CONTINUE TO SOW
Lord, continue to produce the great harvest.
Read MARK 4:1–9
The Parable of the Sower
4 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. 2 He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”
9 Then Jesus said, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”
New International Version (NIV)
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“Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Cor 9:6).
Jesus is a phenomenal storyteller. He tells stories to illustrate truth concerning the kingdom of God. In this story, a sower sows, and he anticipates a harvest. Yet as the story unfolds, we read that the results grow more and more disappointing. Most of the seeds sown waste away, and this must have been discouraging for the sower (4–7). However, he continues to sow, and suddenly the story shifts its focus. There are seeds that fall on good soil, and they produce an abundant harvest with unusual yields of thirty, sixty, or a hundred times (8). What a surprising harvest!
In Mark, by the time this parable is told, the ministry of Jesus has already drawn severe opposition from both the religious authorities and from his own family (Mark 2,3). Even His life is threatened (Mark 3:6). One cannot help but feel the rather depressing tone of Mark’s narrative describing the seeds that fail to produce. Likewise, in our own service for the Lord, we may also feel that our labor is in vain as we may not see any fruitful outcome. Yet the current discouraging situation is not a time to be faint-hearted. We must not allow apparent failures to rule the day, giving rise to discouragement. The ministry of the proclamation of the gospel must continue. We are assured that the abundant harvest will certainly come – but it will come in God’s time and in God’s way. We must faithfully do what God has called us to do – to sow the seeds of the Gospel and wait for the encouraging harvest in God’s time. Remember, there can be a harvest only if seed is consistently being sown.
Lord, grant me courage to sow continually in the lives of those around me, regardless of their response. Grant other laborers in the field to help those seeds grow.
Lord, our efforts depend totally on Your ability to make the seed grow. Grant us the joy of seeing results.