That Good Doctor, part twenty-five

Last week I looked at the “parable of the sower” that Jesus gave and then explained to his disciples in the book of Luke. Today there’s one more aspect of that parable that I wanted to really focus on. It comes at the end of Jesus’ explanation of the parable.

Luke 8:15  And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

The parable of the sower is challenging because it shows us types of people who aren’t going to be receptive to the word of God. People that don’t believe it at all, people who believe for a while but don’t develop deep roots and eventually fall away, people who never grow into maturity because the cares and desires of the world choke out the word, and then the people in verse 15 here, those who receive and cling to God’s word and get to see it spring up in their lives.

Did you know that there are some people who believe that this parable paints a picture of the ratio of humans that will actually accept Jesus’ gift of salvation and eternal life? Only 25% of the people in this parable actually receive and hold onto the word of God in their lives. It might sound pessimistic, but it lines up with what the Bible tells us.

Matthew 7:13-14  “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. 14 But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

I could meditate on this concept for a long time. On one hand, salvation is the simplest thing in the world. You just reach out and accept the free gift that Jesus has for you. On the other, I can confirm that to walk the Godly path, you have to really want it. Jesus wasn’t pulling punches when he said that it’s narrow and difficult, he was trying to give people a very real idea of what was ahead of them. I’ve found that you have to want it on a really deep level to walk the narrow path. In a society that tells us we don’t have to commit to anything anymore (even our gender), walking the narrow road takes extreme commitment.

But the thing that I find beautiful is that you don’t take a single step alone. The Holy Spirit is with you every step of the way. The very spirit of God, giving you as much power and guidance as you’ll allow Him. And then there are the companions you meet on that road. There’s a brotherhood to it unlike anything else, almost like two climbers meeting on the way up a difficult mountainside. Knowing that you’re committed to the same difficult yet ultimately rewarding task, you are bound together in shared purpose. You can lean on one another, share resources, pull the other along when they are weak. I’ve seen enough highways in my life, it’s the narrow trails that blaze across the wilderness and lead in surprising directions and reveal gorgeous sights and experiences that I’m interested in.

See? I told you I could meditate on it for a long time. That’s not even the point of today’s blog!

Luke 8:15  And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

Those good-hearted people who cling to God’s word produce a huge harvest. But there’s another word in there. How do they do it? Patiently. I felt like that word was of paramount importance for us to look at in this verse today. Because we want the harvest, and we’re used to getting things right when we want them. I’ve gotten so used to free 2-day shipping from Amazon.com that I find it tedious to wait the full two days now. Isn’t that ridiculous? Two days to deliver me something and I’m tapping my foot and looking at my watch, growing impatient. In this society, we’re programmed to want what we want right away. We receive the word of God, cling to it, and then we go look in the grain silo or the barn or wherever farmers store harvested crops, and we look in there and it’s still empty. Or it’s just got a little bit in there. And we tap our feet and we look at our watches, growing impatient. Jesus said I’d have a HUGE harvest. Where is it?

It comes, but it comes by way of patient production. One day at a time, one plant at a time, one victory at a time, one good decision at a time, one prayer at a time, one night of bible study at a time, one act of obedience at a time, one talking to someone about Jesus at a time. Patiently, produce. When a farmer wakes up on harvest day, he looks out over massive fields of fully grown crops. I’m sure there is pride and excitement on those mornings, but there’s a huge amount of work that stands between the farmer and having a huge harvest. He has to go and collect it, plant by plant, yard by yard, acre by acre.

If you’re doing the right things and living a submitted life to Christ, then don’t get frustrated by the lack of spiritual progress you see in your life. The devil loves to see us get frustrated with God. Anytime you’re feeling like you’re not making enough progress spiritually, look over your shoulder and see how far you’ve come. Peek into the barn and see how big the harvest is getting. I promise, it’s much more than you think it is or that you feel it is. A few steps a day doesn’t sound like much, but a few years later and you’re miles away from where you started. Patiently, produce.
___________________

I love each and every one of you so very much. I had a great work trip and then a fun few days staying over in Austin afterward, but it’s good to be back home and back at doing things like this blog. God’s so good, and He is shining brightly on those who are choosing the narrow path these days. My prayer is that you are already or one day soon will become one of those people.

Email your prayer requests to me at freejenkins@gmail.com and I will be honored to pray with you. See you all tomorrow!

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