When my computer popped up this morning, Jeremiah 33: 2 – 3 came up as my “verse of the day.” Last night I had gone to bed early. I was physically drained. I awakened earlier than usual and tried to stay in the bed to rest. I laid there praying for family, friends, staff, pastors, churches, the work of the association, etc. As I prayed, I became “tired all over” again and my mind would often wander to a “what next” kind of question. I determined to get up and start my day, and – if needed – go back to bed to find some physical rest. Then I read this verse first thing! God has a way of speaking to us at the point of our need! This “fresh word” from the Lord refreshed me spiritually and emotionally. Thus, there is some physical energy attached as well.
The “Thus says the LORD…” jumped off the page. The one who has all authority over heaven and earth; the one who created all the heavens and the earth; the one who is sovereign LORD of the universe (and I emphasize LORD), has already spoken it! I need to HEAR it! He promises to reveal Himself to His people as we seek to hear, trust, and obey. The passage reminded me that there is still much I need to learn from my Lord and that I need to devote time to “sit at His feet” and HEAR His words!
My mind then skipped to the parable of the sower. Those of us that are churched are very familiar with the passage. The word of God is being sowed on 4 types of soil, but only one produces anything. There is nothing wrong with the sower (God). There is nothing wrong with His Word. The problem lies in the condition of the soil. Jeremiah reminded me—I have to CALL on Him!
In Matthew 13, we have that parable. Verse 3 in the HCSB reads, “He told them many things in parables, saying: "Consider the sower who went out to sow...” Let us consider that sower a bit.
Good teachers do not just deliver lectures. They help their students picture the material. They speak in terms their listeners will understand. They vividly portray/use techniques that allow their listeners to “see” the lessons being taught to them.
We know that when Jesus had an important lesson for those following Him, He showed them what He wanted them to know by telling parables – painting word pictures. Often times, He shared the parable with the crowd and then “dug deeper” with His small group (the disciples) to more fully discuss and illustrate. Jesus talked about things that were part of their experience, such as farming and fishing, food and nature.
The “parable of the sower” taught His followers about genuine faith. As stated, it talked about four types of soil, all of which received the same seed. He compared this to the four ways people respond to the same gospel. As we think of this parable, we are reminded of the lessons He taught: (1) Satan prevents some from understanding the gospel, (2) Others respond immediately, but soon fall away, (3) Others accept Christ but fall victim to worldly pressures, (4) But some hear it, receive it, and grow in their faith. The first three types of soil produce no crop, but the fourth type of soil represents those who make a difference in God's kingdom.
As I meditated upon these scriptures this morning, I thought about God saying to me in Jeremiah that I needed to call on Him. His assurance, He has great and hidden things that He desires to share with me. Did you HEAR that – God has great things He wants to share with His followers! I need to call upon the LORD!
Consider each of the four soil types Jesus talked about in this parable. Then think about your own response to the gospel. Another question popped out to me in reflecting on this parable of Matthew 13 – has God’s Word produced everything it is supposed to produce in my life? Well, when you consider that this soil is not always ready to receive the seed the sower is planting, my answer is no. Therefore, I must call out to the Lord and strive this day to walk closely with Him!
My question to each of my readers today is this, “Has God's Word produced everything it's supposed to in your life?” If not, what is your response to the LORD this day?