January 24 I Monday
THE SEEDS SOWN
“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” —Matthew 13:8
The intention of “The Parable of the Sower” is not to show how some people respond to the Word of God and are converted, while others are not. Rather, this parable is to show how the kingdom of God is to be advanced.
For the shallow seed, this seed was sown along the path and the birds came and snatched it away. This is the person who hears the Word of God but does not digest it, understand it or appropriate it. They are vulnerable to losing it all as “the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart” (Matthew 13:19). Truth has to be combined with faith in order to become experience, but this seed has never taken truth into the realm of experience. Their planting in the world comes to nothing.
For the superficial seed, this seed is sown among rocks and is the person who hears the Word and receives it with joy, but since they have no root, “they last only a short time” (Matthew 13:21). When trouble or persecution comes because of the Word, they quickly fall away. In the right atmosphere they can be jollied along, but they do not stand alone. They will blow with the prevailing wind and is superficial. Their planting in the world comes to nothing.
For the secular seed, this seed is sown among thorns that choke the plants. This person hears the Word of God and starts off well, but “the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the Word, making it unfruitful” (Matthew 13:22). They have never been weaned from their secular world view. They are deceived by wealth and seduced by the things of this world. They are secular and their planting in the world also comes to nothing.
For the successful seed, this is the seed sown on good soil and is the person who “produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Like the first seed, they hear the Word, like the second seed, they get excited by it and like the third seed, they, too, live in a secular world subject to all its temptations, but their roots are deep. They survive and are successful. Their planting in the world accomplishes its purpose.
Each of us who belongs to Jesus Christ is planted by Him for the purpose of producing fruit. If we were to look over the fence to the fields in the first, second and third planting of seed, we would not be impressed. This is a true picture of the church of Christ, the physical manifestation of the kingdom on earth as seen from the vantage point of those yet outside of the kingdom.Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that I will not only retain Your Word, but that it will grow and flourish in me, so that I may produce fruit. Thank You, Lord.