Spiritual Sowers

In Mark 4, Jesus talks with us about the meaning of parables.  A couple parables shared include topics of soils and seeds.  This is a timely topic, as I often see current farmers in the fields harvesting, those of us with small planter boxes still collecting various tomatoes that seem to never stop coming, and all of us who can reflect on how are the seeds of Jesus landing and/or spreading in and through us?

Jesus said in verse 9, “Those who have ears, let them hear” – now I imagine, (especially if you have children) you may ask at times the phrase,  “Now, are listening or hearing me? ” This hearing Jesus is talking about is more than the physical kind.  It’s a hearing with your mind, your heart, and soul.  This hearing will be more than the typical, “In one ear and out the other”.  When hearing the words of Jesus it’s through the eyes of miracles performed that can’t be explained, it’s hearing the amazing words at a baptism that bring a tear of joy to my eye each time,  what Jesus does for all of us through His living words is changes our heart, from an selfish and earthly ours, to Christ-like eternally His.

Just recently,  in our small group we talked about Mark 4 and the parable of four soils.  We discussed our daily choices and the influences we can have when making them.  In our conversations,  we compared the parable of the four soils with our own hearts soil for His word.  I personally, reflected on how many times I can let my selfish earthly decisions choke out the seeds being planted in me. In addition to, limiting any seeds I have the opportunity to share.  (It was really convicting and timely as I had turned for my first time after this discussion to my Bible Journal scriptures and saw I would be writing this topic… I simply thanked God for His simple ways of speaking to us through His timing and words.)

This past weekend our family went to the family farm to allow the our children the opportunity to ride in the combine and tractor.  As we were riding through the field harvesting the corn I asked their aunt Linda how the harvest was looking? Linda had said their Uncle Gary was hoping for 260 but was only getting about 240 in this particular field. ( All of which I didn’t truly understand, except the number was less than what he wanted) The part that stood out to me next was when she said, “It just truly depended on the soil! “

This is how Jesus is for us!  What is your current soil sample?  Are the seeds landing just hitting the soil surface not allowing any penetration with birds coming by to scoop them up? Is your soil surface rocky with minimal dirt allowing a plant to start but whither quickly because it has no roots? Does your soil contain thorns or weeds that can choke out the plant as it first starts to grow?

Jesus said,  8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

I pray that not only in this harvest season, but also in our daily lives and choices with are thinking of the soil in our hearts.  Here are the next few verses.

10 When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12 so that, ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!

13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14 The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16 Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18 Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19 but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

In the beginning we talked about listening and hearing.  Today, will you truly listen to the words of Jesus? He wants us to hear them not like background music, but believe them, apply them to our lives.

In my minimal farming knowledge as we drove in a GPS installed combine I thought about the original farmers who planted by hand, harvested by hand.  I thought about Jesus and Mark 4 how he is calling us all to be “spiritual sowers” of the seed in our own lives and others.  That as we spread His word it can have different impacts depending on if they are willing to hear.  Maybe the time is right to plant, maybe your just working the soil for a seed that will later be planted?  Linda didn’t use the GPS in this field on this day, she said their were various factors including it being a short field with various obstacles and odd rows.  It made me think of our lives…  We have various obstacles, odd wordily influences, and life will be short based on the eternal perspective.  Take off the GPS.  Intentionally spend each day being “spiritual sowers”, tend to your soil and others, believe in His words, use His words to make decisions and control our attitude.  Strive to be like good soil in every area of all our lives.

God promises that His harvest will be great! Happy harvest season!

Psalm 85:12