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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The kingdom of God is like a man scattering seed on the ground and then going to bed each night and getting up every morning, while the seed sprouts and grows up, though he has no idea how it happens. The earth produces a crop without any help from anyone: first a blade, then the ear of corn, then the full-grown grain in the ear. And as soon as the crop is ready, he sends his reapers in without delay, for the harvest-time has come.”— Mark 4:26–29 (PHILLIPS)
Have you ever heard the story Jack and the Beanstalk? Essentially, a boy named Jack trades the cow he was supposed to sell in the market for some supposedly magic beans. When he comes back home without any money, his mom gets angry at him, throws the beans on the ground outside, and sends Jack to bed without dinner. The next morning, they wake up to find a giant beanstalk that leads to a magical land in the sky.
In today’s parable, Jesus tells a story about a man scattering seeds on the ground and then going to bed. Each day, the man begins to see these seeds sprout and grow, but he doesn’t know how it happens. Like in the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, this amazing crop sprouted up without any help from anyone. In this case, we, His disciples, the workers of His field, are sowing the seeds of His kingdom in the world. That, right there, is our role in all this! We take the seeds from the fruit the Holy Spirit has produced in our lives and we plant it in the lives of others through the way we live out our faith and the way we share the gospel of Christ. From there, the Holy Spirit works in their hearts, beneath the surface. He cultivates it and develops it until it sprouts into a fully developed and fruitful faith in Christ!
We don’t do the work, we don’t do the changing, we don’t do the development of the fruit within those whom the Lord has sent us to sow seeds in. We are simply the workers whom He sends to plant and water the seeds.
Oftentimes, you see believers get frustrated when they don’t see someone receive Jesus in the timeline they want them to. I get it, especially when it’s people we deeply love and care about. We can take it personally, as if we haven’t done enough to change their minds and hearts. But this isn’t our responsibility, nor is it something we have any power to do. Only the Holy Spirit can change someone from the inside out, only the Spirit can grow the seeds God has used us to plant. If we do our part and plant the seeds that have been produced in us, He will be faithful. Remember what the Lord said in Isaiah 55:11 (NLT), “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to . . .”
DIG: What is our role in the process of salvation and expanding the kingdom of God?
DISCOVER: Who has the Lord used to plant seeds in you? How has He used you to plant seeds in others?
DO: Today, thank the people the Lord used to plant seeds in your heart. And thank the Lord for growing the Word in your heart through the Holy Spirit!
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.