Tag Archives: good ground hearers

Ready, Set, Wait

Ready, Set, WIMG_7323ait!

Well, the last job is done for the winter—tilling the garden.  Dear old Tilly is out there now, purring away until the gas is gone.  A good wash and she gets to rest for the season.

The garden is ready, but for what?  It’s ready to rest; however, any seeds that are still in the ground are also ready to sprout as soon as the weather gets warmer.  Even while the snow is on the ground, that seed is ready—ready for the sun!

Luke eight begins by telling us that Jesus and His disciples went throughout every city and village, preaching and shewing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. Verses 2-4 tell of Mary Magdalene’s deliverance from demons, the care given to Jesus and his disciples by new converts, and that a crowd had gathered to hear Him speak. It’s not by accident that the next few verses  in Luke eight are about soil. As though to encourage the sowers, Jesus tells the parable of the four soils: wayside, rocky, thorny and good. Our responsibility is to give the Word–spread the Seed.  There’s nothing wrong with the seed—the Word of God, and there may be nothing wrong with the sower—YOU!  Doing a heart-check is always good to be sure that the Spirit has free reign and our motives are correct, but the fruit of the hearer is not our responsibility.  I can no more make someone respond to the Word of God than I can make my tomato plants grow!  How comforting!

HOWEVER, when we ARE the soil, we are the receiver of the seed—how we respond IS our responsibility.  1 Corinthians 15:58 gives us some pointers:

Therefore, my beloved brethren,

be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,

forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Did Jesus see fruit for His labor? Absolutely; however, He also wept over Jerusalem because He knew the condition of many hearts and that His own people would soon demand His crucifixion. Jesus knows everything. He remained faithful to His calling to the very end of His earthly life.

Always abounding in the work of the Lord is the fruit of always bounding in the Word of the Lord! Be ready.  Even though you may be in a “winter” time of fruitfulness, know that God is always working in your heart, your children, your ministry. There’s something beautiful about a garden lying fallow. The summer work is done. The harvest has been gathered. Snow is on the way! Even so, as the ground rests, it waits for spring. As we ‘wait’ for the moving of the Spirit, may we realize that ‘spring’ may be just around the corner!

Be ready!  Be set! Be willing to wait!

The Parable of the Sower

The peas are done, so I pulled them and all the weeds from that area out this morning.  They were planted in the lower section of the garden in the best soil.  As I dug and pulled and felt the rich earth, I wondered what to plant next.  I don’t think I’ve ever done a second planting.  It’s obviously too late for some plants and too hot for others, but the soil is ready and it would be a shame to leave it lie dormant through our short growing season.  (I say short, because we are on top of a mountain which means we lose about two weeks of growing time compared to gardeners just down the “hill.” J)

As I read the parable of the sower this morning, I thought again about the valuable lessons our Lord gave us in that parable.  In fact, Jesus warns his disciples that this parable is paramount: “…know ye not this parable?  And how then will ye know all parables?” (Mark 4:13)  In other words, if you don’t get this one, you’ll never understand the rest!

So where do you and I fit into the scenario?  We’d all like to think that we are “good ground” hearers 100% of the time, but that probably is far from the truth!  Am I a “wayside” hearer – so hardened to God’s word that Satan can easily distract me before the Word has a change to make a difference?  Or am I the “stony ground” hearer – I’m ready to do anything for the Lord.  My hand is up volunteering before my brain is in gear.  God’s message comes across and I make big plans and bigger promises; however, as soon as the “going gets tough,” I’m out of there!  How sad to be the “thorny ground” hearer, but I believe this description fits most of us!  We take in the Word, it even convicts our hearts.  We make a choice to change; however, the change never takes place because the “cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things” came into our lives leaving no room for God’s changing power to take affect.  These things “choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”  Why is this type of ground so “popular?”  Back to the garden for more lessons!  I till the ground at the beginning of the season, so the soil is not hardened after lying fallow all winter.  I plan the garden in a good area, where the soil is rich and deep.  That rules out the “wayside” and “stony ground” difficulties.  But the weeds – they are with us until we reach that great garden in the sky!!!  We all have cares.  Most of us fall prey to wanting more (riches and lusts of other things).  This is where we live – with the weeds!  And they want to choke the godly life right out of us, making us unfruitful.

Just a while ago, I was listening to http://www.abidingradio.org.  If you have not discovered this wonderful treasure of good conservative Christian music, check it out.  The song “I saw Jesus in you” by Ron Hamilton was just on.  It makes me want to cry every time I hear it!  Oh, to hear those words from my Creator, Redeemer and King!  Keep pulling those weeds dear reader!!! Keep close to the Lord.  Keep your heart tender.  Do you think that we will ever regret any decision we make for God when we see Him face to face?  “Boy, I wish I hadn’t gone to church so often!”  or “I really regret memorizing all those verses and trying to live for God!”  Duh!

“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Mark, 4:20