On Monday I was reading "The Parable of the Sower" from Luke 8:4-15. For many of us it is a familiar story in the Bible about the word of God being like seed that God "the farmer" spreads on the ground of our lives. As the good seed falls in different places and on different types of ground - good soil, along the path, on rock, or among thorns -- only the seed that falls on the good soil takes root and grows. Even though I have heard and preached on this parable many times, some new things jumped out at me.
Perhaps what keeps God's word from taking root deep in our soul is one of three things: distractions, things that test us, and worries. I still struggle with each of these from time to time. Distractions are all around me, especially in this digital age. I am constantly surrounded by screens demanding my attention 24/7. I can get easily distracted from listening for God's word. I know that when I get distracted I need to stay focused on what is really important.
When I face the trials and tests of life (which we all do from time to time) and life gets hard -- I am tempted to give up. It is during those times that I know I need to learn to persevere and stick with it to the end. I can think of very few times in my life when giving up resulted in something good.
Finally, anxieties and worries over many things can derail me from the life God desires for me. I think that as we are about to enter Stewardship season here at JCPC, many of us worry about whether we will have "enough." Taking time to look at why we are worried, and whether we are actually facing an immediate threat, may be a good place to begin. But then the next step is to trust that the God who made us and loves us will provide "enough" for us to make it.
The goal of all of this is a mature faith that is rooted in God's word. As Luke's gospel reminds us, that mature faith is seen in having a noble and good heart - one that can hear, retain, and live out God's words each day.
May God's word of grace and hope take root in your life today!
Prayer for Today
Thank you, God, for planting the seed of your word in our lives. Help us to stay focused, to persevere, and to trust you each and every moment. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus the Christ. Amen.