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Friday, November 7, 2008Listen to us share this message on your audio player.
Purple Zebrina Malva flowers growing wild across the street as a result of random clipping disposal (unintentional sowing). I took the above photo this morning and, as you can see, the green is vibrant and the flowers are still blooming.
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"A farmer went out to sow his seed…. where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown" (Matthew 13:3b,8).
Jim is a friend of ours who was raised in a non-Christian home. He shares an interesting means by which the seed of God's truth was planted in his life. As a teenager he saw a television advertisement that featured a man sitting on a stool reading a sign. The camera focused on the man's facial expression as he was reading while the back of the sign was blank to television viewers.
As the man read the sign he would respond with expressions such as those heard in the youth vernacular of the 60's, "Wow, this is far out! Cool, man etc." At the end of the ad he turned the sign around to face the camera very briefly and Jim caught a glimpse of words unfamiliar to him at that time. But they were shown so quickly that he was unable to read the entire message.
He was so intrigued by the mystery message that he decided to write down the words, one phrase at a time, whenever he saw the ad. He watched carefully and wrote down, "For God..." The next time he added "so loved" and the next time he wrote, "the world" until the message was finally complete.
By now most readers will recognize that it turned out to be the very familiar Bible passage from John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Jim sees this ad as a seed planted several years prior to his making a commitment to follow Christ during his High School years. He shared this story as a demonstration of the Spirit's progressive work in drawing him to Christ. I believe it also illustrates the power of the Word of God.
As it turns out it was an advertisement placed by a church group in an attempt to witness of Christ's salvation. The believers who put that ad together in the late sixties could not be certain of its specific impact on the lives of the viewers and how that some 40 years later Jim would look back and see it as a seed planted in his spiritual life. But they were obedient in sowing the seed of God's Word.
Jesus spoke in parables to the crowd that gathered by the sea in Matthew 13. He likened the kingdom of heaven to a man who sowed good seed in his field. Though there were obstacles also sown by the enemy that caused some seeds to die or be stunted in their growth, nevertheless there was a future harvest and seeds that were once very small, nearly invisible, grew and produced great results.
That's the nature of our sowing seeds of truth along the path of life. So very often we don't know how effective our sowing is, but we need to be faithful to the call and commit the results to God. "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10,11). One glorious day I firmly believe we will have some wonderful testimonies of the impact of our seed sowing.
What type of seeds are you planting today?
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we want to be faithful in sowing Your righteous truths by the manner in which we live and by the message we share with others. The gardener sows good quality seeds expecting a high yield as they grow into healthy, vibrant plants. But the wise gardener knows there will be involuntary weeds, dry spells, unwelcome pests, severe temperatures and other obstacles that will threaten the vibrancy of the sown seeds. Nevertheless the gardener must plant the seed to experience a future harvest. Father, You have commanded that we too must sow the seeds of truth, no matter the yield we see with the visible eye. We commit the fruitful harvest to You, the Master Gardener. Amen.
Further note from Life Application Bible: Don't be discouraged if you do not always see results as you faithfully teach the Word. Belief cannot be forced to follow a mathematical formula (i.e. a 4:1 ratio of seeds planted to seeds sprouted). Rather it is a miracle of God's Holy Spirit as He uses your words to lead others to Him.
In the course of our visits yesterday we saw this beautiful maple tree in Lancaster.
Malva Zebrina flower arrangement with pumpkin.
Today we had a bit of excitement. While Brooksyne was finishing the message I took Roxie along with me for a run as I rode my bike along the trail. She will often do some exploring along the way but today she got way more than she bargained for when she got caught in a fox trap. My neighbor came to our aid and released her and she limped home. She's OK and very happy to be home!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play)
"Seed Sowing" A captivating story of John Harper's efforts of sowing seeds of salvation during the last moments of his life as he reached out to others who were plunged into the Atlantic Ocean following the Titantic's Shipwreck in 1912. Web page
"Parable Of The Sower" Here is an excellent brief exposition of this passage by a pastor. Video
"Grace By Which I Stand" Video
"What Wondrous Love Is This" Audio
"Let Your Light Shine" Audio
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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