One day, while Jesus was out and about teaching the things of God, He told the tale (or parable) of a farmer who went out to sow his seed (Luke 8).
He described the various places the seed fell. Some were cast upon a path whereon the seeds were trampled and then devoured by birds. Some fell on rock and immediately sprang up only to then shrivel up again once the day’s sun dried out their exposed roots. Some fell among thorny underbrush and grew fine until finally choked out by the riot of thorns about them.
Jesus’ disciples seemed to have a pretty good idea that Jesus wasn’t just giving an agricultural lesson and pestered Him about the meaning of the story. He explained that the seed was the Word of God and the path upon which the seed was thrown is the heart of the one who hears His Word, but then disregards or rejects it because of the world’s innate contempt of it. She never believes and is consequently not saved (Luke 8:12).
The rock on which seed was scattered was the heart of the one who hears it, receives it gladly, but then never allows the things of God to grow deeply in his life and naturally falls away when times get tough: he can’t take the heat, so to speak (Luke 8:13).
The thorny ground, says Jesus, is the heart of one who hears the Word of God, receives it at first, but then finds the life that God would grow there all choked out by the thorns of worry and the strangling weeds of temptation (Luke 8:14).
But then there is the seed which is sown in the heart that “hears the Word, retains it, and perseveres until its crop is produced” (Luke 8:15). The seed sown here is fruitful, thereby achieving the intended destiny of the seed and preventing that seed from dissipating into the frustrated finality of eternal pointlessness.
If we genuinely ponder the parable, the question then naturally arises for each of us, “What kind of soil is MY heart?” If I will surrender my will to His and persevere (hold on to Him) in faith, then my heart is “good and rich” and is ready for planting.
Now, if you cannot honestly say that you are responsive and ready to walk with Him, your life is consequently not “good soil” and you should take care to consider that “eternity” is a really, really long time and it can sneak up on you really, really quick! When will you be called into eternity? Are you ready for that moment though it be unlooked for?
If your life seems to indeed be the kind of soil that Jesus described as “good,” be patient and know that seeds sown in good soil will germinate. And don’t get impatient in waiting for the harvest of God’s blessings either.
When we plant a seed in our gardens, we soon may see that first little leaf rear its tiny head from the earth, but we are not satisfied in merely this fragile bud. No, it is just the beginning.
We are not content though its stem rises from the ground and it spreads its leaves towards the sun. No, it’s not done yet. It has not yet achieved its destiny.
We continue to wait as it unfolds the petals of its blossoms. We are still not satisfied, for we know that each blossom is merely a promise of something yet to come.
Then, we rejoice when in the place of each fragrant flower, a fruit begins to form. When at last its fruit has matured and is ready for harvest we know that the tiny seed has finally reached its potential and arrived at the destiny for which it had been planted.
How true this is also of the Word of God for the “Seed of His Word” is ALWAYS good!
“So shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11 ESV).
We know that what He says is “good seed.” And while we can celebrate the promises and affirmations that His Word supplies us (the “warm-fuzzies” that encourage us along, if you will), God is interested in more than just the “here and now.” Each word of direction, correction, transformation and comfort ultimately produces the fruit of a living testimony in our lives. This is a harvest that encourages others and teaches them to trust in the goodness of God and the faithfulness of Christ. And do not fruits each hold within themselves even more seeds that will in turn be sown in the soil of other lives?
Let us then each allow God to mature His fruit in the greenhouses of our obedience! Too often we become weary, frustrated and discouraged with our circumstances, unaware that the Father is tilling the soil of the hidden places of our hearts and in the hearts of those around us. Let us instead “lay hold” of His admonishment in Galatians 6:8 to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Pastor Thom Mollohan leads Pathway Community Church and may be reached for comments or questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.