Tag Archives: Strange Idea

Sowing Seed, Seeing Fruit

There is an interesting parable that Jesus told about a farmer and his field. It was really a story about the word of God and our lives. Here’s the story explained to the disciples,

Mark 4:13 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.  Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”

Any farmer worth his pay will know that if you don’t put seed in the ground you will never see a harvest. Somehow, in our day, many Christians I meet don’t believe this is true. They have the strange idea that somehow God should just make fruit grow in their lives without any attempt on their part to, 1. put some seed in the ground or, 2. to be a field that can grow something.

The story Jesus told speaks to an interesting reality- it’s easy to get distracted and end up without any fruit in your life. There’s a lot that catches a life and makes it unproductive. If you know that you will realize how important this sowing seed thing really is.

Here’s another thing to note- all this soil, these different kinds of soil, are all in the same field….in the same life. I have times when nothing grows and other times and places in my life that are wonderfully fruitful. It’s all part of a life lived with distractions. A life lived in a fallen world.

But the key for me is this- I have to throw some seed in my field! If I don’t do that then nothing can grow. In other words I have to get into God’s word and read it! If I don’t put his word in my mind, in my heart then the world will put it’s seeds there. My life is like that field, ready to grow whatever I throw on the soil. It doesn’t care what kind of seed it is, it’s job is to produce fruit. And so, each life will see a harvest. Some rich with produce and other lives full of thorns and loss.

The key for me is this- that I get God’s word into my life, my field. If I do that then God can make something grow….there’s a harvest coming. There will be a harvest IF I plant good seed.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.

A Wealthy Pauper

It strikes me that a Christian who knows God is the richest of people while in the world’s eyes he may be without what the world values. We are the people who have everything, but possess nothing. We walk with a God who owns everything that exists and supplies us with daily needs. The world hordes goods, money, and things in the hope of having “enough” for the days ahead. Proverbs tells us to not set our hearts on riches because they make themselves wings and fly away.

And yet we long for security. We want to know we have enough in the bank to be ready for that rainy day when we will need it. We have the strange idea that we are in this by ourselves. In fact, for the man in the world I understand this need for security, but for the Christian who lives and moves in and with God it’s an idol to hold onto and seek after wealth as a security. God meets daily needs so that our trust and focus will be on him and not on our own ability to meet our needs.

There are difficult days. There are times when the economies of the world struggle. In those times those around us fear, panic and struggle….how will we survive? What will happen with our retirement? How will we have enough? We have this sense that all of this is up to us to hold onto, to provide, to save. If that is true we should be afraid! No one can be secure in the evil days. If we don’t trust in God for our daily needs, our daily provision, we will be fearful, worried and will struggle with the world around us.

But, imagine a man or woman who lives in the reality of a sovereign God who has promised to meet our needs and is fully able to do so. Imagine having nothing, but possessing everything. Imagine trusting God as your provision rather than your own ability. Imagine a rest, a trust in one who will provide no matter what the world around us is doing. Paul described it this way, “My God will provide all your needs according to his riches in glory.” What are his riches in glory? He owns everything, he possess all. If he lacks anything then he can’t be God, but he is! He has everything we need, everything. As you put your rest and trust in him you lack NOTHING.

In that trust we find ourselves to be wealthy paupers, possessing nothing, but having everything. We might walk about with empty pockets, but living as children of the Father who possesses the cattle on a thousand hills. He owns everything and promises to provide for us as we trust him. This is a whole different kind of life….a life of trust, of peace, of freedom from the news, the world’s fears, the crisis of the moment. It’s a life lived in dependence on a Father who has promised to provide all we need each day, our daily manna, the bread for the moment. We find we are the richest of men while in the moment we possess nothing at all.

The man or woman who trusts God finds they are the ultimate paradox- a wealthy pauper.

Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to HIS riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

True security is not in the possession of things, but in the possession of someone…the great God, the wonderful Father, the source of all we need for the moment even as we walk about with empty pockets, a company of wealthy paupers.

Visit Mike at Finishing Well.