22010.242 Producing a Crop

“’But other seed fell on good soil and grew, and it produced a hundred times as much grain.’ As he said this, he called out, ‘The one who has ears to hear had better listen!’” —Luke 8:8

Jesus gives us the meaning of this verse later in the chapter:

“But as for the seed that landed on good soil, these are the ones who, after hearing the word, cling to it with an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with steadfast endurance.” —Luke 8:15

According to Jesus’ explanation of the parable, those who produce fruit for the kingdom of God are those that upon hearing the Word embrace it with obedience, persevering with endurance, patience, and consistency under sufferings with faith and trust. This is what defines the followers of Jesus in the New Testament! Think of the lives of Paul, Peter, and John.

Paul wrote:

“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” —Romans 5:1–5

Peter said:

“I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence. Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love. For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. But concerning the one who lacks such things—he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins.” —2 Peter 1:3–9

John tells us:

“This is what we proclaim to you: what was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched (concerning the word of life—and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us). What we have seen and heard we announce to you too, so that you may have fellowship with us (and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ). Thus we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. Now this is the gospel message we have heard from him and announce to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.” —1 John 5:1–5

Become More

I think our attitude regarding our responsibilities of the grace and favor given to us for kingdom work could often be described as cavalier. Why is it that we are so apathetic? I am reminded of a question God posed to Haggai regarding the rebuilding of the temple:

“Ask the following questions to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the remnant of the people: ‘Who among you survivors saw the former splendor of this temple? How does it look to you now? Isn’t it nothing by comparison?’ Even so, take heart, Zerubbabel,’ decrees the LORD. “Take heart, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. And take heart all you citizens of the land,” decrees the LORD, “and begin to work. For I am with you,” decrees the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “Do not fear, because I made a promise to your ancestors when they left Egypt, and my Spirit even now testifies to you.” —Haggai 2:2–5

Further Reflection

When the Word of God falls on a person with an open heart, that person will begin to live a life reflective of God’s desires. This, of course, is advantageous to others as well! Share the good news!

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