“The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” Luke 8:11-15
Our Master is concerned with clarity far above sentiment. He is not prone to saying what we want to hear so that we can feel good about ourselves or our situation. He is committed to telling us the truth: the good news that inspires us to celebrate as well as the bad news that sobers and challenges us.
In His “parable of the sower”, He revealed an important truth that every disciple does well to meditate upon: hearing the good news is not enough. In fact He went even further: believing the good news is not enough. Producing the fruit of the kingdom message is, He said, what He intends for each one of us, and that is what He is working diligently in us to bring about.
Our Master must have been concerned for people as He told this parable. He must have known that it would be common for people to hear, and even accept, the message but fail to experience true life in His kingdom. He must have wanted to ensure that His people would have clarity about what He is seeking from them in this covenant life we share with Him.
You are not one of those who has the Word stolen away from you, Disciple, because you are a disciple! The Enemy was not able to keep you from understanding and believing the message, and that is cause for thanksgiving and worship. You are one who believes the message of God’s present Kingdom and the eternal life Jesus brings. That means you belong to one of three groups: those represented by rocky soil, thorny soil, or good soil.
Do not be ruled by fear of what you might lose out as you follow our Master, Disciple. When you joined Him in covenant, you pledged yourself to share all with Him – death and life. Remember that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). Hold on to your Master, come what may, and He will enrich you generously and endlessly.
Do not be distracted and derailed by worldly desires and temporary concerns either. One of our Enemy’s most effective tools in our affluent American society is the seduction of disciples through entertainment, wealth, and the possession of more things. Don’t be fooled by his mirage; keep your eyes fixed on the kingdom life that is true life.
Bear fruit, Disciple, by developing a heart that is free from fear and distraction, “fixing [your] eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). As our Master said later, we will bear fruit as we abide in Him and He in us (John 15:5). Let us be content with nothing less than that which satisfies our Master: hearing, believing, and obeying His Word. Then we will know firsthand the fullness of life He has always intended for us in His world.
Training to bear fruit with you,