Summary: In an age when the church is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the daily life of people, when the message of the church seems to increasingly fall on deaf ears, and when the truth is mocked as meaningless and unattainable, Jesus speaks to us these words
Seeds That Survive
Pt 1 – The Sower and the Seed
We are now deep into the month of August. A time of year when all over America the farmer’s eyes are turned to the harvest. I sought long for what to share with you during these final services of our summer worship schedule together and God led me to this passage. A familiar parable with a poignant message.
In an age when the church is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the daily life of people, when the message of the church seems to increasingly fall on deaf ears, and when the truth is mocked as meaningless and unattainable, Jesus speaks to us these words; “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” He tells us a parable about a Sower and His seed. It’s a parable that holds tremendous truth for the church today and I want to share with you over the next couple of weeks about seeds that survive. This week I want to take a look at the Sower and His seed - then I want to talk with you about being better ground.
1) Take a look at the Sower with me this morning – He is a familiar character to both the people Jesus is talking to and to us. He is the farmer who tills the soil and plants the seed in the springtime then comes to bring in a harvest for the winter. Three things stand out to me about the Sower:
The extent of His resolve – “He went out to sow…” Have you ever thought about the extent of God’s resolve to reach you? We talk about the parable of the lost sheep when the shepherd leaves the 99 in the pen and searches the mountains for the one who is lost. Have you ever considered what it means that God went out to sow the seed in your heart. This Jesus who is speaking did not come into existence in a stable in Bethlehem. He was from the beginning with God and was God and He left the splendors of heaven to walk as a man and sow the seed of truth into your heart. He as Paul puts it did not think equality with God a things to be held onto but giving it up came in the form of a servant for the joy set before Him.
The apparent sloppiness of his work – He sows the seed even in places that He knows it will not grow. The seed flies from His hand into the plowed furrows of the field but it also lands on the packed dirt of the road, the rocky ground that will not allow for a plough, and among the weeds. Is the sower sloppy or is there another reason. Could it be that the sower is so diligent in His search for good ground that He will not risk missing a single spot even though much of His labor and toil is wasted on seed that will not survive. God has sown the seed broadly so as not to miss a single spot where the plant might grow. The soil of my life no one but God could have known would be fertile soil.
The expectation of a harvest – it’s interesting that 3 out of 4 seeds come to nothing. Yet the sower continues to sow. He labors hard over the soil even when most of His work will be in vain. Why? Because from the 1 seed a harvest 100 fold is found. When the seed actually takes root and produces the harvest is miraculous. From one seed a hundred seeds can be planted but only if it lands in good soil.
2) The Seed – the seed is the Word of God – it is truth. Not a truth but the truth spoken by the Creator and Sustainer of life. The seed is
Revealing – Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Transformational – Joshua 1:8 (NASB) 8 "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.
Powerful – Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT) 10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. 11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.