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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.’”—Mark 4:26–29 (NIV)
Jesus’ parable of the sower (Mark 4:1-20) shows us how we (Christ followers) are to sow the seed of God’s Word, but the growth of the seed in the soil (the listener’s heart) is out of our hands. How it grows is a mystery and we cannot fully see what is happening inside someone’s heart as days go by after it’s been planted. Only God can grow the seed, we are partnering with Him when we sow it. 1 Corinthians 3:7 (NIV) reminds us that “neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” Not every seed will produce fruit, but that should not discourage us. We must remain patient and keep our faith.
This parable is both an encouragement and a warning for us—in our own growth process and in our work as we scatter the seed of God’s Word. We are encouraged not to despise small beginnings, as growth and eventual fruit is a process. Our Lord wants us to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9 NIV) Jesus began His ministry with Peter and Andrew, which later grew to twelve disciples. And the disciples eventually scattered seed themselves which multiplied to a harvest of countless believers and followers—and it is still growing today!
You may feel your witnessing or sharing of God’s Word with others is weak and that your efforts seem to influence so few, but God’s Word is so powerful it is a spiritual weapon (Ephesians 6:17). And God promised that His Word would accomplish the purpose for which He sends it (Isaiah 55:11).
Just because we don’t see growth on the surface right away, doesn’t mean the Word is not taking root slowly but surely beneath the surface. Let’s walk by faith and keep our eyes on the great harvest to come. Let’s not let the bad soil or weeds, or birds that may come pick at some seeds, discourage us from faithful service to our Lord as we witness to others who need Him.
PAUSE: How are you fulfilling Christ’s command to sow the seed of God’s Word? Where are you relying on yourself more than the inherent power of God’s Word to change lives? How much time do you spend with Christ so you’ll be sensitive to the time of harvest?
PRACTICE: Take a piece of paper, or a notes app on your phone, and make a list of people you really want to get to know God and be transformed by His love. Keep this list with you. Now set an alarm so you can stop and pray for them by name at the same time every day.
PRAY: Father, thank You that You desire that all may grow in their walk with You. Help me fall in love with Your Word so it may be stored in my heart. Please strengthen my faith as I grow in my own walk and as I pray for those I care about that don’t know You yet. Help me remember that I love them but You love them even more than I can comprehend. Amen.
Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.