Fall is definitely here and even though it is Wednesday, I am still relishing the absolutely gorgeous weekend. I know the fall garden was supposed to be planted at the end of August, but because we are who we are, we planted ours this past weekend. You might not be thinking about planting or gardening today, but our reading takes us to a place where we should consider what kind of seed we are and what we are sowing.
Reading over the Parable of the Sower a couple of weeks ago, a new picture came to mind. As Jesus explains the parable in verses 13-20, the parable became alive to me in light of who each of the seeds represents in the parable.
Jesus clearly states in verse 13 that the Sower is the person who shares God’s Word.
When the Word falls on the path and the birds come and eat it. As Jesus explains, the Word falls on the hearts of some people, but Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. These would be non-believers who have come into contact with God’s Word and yet had it taken away. This reminded me of the importance of praying that Satan would be kept from taking away the Word that is falling on their hearts so they can receive the Word of God.
New Believers NOT Being Discipled
The next seed falls onto rocky ground where it springs up quickly, but its roots are not deep and it soon withers and dies. Again, Jesus tells us these are the people who hear the word and receive it immediately with joy. However, it is short lived and they stumble when they encounter the pressures and persecution that comes because of being a follower of Christ. This should be a warning to us as believers because these are the children of God who have had their joy stolen from them because they did not have someone to walk alongside them in their new life with Christ. We have not been the disciple makers God intends us to be, but have become like the seed that falls amongst the thorns.
Older Believers with a Lack of Faith
Some seed falls amongst the thorns. This is where a lot of believers should heed the warning. The seed was received and yet, did not bear any fruit. The reason this seed did not grow is because of the worries of this world, the seduction of wealth and desires for other things entered in their hearts. It is likened to a believer who does not remain in the vine and has a lack of faith. Their eyes are on the things of this world instead of the Sower who provides the daily bread (fertilizer) and the water to help the seed grow and produce fruit. I believe too many Christians are in this category of the parable (including myself on most days). Our eyes have been taken off of the Sower and we have become too consumed with worry, wealth, and pleasure that our own tree is fruitless. However, this is not Christ’s desire for us.
Disciples of Christ
The last of the seed falls on good ground where it produces a crop 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown. This seed represents the people who hear the word, welcome it and produce a crop. These are the true Disciples of Christ. How often do we wake each morning, hear from God through His Word, welcome it, and then allow it to grow inside of us throughout our day? Do we ourselves become a Sower, sharing God’s Word? Do we water and fertilizer the new believers next to us? Or do we hear God’s Word, get our happy feeling for the moment, and then allow the rest of the worries, pressures, and pleasures of the day to choke out any fruit Christ longs to bear through us?
Lord, help me today to be the seed that produces a crop and walks alongside those who are new to life with You. Help me to be a Sower of the Word of God and not one who is consumed by the worries of this world or frightened over the pressures and persecutions to come. Help me to not have a lack of faith but to trust and obey.