Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Anyone with ears should listen. . .

Matt. 13:-9 NLT  
   1 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore.  3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Here is yet another metaphor or parable Jesus used involving farmers and seeds and fruit-yield. This time the focus is on the ground. He tells us that the seed is planted by God's Farmer-Servant-Savior on all ground. Some regions, however do not yield good fruit because of the work of the enemy in destroying the crops. This time the enemy is in the thorns that choke out the crops The enemy is in the rocks that prevent deep rootedness. The seeds of faith can grow but we may need to till our ground a bit. We may need to remove some thorns and weeds to give faith a place to take root. We may need to roto-till our soil and break up the sun-baked surface or remove large rocks to give roots room to grow deep. This conditioning can happen by faith in Jesus Christ if we are willing. 

If we are willing to ask God to make us into fertile ground then faith will grow strong and deep in us. It might involve some discomfort. It will definitely involve self-denial. It will require that we say "Yes" to God's ways while setting aside our own personal preferences. But then the crop of faith can be a hundred times greater than the amount planted. So if you are willing, whatever it took to bring you to first faith in Christ can be magnified a hundred times over. Do you have ears to listen to what God is saying to us.

Your servant in Christ's love

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