Try, Try Again

Who could ever resist something grown by God?

Not that we can’t fail to be fertile soil for God’s seed. Sadly that’s common. We can disallow a seed to be planted, or after receiving it, we can later discard it. Many people do that when a promise no longer elicits the pleasant emotions it did at first. Once it becomes a challenge, the promise is thrown out.

Matthew 13:3-8 – And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. “Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.”Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.”And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.

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Matthew 13:18-23 – “Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”

Is it too late to retrieve rejected seeds or partially developed promises from God?

I doubt it is too late. I’m not referring to those people who will never, ever choose what God wants for their lives; I’m thinking of those who couldn’t hang in there as a field for God’s seed, promise, or word due to personal weaknesses. Would God give them another opportunity?

God is merciful, forgiving and understanding. Surely he wouldn’t reject a person aspiring to please him. Regardless his past. Regardless his timing. He need only try, try again to get it right, to be good soil from now forward.

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Good Soil

From seed … wheat seeds

To harvest … wheat, free pic

Between the planting of the seed and maturation of the crop, there were adequate growing conditions: sun, warmth, and water. But it’s what the seeds were planted in that was also crucial.

The soil …      soil, by Neal Nelson.jpg cropped

It must be “good soil” to produce a “good crop”.  Rocks must be removed, the earth cultivated, and weeds eradicated. Plants require nutrients, so it needs to be fertile.

In Matthew 13, Jesus said, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

After his disciples asked Jesus why he spoke in parables, he explained the parable of the soil.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path.20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 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. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Since the seed is God’s word, it is definitely good seed. From seeds of corn a crop of corn will grow; from seeds of wheat will come a crop of wheat — from the seed of God’s word, will grow a crop of God-likeness.

But as the parable teaches, there is no guarantee that we will produce a crop. It is contingent on the condition of our “soil”. Our hearts might be “along the wayside”, “rocky”, or “thorny”. Only if our hearts are “good”, will our lives produce an abundant crop from the seed. A good heart doesn’t just happen — it is made. It takes work. It must be prepared, tilled (open and teachable); void of rocks and weeds (requiring work and diligence); and fertile (kept rich in God-approved nutrients).

If we do those things, we will ultimately reap what we sow.  

If your field looks otherwise at this point, despite doing everything commendably, don’t be discouraged. WheatCropFailureApril2011Sometimes people have excellent soil and are deserving farmers, but their crops are sparse and withered. It happened to Job, and Joseph, and David. Wind, hail, frost, drought, pests, diseases, and floods can decimate crops.

Don’t assess yourself by conditions beyond your control. Stay the course. Be far-sighted and diligent in farming your soil, and expect your bountiful crop will yet come to fruition.

Wheat Field 11

23 “But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”