“A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it.” (Luke 8:5 NLT)
As I read this parable I can’t help but think how unfair this situation is. What piece of land doesn’t dream of being a productive, fruit-bearing property? (OK, land doesn’t dream, but if it did…).
Yet this piece of land doesn’t stand a chance. Not only is it a busy walk way, it’s also apparently in a migratory pattern for hungry birds. It doesn’t seem fair that seed would be snatched away before having a chance to grow.
It makes me wonder: is receiving the Word of God a one-time chance? Shouldn’t God do something to replace the seed that is stolen?
I think God HAS done something about it by inviting us to be sowers of seed. What if we created a “Seed-rich environment” that gives people multiple opportunities to receive God’s Word? I’m not talking about forcing a relationship where there isn’t one, I’m talking about creating an environment so that if there’s ever a break in the ground, there’s seed to be found! What if we:
– Scatter generously and often. We can’t know what will take and what won’t. And the seed isn’t worth anything if it’s hoarded, so scatter seed generously even in the most unlikely places and relationships.
– Enrich the soil. Do our words and interactions build up the soil around us? “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” (Eph 4:29 NLT). Nothing creates an opportunity to grow like positive, life-giving language. Fill your heart with the love of Christ, then let your words flow from your heart!
– Let them see growth. Too many Christians don’t share their faith because they themselves are a work in progress. But what would be more inspiring to you: someone who has the same struggles as you but is making progress… or someone who is flawless and perfect? I’m going with the struggling and growing person, because I can relate to them. People relate more to your struggles than to your perfection, especially if they see your determination to grow despite the challenges you face.
– Do our job, not God’s. Any farmer knows you can’t force the growth process. At WordServe Church, we recently heard about the frustration that occurs when we confuse God’s role with our role. (Listen HERE). We can’t make the seed take root, and we can’t make it grow. That’s God’s job and God’s timing. Be we can be faithful in scattering seed, even if it doesn’t make sense in human terms. Create a “Seed-rich” environment, and let God do what God does best!
What farming tips would you add to this list? How will you scatter today? Share your thoughts with others below!