Tag: parable of the sower

Breaking up unplowed ground!

Scripture reading for September 7th: Hosea 9-11

“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers righteousness on you.  But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception.” Hosea 10:12-13a

Hosea loved farming illustrations and so do I!  I loved to plow ground when I was younger.  We would often plow under red clover that was sowed along with the oats crop and it helped the corn grow next year. The dirt turning over and the smell of that fresh soil was special.  Usually a flock of seagulls would follow the plow to pick up worms and a chicken hawk would scout out scampering mice as they ran down the furrow.  At night, coyotes and foxes would also come out and find rodents running in the furrows.

Hosea’s illustration was not about plowing dirt, but about the soil of hearts that had grown hard and had not produced a crop in a long time.  The ground had to be broken up to receive the seed in hope of a crop.  The sowing had to change, too.  Instead of wickedness, false promises, lawsuits and idolatry, the people needed to sow a crop of righteousness in order to reap unfailing love.  (Hosea 10:4-5, 12)

God often takes the weeds of our lives and uses them to become fertilizer for a good crop.  For instance, if we were delivered from a life of drunkenness, we are able to minister to those who are bound by that habit.  Someone else might have struggled with sexual temptations and upon breaking up their fallow ground, the old habits enable that person to minister to others who have similar strongholds.

Waiting for the harvest required patience.  Hosea encouraged the people to seek the Lord until He came and showered righteousness on them.  We must ask, seek and knock in faith until the answer comes.  Prayer keeps an open line with the Lord and keeps us moving forward in hope and expectation.  He alone is our righteousness!  (2nd Corinthians 5:21)

In summary, we must keep our heart’s soil soft and teachable through brokenness.  As we sow righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ, we will reap the fruit of His eternal and unfailing love.  A broken and contrite heart, He will not despise!  (Psalm 51:17)

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True mothers and brothers!

Scripture reading for March 28th: Luke 8:4-21

Blood is thicker than water!  This statement is made to declare that family loyalty is often the closest tie that binds people together.  They may not get along on a daily basis, but if a family member is attacked or threatened, other family members will rally to their defense.  Blood relationship is a unique tie we have with our close relatives.  The Jews used this in their relationship to God as well, claiming Abraham’s blood brought them into a unique relationship with God.  Jesus disputed this common proverb when it came to following Him.

“Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see Him, but they were not able to get near Him because of the crowd.  Someone told Him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see You.”  He replied, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” ” (Luke 8:19-21)  The context of this statement was the teaching of the parable of the sower and the seed.  Those who received God’s word and put it into practice had good soil in their hearts and persevered to produce a crop of righteousness coming from faith.  Blood relationship would not necessarily produce this!

Faith comes by hearing and obeying the word of God.  (Romans 10:17)  It is by faith through God’s grace found in Jesus Christ that we are saved.  (Ephesians 2:8-10)   We are adopted into God’s family and become one with Him through covenant by His blood.  (Galatians 4:4-7)  The Holy Spirit bears witness that we are sons and daughters of God and we can now know God as “Abba” (Daddy).  Our faith resulted in belief in the word of truth and we were marked by a seal, the precious Holy Spirit!  Our complete family inheritance is guaranteed until the redemption of our bodies at the resurrection!  (Ephesians 1:13-14)

In summary, Jesus was not putting down his family but encouraging all that they could become close family with Him through hearing the word of God and obeying it!  That is the definition of faith!   Faith works through love.  Love is a relationship where people and our Father work to bring the highest good to each person regardless of personal cost!  Does your spirit and the Holy Spirit bear witness that God is your Father (Daddy)?

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The Seed and the Soil!

Scripture reading for January 17th: Matthew 13:1-23, Psalm 12, Proverbs 3:19-20

Jesus loved to tell stories.  These stories are known as parables, because the stories have another story hidden inside of them for those who take the time to investigate.  Jesus taught in parables because He wanted to communicate deeper truth to those who were willing to listen but hide that truth from those who were unwilling or would mock at the truth.  He wanted all to be able to understand but knew that a humble and teachable heart was required.

The parable of the seed and soil is found in three of the Gospels.  Jesus explained this parable when his disciples asked Him about the meaning of the story.  (Mark 4:10-11)  Jesus told them that they were blessed to be able to see and hear what He taught them.  The seed was the message about the kingdom of heaven and the sower was Jesus and later His disciples.  The ground was the hearts of those who heard the message.  When someone heard the message and did not seek to understand it, that man was like seed sown by the path.  The birds, representing Satan, would come and snatch away the seed that was sown.  (Matthew 13:18-23)  Others would hear and respond, but last only a short time.  Their hearts had only shallow soil and no room for the message to take deeper root.  Still others would hear and respond, but allow the cares and worries of life to choke out the message.  They were like the weedy ground that choked the crop.  The last group of hearers mentioned received the seed into their hearts and understood the message.  They acted on it in faith and produced an abundant crop.

This famous parable has helped believers for many years.  It helps us personally to examine the state of our own hearts so we can ask God for help where we need it.  It helps us to understand how the state of a person’s heart affects their ability to hear and understand.  We need to pray for the hearts of those we share the Word with.  Only the Holy Spirit can draw a person to understand.  (John 6:44)  We can also have confidence that the Word (Seed) has power to bring growth and understanding in the right kind of hearts.  Praise the Lord for opening our hearts!  May we produce a bountiful crop by sowing the word!

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