Sunday, April 22, 2012
On a Fruitful Life.5
A farmer went into the field to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell by the roadside; and the birds swarmed down and ate them. Some of the seeds fell among stony places, where there was not enough earth. Here, they sprouted quickly in the shallow soil; but lacking roots, were scorched by the sun and soon withered. Some seeds fell among bramble bushes; and were choked by the thorns.
But certain of these seeds did find good earth, and these made up for the seeds that were lost, and yielded a good crop; returning a harvest that was thirty, sixty, and even one hundred times the seed that was planted.
When you hear the word of the kingdom, and fail to understand the teaching, the enemy comes and steals away the seed that is planted in the heart. This is similar to the seed that fell by the roadside.
The seed that was scattered on stony ground represents those who hear the word of God, and eagerly accept it, but have no roots of inner conviction. Their experience might last for a time; but when trouble or persecution arises resulting from their decision to follow the truth, they become discouraged and drift away.
The seed that was sown among the thorn bushes represents those that hear these words, but are soon overwhelmed by the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches. The teaching is choked, and their lives become barren.
The seed that fell on good earth represents those that hear these words and understand the message they contain. Their lives will yield accordingly, an abundant harvest: thirty, sixty, and one hundred times the good that is planted within.--Jesus
Composting is a wonderful science! I never realized it until this year, always thinking it was merely taking leftover vegetables and such you didn't want to flush down the sink nor leave in the garbage and, instead, dropping them onto a discreet spot somewhere in the yard. Seemed way too troublesome, especially in the winter when it was too cold to go outside and try to find the spot! But I've learned...fancy that...how amazing the process is of taking a wide variety of vegetable plants (even plants that have started the process in the bowels of horses!), combining them together and letting nature-through bacteria & bugs generating intense heat--transform the pile of dead decomposing matter into a rich and nourishing soil compound from which life can grow!
Jesus' teaching on the soil types is commonly understood to represent the condition of the heart to which most of us would agree that unless the heart is in good condition, i.e., humble, broken, and receptive, not much can be accomplished when His word is sown. But I was thinking, the parable can't possibly mean that a person's heart condition is permanent. Like the decomposing of dead things from which God can bring new life, so can't He, from the dead works of sin, decomposing under the heat of suffering and conviction of the Spirit, break them down to form new soil from which His word of Life may bring forth new growth?