you with a place in His kingdom as a gift. But you must surrender all you are and make Jesus your absolute highest priority and authority in order to fulfill your ultimate purpose. This will bring rejection from people. But Jesus understands what its like to be rejected (see v. 57), and He is always with you.
RESPOND: In regard to God's kingdom, what does it mean that those who found the treasures went and sold everything they had? (See 13:44-46 note.) What evidence is there in your life of how much you value God's kingdom? What does the analogy of the net indicate about Jesus' message and God's kingdom? (See 13:47 note.) Why do you think that the people in Jesus hometown took offense at Him (14:57)? What does that mean to you? What lessons can be learned from the tragic result of Herod's party? (See 14:6 note.) Why do people often make bad decisions in situations like that? How can you do your best avoid situations and circumstances and behaviors that may lead to unwise decisions and ungodly behavior?
PRAY: Express to God how much you value your place in His kingdom. Thank Jesus for understanding what it's like to experience rejection and for giving you strength to endure it.
ACT: If there is anything hindering your relationship with God or preventing you from accomplishing His purpose, give it up to God today and place your whole heart in His trustworthy care. Also, if you are putting yourself in tempting situations and exposing yourself to images that could arouse impure thoughts or provoke foolish decisions, make a deliberate choice to avoid these things as much as possible from now on.
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