(Part 5 of 5. The series begins here.)
Some of the farmer’s seed fall on good soil. The plant grows. Leaves emerge. It yields a productive crop over and over. Essentially, it thrive and multiplies.
The seed is God’s Word. The soil is a tilled heart…one ready to receive God’s message of grace. It absorbs the message and grows immediately. The new believer matures and tells others about the seed. The new listeners hear the Word and they too begin the cycle of growth. Essentially, they thrive and multiply.
It’s a beautiful picture. Health, maturity, fruit-bearing. The road of discipleship is meant to be one of movement and multiplication. The purpose is Kingdom growth.
Interestingly, this image of well-being plays out amidst the seed that never produces. Even as Jesus walked on the earth, some people chose to not follow Him. Those who sought Jesus and persevered in the Way following His death and resurrection, flourished. They produced a crop even 100 times what was sown by our Lord God incarnate. We, the 21st century believers, are the fruit.
How do we help people prepare the soil? How do we replenish the sustenance in our own hearts? We need the nutrients of peace, healing, and forgiveness to remove the frustration, anger, and anxiety that can grow so readily.
This cultivation takes place best in the company of others. I need to listen to the truth spoken in love. At times, I may even need to speak the truth in gentleness and kindness. I need to push through the thorns of people pleasing and conflict avoidance. Indeed … doing so will lead to increased fruit and production in my own life.
My Prayer: Guide me, Lord, to keep my heart and soul nourished for growth. Grant Your inspiration as I seek to encourage others along the journey. May we not be satisfied with a few morsels or occasional treats. But instead long for the full array of vitamins and nourishment meant for the human heart.
(Read Jesus’ words in Matt 13:1-23 Mark 4:1-20 Luke 8:4-15)