Is the plant that bears ’30’ less valuable to God than the plant that bears ’60’ or ‘100’? For example, a corn stalk typically bears 1 or 2 cobs of corn, just one time per season. Where a bean plant bears a bunch of beans, and keeps on bearing throughout the early summer. Are the beans more valuable than the corn?
In the parable of the sower (Matthew 13), Jesus is explaining the four soils of our hearts. There’s the hard soil, where the word spoken just falls away and is snatched up by the devil. These are the hard hearts, the ones that have not been saved and changed by the love of God yet. I have some loved ones like that and you probably do too. Right now I’m thinking of a teenage boy I work with in my job. His name is Jeremy. On Monday, in group, we were reading some affirmations. His affirmation mentioned God. He threw it on the table. He has rejected God. My heart is burdened for this young man, I feel the love of Jesus for him in my heart. I pray for him often. I’ve said before – prayer is ‘worm work’. I pray that the hard soil of his heart will be worked up by this ‘worm work’ and one day, soon, the Word WILL penetrate his heart.
The second soil Jesus mentioned is the rocky soil. The heart ‘receives’ the Word, but quickly falls away when trials come. I’ve known people like that too. We all have trials. Some people just like to blame every bad thing on God. A bad thing happens, they blame God, and they won’t walk with him. The third soil is the soil with the thorns. These people have received the Word in their heart, but then because of the worries and the wealth and the deceit of the world, they don’t bear fruit. As I was watching some of the coverage of the Academy Awards, I was wondering how a heart obsessed with gowns and worldly acclaim could possible bear fruit for God. I don’t know, it’s not for me to judge. Maybe some of those people ARE bearing fruit for God. I pray so.
And then the fourth soil. The good soil. The soil we all hope we are. Every time in the past when I have read this scripture, I have always thought the more, the better. I hoped I would be among the ones bearing ‘100’. But today I realized the Bible doesn’t say that bearing 100 is BETTER than bearing 30. It doesn’t. You know what? That encourages me. Because the devil has buffaloed me these past couple of years, into making me wonder if I have done something God didn’t like, or He just didn’t need me anymore. Satan has been up to his usual tricks – lying. deceiving.
But Jesus showed me this morning that God is the master gardener. He’s the One who plants the garden and decides what will bear what. And I don’t know about you, but I love a fresh tasty corn on the cob as much, if not even more, that a serving of green beans. They both taste really good. And they are both pleasing to my heavenly Father. As I feel led by the Holy Spirit to pray for the ‘Jeremy’s’, to do the ‘worm work’, I am encouraged and EXCITED to be part of this important job for the kingdom. I pray that none of us believers will ever think that whatever fruit God is having our soil produce is not valuable to God.
Corn on the cob, anyone?