I was a farm kid… So much of what the Bible talks about within an agrarian context, I understand. I’ve plowed fields, prepared the soil, planted seed, watched the young plants sprout and come up, waited for the rain, the sunshine, the development of the grain and rejoiced (or groaned with my dad) over the harvest!
So this morning when once again I read the great parable [or short scent ‘snippet’ with a spiritual lesson] of the sower, the seed, and the soils it was vivid to me… and I believe I got it! The cultures are different, the farming methods a bit different (they sowed the seed and then tilled it in) and the fields tended to be smaller (food first for the family and then some for sale) – no tractors or other mechanized equipment like we used on our farm. But I believe I still got the truth that Jesus was trying to communicate!
The passage? Matthew 13:1-23 (especially 1-9 and 18-23)
After reading it again this morning during “Coffee with the Lord” here was my response and prayer…
Oh Lord, when the seed – the “word of the kingdom” – is sown, may more of it fall upon good soil – not hard hearts! And may that precious seed, with life-transforming potential, be protected from being snatched away quickly by the devices of the “evil one!”
And, Oh Lord, I pray for those who hear the “word of the kingdom” and immediately receive it and embrace it with joy but haven’t counted the cost! May it take root in them sufficient to withstand temptation, tribulation and persecution when it comes! (And it will come!)
Then there are those… I’ve watched them – I know who some of them are – who received the “word of the kingdom”… It sprouted in their lives, it began to grow, the future looked good in their Spiritual, “Kingdom journey,” it seemed they would be fruitful… Then things pressed in, distractions came, the cares of life developed – even prosperity and materialism crowded in and they became more “sons and daughters of this world” than “children of the Kingdom!” And the result? In “kingdom of heaven” terms, they were “unfruitful!”
Oh, and finally, “what was sown on good soil” … That’s where I want to be! One who “hears the ‘word of the kingdom’ and understands it, bears fruit and yields a hundredfold, sixty-fold, and even thirty-fold!” In fact, in response to the words of Jesus in the parable, “He who has ears, let him hear!” I jotted this in the margin of my Bible today… “Oh Lord, I want eyes to see, ears that hear, a mind and heart that grasps ‘the word of the kingdom’ and responds wholeheartedly! I want to be a life that produces the fruit you’re looking for… in abundance!”