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Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Matthew 13:3-8

"Sowing Seed"

Message summary: A fundamental reality in farming is the importance of weed control and that’s also a fundamental truth in Christian discipleship!

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“A farmer went out to sow his seed” (Matthew 13:3). "Some other seed fell among thorny weeds. The weeds grew and choked the good plants" (Matthew 13:7).

During this season we enjoy planting flowers around our home. For many years we grew a small vegetable garden but over the past couple years we decided to purchase local produce at the many roadside stands we pass in the course of our chaplain duties.

Brooksyne buys most of her plants and flowers at our neighbor's Amish greenhouses. She has been busy planting them around our house and I watch from inside as she smiles while working, since she's in her favorite season doing what she loves to do. As I am preparing this message downstairs she is upstairs canning strawberry rhubarb jam, thanks to our generous Amish neighbor who gives her about three gallons of rhubarb ends not suitable for commercial produce, but are full of sugar and makes great jam.

She does grow some flowers from seed and dotes over the seedlings during the growing process. In that sense we both experience a tiny bit of farming! As sowers we prepare the soil and during the growing process we contend with some of the same issues real farmers do; drought, pests, insects and weeds!

One of our Lord's most famous parables is "The Parable of the Sower" found in all three synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). There are a number of lessons in the parable and in fact Jesus explains this parable to His disciples.

A fundamental reality in farming is the importance of weed control and that’s also a fundamental truth in Christian discipleship! In the Parable of the Sower Jesus uses a farming illustration that connects not only with His initial hearers but to all diligent students of the Bible. If you live in the city or a suburb and have no knowledge of agriculture you need to learn a little about farming to understand!

Mathew 13:7In this parable Jesus emphasized His plan that we be fruitful as His followers. Some seed was sown among the thorns (weeds), which choked the Word as it developed.
The thorns (weeds) illustrate hindrances to our growth and fruitfulness as Christians.

In His explanation later in Matthew 13:18-23 Jesus elaborates on this deadly choking using three conditions we can all identify with and they’re every bit as applicable today as when He shared the parable two thousand years ago; “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things". These are thorns that choke God’s Word in our lives. Over the next several days we want to examine these three "thorns" one at a time.

So, is there a spiritual “herbicide” that will kill the weeds that hinder our spiritual growth? The answer is surely "Yes".  As we submit to the Lord and His Word, denying the desires of the old nature and applying godly principles we see the weeds dying.

However it’s a persistent effort since those pesky weeds keep coming back! All through life. That’s the same with the application of the herbicide to the farmer’s field or to a small vegetable garden for that matter. Weeds just keep coming back!

Is there a single method, perhaps a spiritual experience
or a course we can take, which will once for all rid us of all the weeds that hinder our spiritual life? I think not – not on this side anyway! But we are all called to remain faithful, pulling out those pesky weeds from our human nature that rob spiritual nutrients intended to feed our soul, grow our faith and make us fruitful for Christ.

Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, I want my spirit to be receptive of the seed You sow in my life as I read and apply Your Scriptural truths. I don’t want to be like a barren wasteland or a patch of weeds, but I want my heart to be like the rich, fertile soil that produced fruit; a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.  I avail myself to the Scriptures that teach me to properly cultivate my spirit so that I grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  As I do so spiritual fruit will be evident in my words and actions as it flows forth from my inner spirit. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Farmers use a number of different methods to prepare their fields for planting. The traditional plow completely turns the soil over. It always captures my attention when I see the Amish in our county using a large team of horses or mules to pull the plow as they continue to use this labor intensive method (both manpower and horsepower). Modern farm equipment has huge plows that cover a wide section with each pass.

However, most farmers now plant using a technique known as "no till".  Rather than plowing up the field, the soil is merely scored and the seed inserted, along with a squirt of fertilizer. Several weeks ago they harvested the grassy rye in the field across from our house as forage and a short time later planted corn using this method. Afterwards you can see the tiny score line, but apart from those narrow crevices etched in the soil there's hardly any evidence that the soil had been sowed until the tiny seeds begin to sprout. However all throughout the season the farmer will be dealing with a wide variety of drought, disease, weeds, pests, insects and animals, till he hopefully has a bountiful harvest.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Yes, I Will"  Video  Calvary Church worship team from our service this last Sunday.

Hanging plants
Hanging baskets in front of our porch.

Our peonies are in full bloom but only for a little while. Looks like I had too much sun on this photo!

We have been planting a lot of sedum where we previously planted annuals since they are year round plants. There are many varieties of sedum that are used for ground covering since it spreads pretty quickly and can be easily transplanted. Brooksyne told me I shouldn't post this since she has so much more work to do in tidying up, mulching, etc. in this area.

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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