"He (Jesus) told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
'Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds.
As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them.
Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn't have deep roots, they died.
Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and chocked out the tender plants.
Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!
Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.'"
Matthew 13:3-9 NLT
Something interesting about the Bible in a Year plan is its layout. Each day's reading includes a Psalm or Proverb, a portion of the New Testament, and a portion of the Old Testament.
I wondered, going into it, if it would be difficult to follow. Surprisingly, I've ended up really enjoyed the format, however the past couple of days threw me for a loop...
As I sat down Wednesday and read the passages above, I became really excited about the parallels I was drawing. I wrote fervently in my journal, excited to share my takeaways. The day got busy (as often happens), and I didn't have the opportunity to blog my thoughts here.
The next day, as I clicked into the New Testament portion of the day's reading, I was surprised to find that, unlike many of His other parables, Jesus ended up giving his disciples a behind-the-scenes interpretation of "the Farmer and the Seed" in the next passage...
And it was completely different than what I had taken away.
I became perplexed- was I wrong, Lord?
Later that night I had coffee with a dear friend. She is one of the wisest people I know and I enjoy hearing her insight. As I shared with her my conundrum and asked, "I mean, was I wrong??"
"No!" quickly replied, and she laughed (probably at my ridiculousness).
Through conversation with another friend I realized that different verses mean different things to us at different seasons in life. And that's okay.
That is the Holy Spirit working, speaking directly to where I'm at in life.
That's why the author of Hebrews describes the Bible as, "...alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." (Hebrews 4:12).
So here's what the parable of the Farmer and the Seed taught me this week:
It caused me to consider the condition of my heart.
God, Farmer God, is constantly throwing seed-- truth, wisdom, and encouragement-- on my path. But am I prepared to receive it fully, to reap a harvest of blessing in my life?
So often I go to church and receive a "seed" Word that pierces my soul and I know God wants me to take action on it. But then I walk away and the "birds" of busyness and distraction steal it away from me before I am obedient.
Other times I read, and read, and read the Bible and wonder why the truths in my head aren't reaching my heart. But the "underlying rock" of a hard heart that is bitter towards God or others keep that seed from fully planting.
Then there have been seasons I have not kept myself deeply rooted in Christ, dwelling in His presence and His word, and the blistering "hot sun" of life's trials and troubles killed the shallow fruit I had managed to produce.
And worst of all are those thorns. How many times have I allowed the "thorns" of pride to choke out what God was doing in my life? Too many.
"Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!" (verse 8)
I desire for God's Word to plant deeply into the soil of my life and produce a crop of wisdom and blessing, a hundred-fold!
But God, how do I keep a fertile heart?
I think these verses show us that it's as simple as:
Walking in forgiveness.
Dwelling in His presence.
And staying humble.
Micah 6:8 comes to mind:
"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
Pure and simple.
Lord, pour out your seed, and may my heart ever be ready to receive it.
Dwelling in Him,
A little about me...
Hi, I'm Katie!
Wife to Craig, mom of three, author, writer, Jesus-follower, Bible teacher, and coffee enthusiast.
Follow me as I follow Christ and share my heart throughout the journey.
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