Sow Without Ceasing
Gracious God and Father, may Your Holy Spirit sow Your holy Word deep into my heart and mind today.
Read Mark 4:1-9
 Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge.  He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said:  “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.  Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”  Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow would you summarize this parable?
Mark 1-3 shows Jesus on the move, passionately preaching, tirelessly teaching, compassionately healing (1:39), with his disciples faithfully tagging along. But the religious leaders were bitterly opposed to Jesus (3:6). His own family failed to understand (3:21). Although crowds came after Jesus (4:1), most had not become “insiders” (10). Perhaps the disciples were wondering if all these costly, risky efforts were worthwhile. Jesus relates the story of a sower (3) who sowed liberally, extravagantly, even wastefully; those who do the math would realize that 75 per cent of those seeds were wasted (4-7)! By modern standards, that farmer was a fool; but he was a faithful fool, since he never gave up on sowing. The New Bible Commentary notes that even a tenfold return was considered good in Palestine. The other 25 per cent of the seeds resulted in yields as high as a hundredfold (8)! Despite the apparent waste of seeds and effort, the end was an incomparably splendid harvest. God does not seek efficiency experts, just faithful folks! We are encouraged to keep sowing faithfully, hopefully, because God promises: his word “will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire” (Isa. 55:11).
If you’re discouraged by the work God has called you to, pray about it and take encouragement in your faithfulness.
Lord, I want to be faithful to You always and in every way. When I get discouraged, lift me up.
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