Bearing Fruit

Hello everybody! Happy Saturday!

I get to share my last installment of the Parable of the Sower study today! I hope you’ve enjoyed the journey with me – I know I’ve learned a lot. As always, here are links to part one, part two, and part three, in case you need to catch up. 🙂

We’ve seen three different planting scenarios so far in the Parable of the Sower. First, there were the seeds that fell in the path. Those didn’t even sprout because the birds ate them immediately. Next the seeds fell in stony ground, where rocks kept the plants from rooting deep and getting the water they needed. Then came the seeds that fell into thorny ground. These seeds did survive – they sprouted and grew, but they were choked out by the many weeds around them and never bore fruit.

Each scenario showed something different happening to the seed. And each scenario represented a different response of the heart to God’s Seed, His Word.

This week’s seed falls into good ground… and the response that it represents is my favorite!

 

Come See My Sunflowers…

If you were to visit our house this month, I would show you my sunflowers. I love their bright cheery color and their majestic friendliness. I have about ten plants at the back of my garden, and they really do brighten my day!

I don’t have ten because I planted ten. Actually, I planted twenty in that plot. Each seed was carefully placed the correct distance apart from the previous seed, the correct depth from the surface.

But only ten came up. Maybe it happened like the parable. Maybe a lucky bird that got an easy supper. Maybe there were too many baby weeds vying for nourishment, or a stray rock blocked the plant roots from sinking deep. It could have been anything.

And all of that is not to say that the ten plants that made it are bearing sunflowers. No, only about five are actually making good on their full potential.

But those five are glorious! Bright yellows stained with a gorgeous autumnal orange. I’ve had five or six different flowers on each plant in the past few weeks. They are beautiful.

 

“And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:8)

At first glance, it seems like the sower was losing more than he was gaining. Between the birds and the stones and the weeds, he was out a lot of seeds! Hopefully he had a better average than I did with my sunflowers…

His seeds that do grow to be healthy plants more than make up for the others though! One seed produces thirty new seeds, another seed produces sixty, another a hundred. With plants like that, he’ll have plenty of grain for food as well as seeds to plant next season.

Jesus says that these seeds represent Christians. They hear the Word of God proclaimed, they receive it in their hearts, and it grows in them until they bear the spiritual fruit that God intended them to bear – more seeds!

What If It Happened Like This?

It’s been five years since Stella first heard the good news about Jesus Christ and accepted it, and her life has never been the same. Sure, she’s had her moments – times when she’s slipped back into her old way of living and times when she’s doubted. But God has always brought her back, forgiven her sin, and reminded her of truth. And every time He’s brought her back, her love for Him has deepened. She loves telling the people that she bumps into about what God has done in her life!

 

I Want This to Happen in Me!

The seed has been planted. In my life, it started with my parents. They have faithfully shared Bible verses and Bible truths with me for as long as I can remember. God, as the Master Sower, used them to plant His Word deep in my heart, and it’s not going anywhere!

The plant has sprouted and grown. My faith has been nurtured by godly pastors and teachers. My heart has been weeded and watered and prepared for the hot summer sun. God’s Word has grown in my heart, rooting deeper, reaching farther, and stretching higher.

But this isn’t everything that God wants for me. The Master Sower has planted, and the seed has grown – now it’s time for fruit!

 

The Fruit

I find it fascinating that the plant in the parable produces grain. It seems obvious until you realize – that means more seeds! We usually think of godly character traits or good works when we think of the fruit that we’re supposed to bear as Christians.

But in this parable, we’re producing Seeds. More Seeds to spread for the Master Sower. Isn’t that an amazing thought?!

Now take it a step further. How much grain does the plant in the parable produce? Thirtyfold, sixtyfold, and a hundredfold. That’s a lot of grain! It’s as if the plant understood the purpose that God had for its life was to bear fruit, so it threw itself into bearing fruit with its whole heart and soul.

God wants me to produce more seeds for Him to scatter. And He wants me to do it abundantly!

 

A Little Application…

  1. I am so thankful for the opportunity to read God’s Word every day. And I am so thankful to be in a church that teaches God’s Word faithfully. His Word is strengthening the seed that God planted in my heart so long ago, and it’s helping me grow!
  2. The more I understand the Word of God, the better I am able to weather the storms of life. Because life isn’t easy. The rocks come up, the sun gets hot, the weeds get thick. God gives us His Word to help us over the rocks, to shelter us from the sun, and to convict us when the weeds grow too fierce. We cannot survive without it!
  3. The more I understand God’s Word, His character, and His gospel, the more I love Him! Of course I still stumble and fall, but He always sets me on my feet again. And I love Him more every time He does. That’s what compels me to live according to His Word. That’s what compels me to pursue a closer relationship with Him. And that’s what compels me to share gospel seeds with the people around me.

 

May I leave you with a challenge?

Where are you in the parable? Have you received the seed? Are you letting it grow? Are you taking care of the rocks and weeds that come up in your life?

Are you bearing fruit?

 

The End!

Thanks again for joining me on this walk through the Parable of the Sower. Studying this passage has given me a huge love for this parable. I hope it has been as encouraging for you!

Blessings!

Erin