Thankful: God is the sower

Listen! Consider the sower who went out to sow. As he sowed, this occurred: Some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, and it sprang up right away, since it didn’t have deep soil. When the sun came up, it was scorched, and since it didn’t have a root, it withered. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it didn’t produce a crop. Still others fell on good ground and produced a crop that increased 30, 60, and 100 times what was sown.

– Mark 4:3-8

Today, I am thankful that God is the sower, and sows His Word on every soil.

Seed is valuable. It contains the ability to produce new life. Because most farmers want to produce a top-notch harvest, they will concentrate sowing the seed in good soil, so that it has the best chance to grow healthy and strong crops.

In this parable, recorded in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8, the seed is sowed in many different types of soil. Some falls on the hard road, easily picked up by birds. Other seed falls on rocky ground, where some of the shoots don’t have much roots to grow and the sun damages the plants. Some seed falls among thorns that choke out the growth. And finally, the seed lands in good soil and the harvest multiplies.

Why would the sower even waste his time sowing in unproductive ground?

God is the sower, and we as His children are called to follow in His footsteps and sow His Word over hearts. Some hearts are hard, some are rocky, some are full of thorns, and some are tender and ready to receive. God deeply loves each heart, each person, and sends His Word out regardless of the soil.

God isn’t wasteful, and His love isn’t pointless. He sows so that everyone has the opportunity to respond to His grace. His death on the cross was for every person. His message of hope and salvation is for all the world. And so He sends His Word to each soil, so everyone can know Him.

Soil can change, ground plowed up, rocks removed and thorns cut down. The seed still remains. God’s love endures.

God cares about each heart, and so should we. Our job isn’t to judge the soil, it is to spread the seed.

Go ahead

Many people from my community came to Harvest Night, hosted by my church. God is calling each of us to love the people around us and go before Him into the harvest.

After this, the Lord appointed 70 others, and He sent them ahead of Him in pairs to every town and place where He Himself was about to go.

– Luke 10:1

God is sending us.

At this point in Jesus’ earthly ministry according to Luke, He has commissioned His disciples and sent them out to proclaim the good news that God has come, as well as to heal the sick. They have returned and reported everything they experienced. Jesus also has recently fed more than 5,000 people and been transfigured into the fullness of His glory in the presence of his closest disciples.

And now, Jesus begins His last trek toward the city where He would give up His life. He gathers 70 other followers and appoints them to go ahead of Himself. Two by two, Jesus commissions them to go to the last places He would visit before His crucifixion.

Notice that Jesus sends His followers ahead to “every town and place where He Himself was about to go.” Jesus didn’t leave any place He would show up without a witness prior to His arrival. There was cultivation and preparation to be done, and Jesus sends those who love Him out to every place He intends to walk and share His message of life. In fact, as He instructs the 70, Jesus says this:

The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.

God’s harvest is ready, and He is looking for those to go ahead of where Jesus intends to make Himself known.

Where is God calling you to go ahead? He has readied every encounter you will make on your journey, and has already provided for all your needs.

Talk to the worker at the counter, meet the new person at the event, take the initiative to send that e-mail. The harvest is abundant, and God wants more people to follow His call into the fields.

Be the one who goes before Jesus Himself arrives. You won’t be alone, because God is sending someone along with you. God intends to make Himself known to your community and your friends and your family.

Answer God’s personal appointment for you, even today. God is sending us where He Himself plans to move and transform lives.

Go ahead!