February 04, 2018

A Lot of Seeds

Devotion for the Week...

I mentioned last week that I had recently read Jesus' parable of the sower and that I would have more to say on the topic of the parable itself soon. And now here we are 😊

I have read or heard this parable many, many times. Maybe you have too. Even if you have, though, read it again so it's fresh in your mind:

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear" (Matthew 13:3-9).

Here's what struck me as I read it again a couple of weeks ago: that's a lot of seeds planted that never produced anything!

I picture this farmer walking along, a bag of seeds slung over his shoulder. Every step or two, he reaches into the bag for a handful of seeds and he swings his hand from side to side as he walks, tossing out a shower of seeds. The story tells us that a lot of those seeds fall where they will never produce anything, but that some of the seeds will produce much more than was originally sown.

Of course, this is a parable, so it's not actually about a farmer and his crop of food. Here is how Jesus explains the parable:

"When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown." (vv. 19-23).

Whenever I've read the story before, I focused on the people who heard the word of God and how they received it. But this time, I thought more about the person sharing the word. Just like the farmer, that person spreads the word and a lot of the time there is no result. But where there is a result, the payoff is amazing.

Think about it this way: everything we do to bring God to people's attention is a seed sown. Much of the time, what we say about God will have little or no lasting impact on the people who hear because their hearts aren't ready to receive Jesus. But sometimes, those who are listening are ready. And in that moment our little seed that we sow can lead to someone accepting Jesus as their Savior and going on to impact the world for God in their own way. That's the crop that is so far beyond what was sown.

The thing is, we can't know which of the seeds we sow will produce results. It's not even our job to worry about which seeds will produce. All we have to do is sow as many seeds as possible and leave the rest to God.
Weekly devotions on Christian living | DevotedQuilter.blogspot.com
Of course, we like to see results, don't we? We like to know that the work we're doing is worthwhile. We don't like feeling like we're wasting our time and effort. But what this story tells me is that God wants us to sow the word generously, without worrying about what the results will be. That's up to Him, after all.

And just as with farming, there's only one guarantee: if you don't sow, you can't reap.

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