Scripture Reading: Exodus 23:1-24:18 / Mark 3:31-4:29 / Psalm 22:22-31
No farmer, scientist or philosopher can clearly explain how a dead, dormant seed can produce life when it is buried in the soil. Within an hour of being sown, the outer husk of the seed begins to swell because it is drawing moisture from the soil. Within 10 hours, the chemical makeup of the seed begins to change. Often in less than 24 hours' time the seed begins to send a tiny root downward and a stalk upward…it only takes a short time!
Jesus shares about the power of the seed and describes the seed as automatic, “All by itself the soil produces grain…” (Mark 4:28) The unique power of the seed is that it can reproduce itself because the seed produces more seed. In the parable of the sower, “The farmer sows the word.” (vs.14) Just as natural seed is productive, the Word of God is also power to initiate and bring about regeneration, transformation, conversion and new birth in our lives.
There is power in the seed yet soil conditions will determine the reproductive effectiveness of the seed. If seed falls along the hard path instead of the cultivated field, the birds will quickly eat it as it lies on the hard ground. If the seed is sown in rocky shallow soil, it will not take deep root and when it sprouts, the sun will scorch the moisture deficient sapling. When seed is sown among thorns, the destructive thorn bush will choke the underdeveloped plant.
Even though the Word of God is powerful, the condition and receptiveness of a person’s heart determines the depth or reality of their eternal change. Like the hard path, a person who hears the message of redemption but because of the hardness of their heart and faith, it does not penetrate their lives and they are left unchanged. Satan then quickly and effectively steals the seed.
Others hear and accept the gospel message but because of their lack of commitment, the seed is not deeply embedded in their soul. When persecution and difficulties arise, they quickly wither because they have a superficial relationship with Christ. Some fall prey to the thorns and cares of life. The Word takes root but the cares of the world choke their spiritual progress and life. They abandon their relationship with God to follow the elusive hopes and promises of temporary worldly desires.
When the Word of God falls upon receptive and faith filled hearts, the results are eternal! In fact the transformation is so powerful that it produces, “thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.” (vs.20) God’s Word produces fruit within our lives that we can never imagine. The mystery of the spiritual “green thumb” is discovered when God’s Word is planted deep within a broken and cultivated heart. This produces Christlikeness, transformation, and multitude blessings. May we seek God to break up the fallow ground of our lives…He is sowing His seed and is preparing for a great harvest!