Text: Matthew 13 (Genesis 24-25)
I am always delighted and surprised when I read a familiar text in the Bible and the Lord speaks in a fresh way. It happened to me when I read Jesus’ explanation parable of the sower just now. In particular, He makes it clear that when we “sow” the Word, we get different outcomes based upon the condition of our hearers. This is what grabbed me:
“As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22)
As a pastor, I expend a lot of effort trying to encourage believers to fruitfulness. As Jesus brings this Word, I am reminded that when it comes to the choices of those who allow worldly distractions to rob them of their Kingdom fruitfulness, it is the condition of the “soil” of their hearts that is at issue. It is the Lord that turns hearts. For me, that brings me relief from the burden that their fruitfulness is somehow dependent upon my persuasive powers. And so rather than preach at them, I need to pray for them. May we pray together that we might all to unshackled from the cares and attractions of the world and be free to receive the Word and free to bear eternal fruit. May the Lord bring forth a great harvest through even those who are not yet fruitful.
in Him, Mike