Matthew 13:23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
The parable of the sower gives us a glimpse of the different kinds of responses that can result from sowing seeds. There are those who will simply continue to live in the carnality of their own life and desires. There are others who will be distracted by their wealth and the things of this world. There will also be those who truly hear the word and are transformed. As they follow Christ out into the world they will reach out ministering in his name. The results for each of God's faithful followers will not be the same. All of the yields are greater than the normal human harvest and therefore they are dependent upon God. As long as one hears, understands and is faithful, the size of the harvest remains in the hand of God.
There were plenty of farming methods available to the people of Jesus' day and they understood how to apply those principles, but even the best farmer might only yield an eight fold harvest. Lots of hard work, study and strategizing could be seen as successful but it had its limitations. Those who are laboring for the Lord often feel the need to produce results and be successful in both the worlds' and the church's eyes. We measure results and these days we are hopeful that there may be a two-fold harvest. Instead, when Christ tells us that the one who hears the word and understands it will have a harvest greater than what they could have imagined.
Hearing the word and understanding it takes time learning from Christ himself. This doesn't fit our patterns of busyness in the kingdom. We think that we have to follow the latest plan or program which has been laid out for us but the reality is that we need to spend time with the Lord! When the Lord gets involved then the results are his -- not ours. In God's creative imagination the results of kingdom work vary from time to time. Just because one has a hundred fold response and another thirty doesn't mean that one worker is better than another. Both of these results are greater than simple human effort and therefore the Lord is glorified -- and should get the credit!
We are not to compare ourselves by human standards, but we are to live in complete and total obedience to the word. Listen to where God may be leading this day and follow into the harvest which is already being prepared. The results belong to God.
Lord, may this be a day of listening to your leading and guidance. Amen.
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