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Sowing Seed

by UNC Contributor
Photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash
 

One day from a boat off the shore of Galilee, Jesus gave a story to the gathered crowds about a sower sowing seed (Matthew 13:1-3). What He said holds great encouragement for those of us who strive to see God’s Truth published and preached in The Good News magazine, on the Internet, and on Beyond Today television across Canada. He provided the following vital and encouraging truths for us:

  • We have the ‘best seed’ there is: the Word of God
  • Some of that seed will be eaten by the birds
  • To get a harvest we must keep on sowing
  • We must discipline our disappointment

 The detail of the parable explains much of our life drama in sowing the seed of Truth. Although the sower is diligent and has excellent seed, three out of the four sowings doesn’t produce. And we can get disappointed (Matthew 13:4-7). But because the sower is diligent and keeps on sowing the seed, despite the initial poor result, he will eventually reach good soil (Matthew 13:8). We can be encouraged by the detailed teaching Jesus gave.

The first attempt at sowing finds the seed falling on the wayside - and the birds get it. We quickly learn that no matter how we sow ‘the birds’ are going to get some of the seed.

An example from our efforts at Public Lectures might go like this: ‘I invited Herb to a meeting and he said he would be there – but he wasn’t. Now I wonder why Herb didn’t turn up?’ The parable tells us the answer – it was the birds! Herb probably intended to come, but someone stole away his intent and maybe said: ‘You’re not going to a religious meeting, are you? And he said, Well, maybe not.’ When this happens and the birds steal the seed we think of chasing away those birds. But if we go chasing the birds we end up leaving the field and no sowing gets done. Chasing away the birds, or being disappointed at the result, distracts us from our future crop that is sure to come. Our best response when things are disappointing is to just say, Well, isn’t that interesting – he promised – and I was sure he would be there. But we know from the parable it was just the birds.

Despite the initial lack of result the sower keeps on sowing. We will sow more seed than the birds can get because there aren’t that many birds. Let’s not worry about the birds (the critics, skeptics, doubters) because someone once said that there are only 9 -10 really negative, miserable people in the whole world – though they seem to move around a lot! So we’ll bump into one or two now and again. We have to accept this type of opposition.

Next, the seed falls on rocky ground where the soil is shallow. And this condition is not of our making. We are diligently sowing the seed, and the seed is the BEST there is. Because we have excellent seed, and we are diligent in sowing, this is not our fault. This time the seed germinates and a plant grows. But the first hot day that comes along, it wilts and dies. This isn’t easy to watch. We get someone interested in the Truth but someone else, or something, frightens them away and they wilt.

They come once but don’t show up again. We are likely to think – Surely they would now make progress and attend regularly. But no, the hot weather will get some. And this is not of our making. We can’t change the way Jesus has laid out the parable and its Truth. We accept that some won’t stay. And when they leave we know they are just one of those that leave. But what is important is that the sower keeps on sowing. And to keep on sowing we have to learn to ‘discipline our disappointment.’ That some don’t stay is not our fault. Now, if we make gross errors in sowing the Truth then that is our responsibility and we need to correct that and sow differently. But in the normal course of things – the fact that some do not stay is not of our doing.

Next, the seed falls on thorny ground. We may begin to wonder, How long is this going to happen? How much do we have to go through with poor results? Well, we know that at the end of the story is good soil. The seed germinates and grows, but now ‘thorns’ choke them to death. So, thorns will get some and this also is not our fault. What are thorns? Cares, distractions, little things that seem more important.

An example might be like this: Herb was making progress and showed interest and we had a meeting scheduled for him. But Herb didn’t come. We follow up to see what happened and Herb says, ‘I can’t go to every meeting that’s on, you know.’ We think, can’t make some meetings, why not? It’s the Truth, it’s Salvation. But Herb responds, ‘It was hockey night, I’ve got to support the kids.’ Or he says, ‘The dishwasher broke down and I had to get it fixed.’ At that time we can feel helpless and ask why? But it isn’t of our making. The thorns will get some too. We learn that people will let little things cheat them of BIG opportunities.

But now the Good News. The sower just keeps on sowing the seed – sharing the story – keeps on giving an invitation. And finally the seed falls on good ground. And it always will, IF you keep on sowing long enough. We now find some produce 30%, some 60%, some even 100%. We can ask why the difference? Again, it isn’t of our making. It is the way God has ordered response according to talents and abilities and the human desire to listen and change. Our motivation is to keep on sowing.

Being a sharer of God’s Truth is like being a bridge for people. It is helping someone cross over from darkness to light; from being a skeptic to a person of faith; from not knowing to knowing Truth; from no confidence in themselves to being full of Godly confidence. Being a sharer of God’s Truth is helping people come out of the shadows into the sunlight. It’s an exciting role, helping people cross over; providing a bridge for them to gain the answers they’re really looking for.

Our efforts in sowing the seed of Truth also satisfies what Jesus taught about greatness (Matthew 20:20-28). Striving for greatness is in serving others. We can serve others by wanting them to have the Truth that we already have. And when we help people with their problems, it in turn helps to diminish your own.

Whether we choose to serve others and be a bridge for Truth is up to us. The seed is the same – the opportunity is available – but whether you take advantage of the opportunity is up to you. You can share the Truth in the many ways made available through each local Church area.

Jesus taught in this parable that if we continually plant the seed – the chances are good that we will reap a harvest.

Gods Church
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