Thursday, 4 October 2018

The Seed

Scripture:  Mark  4 v 15 - 20: "And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
 16  And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
 17  And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. 
 18  And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
 19  And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. 
 20  And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred."

The parable of the sower is a well known but sometimes complicated illustration to understand.  Jesus is the One who sows the seed, that is the truth or the gospel of salvation, and He uses Christians to spread these seeds around.

This blog is a seed being sown.  The way it or other seeds produce fruit depends on the soil it is sown in.  The seeds that fall by the wayside land on hard ground, or a person who is stubborn, rebellious and who resists truth.  He dismisses our words even mocks  or scoffs at them.

Jesus says Satan comes immediately they have heard and steals the Word out of their hearts.  These are very worldly people, rich, self-sufficient, proud and difficult to reach.  For Jesus to penetrate their hearts He has to take them out of their comfort zone and put them in situations that may be life-threatening to give them a wake up call.  

Our first reaction is to rescue and secure such a person, stabilise and comfort him, thus setting  at nought the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing him to God.  First pray and get direction from the Lord so we work with Him to save the soul, and the rest will follow.

Another personality type starts off very enthusiastically but when their prayers are not answered speedily, or some setback occurs they become offended and slide back into the worldly way of doing things.  Their faith is weak and Jesus says it's like sowing seed into stony ground.  It finds no root and soon withers.

A third type include those who are greedy and lustful, full of deceit and love of money.  These traits act as a choke on the Word of God and render it powerless.  These people are a law unto themselves and despise authority.  Jesus says it's like sowing seeds onto thorny bushes where they never grow.

The type of person Jesus loves is one who He calls fertile ground.  This person is primed and ready to be saved.  As soon as they hear the Word they repent and receive Jesus in their hearts in a real and enduring way.  They bring forth fruit, i.e. others get saved by their testimony, abundantly.

We never stop praying for those who are hard, stony or thorny, to soften and become good ground on which the seed sown will bring forth the right response.

There was a lady who came for the first time to a meeting in my home.  I found out later she was a committed believer in a church that preached a prosperity gospel and had attended there for 18 years.  She heard the gospel of conviction of sin, repentance and salvation for the very first time.  She wept as she finally met Jesus Christ for real.

In another meeting in an African school in a South African township before Nelson Mandela was released from prison to become President, we could hear gun shots in the streets nearby while I preached on our spiritual weapons and how superior they are to guns.  I told them not to get saved if they were not ready to die for what and Who they believe in, not to come forward unless they laid their lives on the altar.

Every person in that place, maybe 600 people came forward that day, including an old lady of 94 Years.  Afterwards she told me that she had been in church all her life but that today she understood the real meaning of salvation and for the first time received Jesus as her Saviour.  Nearly 100 years of waiting for the sower to sow the right seed!

We are instruments of righteousness in the hand of a mighty God and His power flows through us to touch the lives He wants to revive as long as we are available at any moment to do His will.  The more available we are, the more He will use us.  If we make excuses for not doing His will He finds others to bridge the gap.

The more we read our Bible, pray, and worship God, the more pliable we become in His hands.  The more we share our testimony, the more seeds get sown. All these things build up our treasures in Heaven for our eternal joy.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, it displeases You when we neglect our inheritance from You and forget to sow the seed of Your truth to those who need it.  Help us over our carnal barriers to flow in Your Holy Spirit to touch the lives of those in need.  In Jesus' name. Amen.