By Gordon Robertson, Chief Executive Officer, the Christian Broadcasting Network
One of Jesus’ most famous parables is about a farmer sowing seed—which symbolizes spreading the Gospel. Seed falling on a footpath can’t take root because the ground is so hard. Seed springing up on rocky soil wilts under persecution. Seed growing among thorns is choked by worldly cares. Yet seed sown on fertile soil produces a bountiful crop.
This parable, found in Mark 4:3-20, is true of our own lives. Our fruitfulness is based on how we cultivate our soil. What type of ground is in our hearts, allowing the Word of God to grow and mature?
Our post-Christian society is like the footpath that is trodden down, with no knowledge of the Bible. It is very tough for seed to penetrate the soil and germinate in our culture today. Around the world, many people face persecution. In America, most of us who are Christian must deal with thorns—the cares and concerns of the world that threaten to choke out the Word in our hearts. The New Testament gives us insight into living a bountiful, fruitful life.
In the middle of Paul’s teaching on spiritual gift s in 1 Corinthians 12-14, he stops to write the great passage on love in chapter 13. If you do incredible things yet don’t have love, you are just a clanging cymbal. You may give away everything, yet without love you accomplish nothing.
In Revelation 2:2-4, God says, “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil.… You have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love” (NKJV).
Everything Jesus did on the cross was out of love. So here is a key to His parable about the sower: the good soil is love.
Our long-term worth is not based on what we do, but on the amount of love we show. St. Patrick prayed, “Christ in the eyes of everyone who sees me, Christ in the ears of everyone who hears me.” Let’s pray that everyone we encounter sees and hears not us, but Christ.
So how deep is our soil? Are we rooted and grounded in love? The enemy wants to rob us and divide us. But if we are walking in love, forgiveness, humility, and unity, then together we can produce an abundant crop. God bless you.