God of Peace, I am so often stressed out, full of worry and urgency. Let Your peace sweep over me again.
Read Luke 8:1-15
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.
“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture: the book widens and deepens with our years” (Charles Haddon Spurgeon).
When we think of Jesus’ disciples, we often focus on the 12 apostles. In fact, Jesus had many more disciples than this and they included women. We don’t know how many of the 72 sent out in Luke 10 were women, but we do know that Mary Magdalene, Joanna and Susanna were in Jesus’ traveling party. This in itself is surprising, for why wasn’t Joanna at home in Jerusalem with her husband, Chuza, Herod’s household manager? It’s also surprising to discover that it is the women who supported Jesus and the others financially.
It is in this large company of followers that Jesus tells the crowd the parable of the sower. The graphic simplicity of the story has enabled it to be retold in every era, language, culture and context. Like so many of Jesus’ parables it has a universal quality about it. Even today, when farming in our culture is high-tech and specialized, the story loses none of its meaning or relevance.
It is sobering to think that wherever the Word of God is scattered there are always those who represent the stony ground, or the dry path and thorns. Such people might be in our own families or neighborhoods. We are excited as they receive the gospel and begin to grow, but we find there is little depth and eventually their faith seems to dry up. Yet the parable is not told to discourage us. For not only is there always the good ground, where the seed produces a mature crop which can withstand drought and storms, but even thorns can be pulled up, and stones can be cleared away. I’ve met many people who had given up on the gospel, but returned to the faith later in life and grown strong. So do persevere in prayer. Careful gardening can make all the difference in the long run.
Ask yourself how much mature growth, how much fruit, the word is producing in your life. Then, ask how you can produce even more.
Lord, help me be a faithful disciple who doesn’t easily give up on growing or on praying for those who’ve received Your Word.
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