We must all thrive

“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 what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.  As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”    Matthew 13:18-23

Wednesday Market, Rach Gia, Vietnam

Wednesday Market, Rach Gia, Vietnam

Jesus is explaining the parable of the sower to his disciples — how seed was sown on a hard path, in rocky soil, with weeds and in good soil — all with different results — with only the good soil flourishing and reaping a bounty of fruit.

The good soil implies a person whose heart is open and ready to receive the word of God, to be changed by it and, as a result, bear good fruit.

How does this apply to others around me?  Many could be defined as being hard or consumed with the cares of this world or with the riches of this world.   Where am I in this mix?   

As a gardner I know that soil must be prepared and worked before any seed can be planted and then, even after sown, the soil must be constantly guarded against a bounty of weeds — which must be firmly and intentionally plucked by  the root — so that my seed will grow and bear fruit.

I am just as vulnerable to any of these situations.  With that, I must trust for myself and for others that the Holy Spirit is working on the soil of all our hearts so we all will thrive.

I must believe and trust that we will not always be hard, be consumed with worry or be trying to satisfy our lives with money, materials and power.  

I must trust God that while ANY heart may seem unchangeable, it can be changed.

My job is to pray that our soil be good. 

My job is to pray that God’s word would ready our hearts for his saving grace and restore ALL of our lives to his originally-intended plan for our lives.

A field of bounty, Mekong Delta (near Saigon, Vietnam)

A field of bounty, Mekong Delta (near Saigon, Vietnam)

“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.  Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”  Psalm 119:11-15

But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” Deuteronomy 30:14

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2-3

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17


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