Thursday, September 27, 2012
Today’s Topic: Sow the Seed
Today’s Text: Matthew 13:3 (ESV)
And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow.
I’m sure you are all very familiar with the parable proceeded to tell the crowds after this opening statement. In case you haven’t heard the story, here’s a link so you can read it. Matthew 13:1-9
You’ve probably heard many teachings on this story, and most of them probably focus on the four types of soil that are mentioned. There are good lessons for us personally in such teaching. But today as I prepared some comments on this passage for a radio interview I was doing, the Lord impressed two truths on me that are extremely significant, and I’d like to challenge you with them.
First, in this parable of Jesus, there is no mention of soil preparation. Our human nature demands that we place value on our efforts, and we prioritize our efforts based on return and results. Where there is little chance of success there is little demand for investment. Yet in the example Jesus gives us of a true Kingdom sower, there is no concern for the type of soil into which the seed will be sown.
We tend to predetermine the worth of the recipient before we sow any seeds of truth in them. We make judgments about their fitness for fertilization and then hoard our seed until better soil comes along. Maybe we believe that the seed is limited when in fact there is an infinite supply. It could be that we believe the seed is too precious and cannot be wasted, when in fact the preciousness of it demands that it be spread all the more because of its power to produce fruit. Maybe we are more concerned about our image as a sower than we should be, hoping that by trying to guarantee production we will be declared a wise farmer, when the reality is that obedience is the real definer of image.
So the first point I make today is this – start sowing seed everywhere and to everyone with no exceptions. God alone is responsible for soil preparation and for results.
Second, nothing is ever said in the story about changing the seed. What if the story went this way? “A sower went out to sow… After meeting together as sowers, the people decided that it would be more productive to produce seed that was resistant to birds, drought, and thorns, so they began to dissect the seed to see if it could be improved. They developed different varieties of seed to match the conditions of the soil and climate where it would be sown so that they could increase the harvest.”
My friends, there is one seed and only one seed – the Gospel of Jesus Christ who grants salvation to anyone through faith in His work on the cross to pay for our guilt of sin and His resurrection from the dead to guarantee us eternal life. There is no way to improve upon that. There is no greater harvest to be realized than the one God produces by faithfulness to that message. We don’t need to change it, compromise it, or condition it so it is more acceptable to the hearer. The truth of the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. It is NOT our responsibility to make the message acceptable to the hearer. We are only responsible to proclaim the message, and we are to do so with the compassion of Jesus, speaking the truth in love.
So the second point is this – Don’t try to change the seed you are going to sow. Just sow the truth, and sow it everywhere and to everyone, trusting God with the harvest. Every time you put your hand in your pocket or purse to remove keys, money, or anything else, just imagine that your hand is going into a seed bag hanging from your waist, and then scatter it on someone with words of truth.