Summary: We are God’s sower. We know that we can’t just store or hide the seed. We know that it must be broadcast and planted to do God’s work.

"Broadcasting the Seeds"

Matthew 13:1-9

July 13, 2008

For the last three weeks Nick and Sam Love’s mission trip has been in my thoughts and prayers. Last week I told you that this week’s sermon would be Romans chapter 8

The Romans text has a rich message, but my thoughts kept turning to Nick and Sam Love and their up coming mission trip.

Therefore: Sermon title is "broadcasting the seed"

Matthew 13:1-9

July 13, 2008

Now the question is why; have Nick and Sam been in my thoughts so much during the pass weeks.

Could it be because I once felt the call to be a missionary and didn’t or

Could it be because I was disappointed church’s response to their letter asking for pray and if possible financial aid?

Could it be because the letter was read just after I had given a sermon about missionaries and Charles Welch not being able to be a missionary because of his wife’s health? But our Lord was still able to use him to sponsor missions.

Could it be because, I called the Love’ and got to know them a little and about their hopes and desires for the trip? Could the answer be all of the above? Yep, all of the above.

And yes, I know this church is generous in its support of missions through the area office, the regional office and finally to United Christian Missionary Society. The United Christian Missionary Society is now a holding company, responsible for the investing and managing of assets for the benefit of the Division of Homeland Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Division of Overseas Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

And I also know several members have given individually to Nick and Sam.

I also know that we all want to be good stewards of God’s Money. A good steward of all God has given us. Decision, Decision Wouldn’t it be nice if life was easy and we didn’t have to face stuff like this? Like what? Stewardship! I look up a definition of Stewardship. "Stewardship is the proper management of one’s resources for the glory of God." Ok, what else?

QUOTE: Tom Gardner, of Motley Fool fame, writes, “A steward is someone who has been entrusted with the resources of another… A steward stands in stark contrast to the consumer or user… The basis of stewardship is the recognition that God owns everything and we own nothing.”

Jesus was a great story-teller. He told them to imagine a fellow planting a crop. He had a sack of seed and he was broadcasting it around him as he walked up and down his field. That is a pretty imprecise method of planting crops, so some of the seed fell on the path, some fell among the rocks, and some came to rest among the weeds and thorns. Luckily, there was some of the seed that fell on the good, fertile soil where it grew and produced an abundant crop.

This parable is a short lesson drawn from ordinary times and ordinary circumstances. In that agricultural and pastoral setting, people would have naturally understood and identified with the farmer and his methods. The perils of farming were obvious. One planted seed with one eye to the weather and another to the hope that is the natural inclination of any farmer. There is a natural, easy rhythm to the growing cycles, nothing extraordinary about it at all.

But from the ordinary comes a picture of the extraordinary grace and overflowing abundance of God. It is true that some seed fell on the path, some amid the rocks, and some among the thorns. The amazing part of the story is the incredible surplus of harvest from those seeds that fell in the good soil.

My understanding is that an average first–century farmer could expect a good yield to be about 10 bushels of wheat for every one bushel planted. But Jesus is talking about yields of 300, 600, or 1000%.

I’m convinced that God doesn’t disappoint those whose seed is cast out in hope. Too often we believe that our seed has been sown in hard, rocky, or weed infested ground. We blame nature for not giving us the proper mix of talent and luck. We blame circumstances in life that beat us down.

The seeds in the parable fell on the hard path, among the weeds and thorns, and amid the rocks and stones. The lucky seeds fell in the good soil where they grew into abundance. You know, we have a tendency to try to place blame and escape responsibility for our circumstances. We say that we are victims of bad luck or bad timing. We blame others for plotting against us. We explain away our faults and failures by appealing to the flaws in human nature. We identify with the seed in unproductive soil and believe that it is only the very fortunate who are planted in fertile ground.

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