A Parable on “Bad Farming“
Many of you know which parable I am talking about. You know of the parable with the really “bad farmer“ who cast seeds all over the place? He cast seed on the road, the thorns, the rocks, and on good soil as well. Anyone with any skill in the farming community would not take advice from this guy in real farming techniques. So much waste! So much time given only to see seed shrivel up and die. This is not good farming management.
Thankfully the Heavenly Farmer’s concern was not on good planting techniques but on kingdom planting techniques. Where and whom the gospel is proclaimed toward is of no concern to the Kingdom Farmer. Where it lands is not the job of a Kingdom Farmer (more commonly referred to as a Christian). We preach the gospel. We live out our marriages, jobs, and hobbies in such a way that we cast seed wherever we go. We pray for good soil but that is not the determining factor in being a faithful Kingdom Farmer. We live to cast seed no matter where we are or who is listening.
Out of the four different places for the seed to land the good soil is the preferred location. Here is what Jesus has to say of this good soil:
“As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”
Good soil results in fruit. This is the main difference between good soil and the other spots that the seeds landed. But it is important to notice that the seed produces fruit in a specific order.
1. Hear the Gospel
As with all farming, you have to put seed in the soil in order for the seed to grow. So also we must hear the good news before any fruit can take place. When we bypass the hearing of the Word and believing in it we bypass the transforming work of the Spirit to bring salvation. We must hear the good news. Have you heard the gospel? Do you broadcast the gospel?
2. Hold fast to the Gospel
In order for any seed to grow it must be in good soil and cling to the nutrients that is offers for the seed to germinate and put down roots. These roots are the foundation for the seed to begin its journey to grow up from the ground. How are you holding fast to the gospel that you have received? How are you helping others hold fast to the good news?
3. Good Heart
For both of the previous spiritual actions to take place in the life of a Christian there must be a “good heart.” I can not stress enough the need for Christians to feel their faith within the depths of their soul. The heart must be God’s heart if we are to see any growth in our lives. The main question that we should ask in regards to whether we are in the good soil or not is this: Is my heart truly in love with my God? A mechanical faith that does not desire God in their life is a dangerous type of faith. God calls us to love him from the heart. Do you really love God?
4. Completed in Patience
The most neglected side of growth is patience. Having a yield of any sort takes time. Corn takes months. Berries take years. Apples can take decades. Growing to the point where we are fruitful is a process, but it is mandatory. No fruit reveals that the seed has not germinated, taken root, and grown. Likewise if there is no fruit in our lives after years and years of being a Christian there is an evaluation we must ask our self... Are we really in good soil?
So to all of God’s farmers out there. Cast seed today. Don't just broadcast the seed where you think good soil is. I think God is always surprising us on which seeds take root and we should enjoy and rest in His power to produce the necessary good soil.