Every seed carries life and has the potential to be fruitful. It can grow and produce fruits only if it is planted. The Bible says the word of God is a seed. It has life and can produce fruits when planted in our lives. Are you planting this seed and bearing fruits or living a superficial spiritual life without any fruits? In this series of posts (Part 1 & 2), let us explore how we can plant God’s word to produce its desired outcome in our lives.
For a seed to grow, it has to be planted in a good soil which provides a favorable environment to grow and produce fruits. Jesus told a story of a farmer sowing seeds (Luke 8). The seeds were sown on four different types of ground and had various results. Of those four categories, only one produced plenty of harvests. Jesus compared this good soil to the heart of people who received God’s word and produced fruits. From this parable, we can learn a lot about how to receive God’s word and bear fruits. Let us go through the process of growing a seed, reflecting upon the characteristics of good and bad soil in each stage which impacts the final outcome.
Preparing the soil:
Preparing the soil is a critical step before planting seeds. We can see one common problem within the unfruitful soil categories. They were not prepared to receive the seed. First, the soil was hardened externally. If the top layer of the soil is hardened, seeds cannot be planted. Some of us allow worldly thinking to dominate our life, making our hearts hardened towards the word of God. We approach the word with a closed mind and do not receive it.
Second, the soil was hardened internally. If there is hardness within the soil, it will prevent the growth of roots and soon the plant withers. You see, if we don’t submit all aspects of our life to God, there will be hardness towards God’s word. Many of us struggle in this category. We receive the word with joy but soon it withers away. Think of this, we may be receiving God’s word for many areas of our life. If we don’t humble and submit those areas to God, we are creating hardness for the roots to grow and bear fruits. Do you have any hardness in your heart?
Third, the soil had unwanted plants like thorns. Jesus said these are life’s worries, riches and pleasures. If our priority is based on this world, it will choke the growth of God’s word in our life. When we trust in God’s provision, purpose and plans for our life, we can live above life’s circumstances. God will help us to overcome this world and be victorious. What is your priority in life? We need to be prepared to receive God’s word. God is willing to replace the heart of stone with a heart of flesh. If we come to him with humility and submit all aspects of life to God, his word will grow deeper to fulfill its purpose.
Receiving the seed:
The group of people who produced fruit heard the word with a good intention to fulfill the purpose of the seed. We need to hear with an expectation that God is planting a seed which will produce fruits. Each word has a purpose and we need to be open-minded with an attitude of acceptance. How many of us receive God’s word with this attitude? Every word that is sowed on a good heart will grow. Are we expecting that God’s word is going to make an impact? Are we hearing the word with the intention of following?
We may be hearing or reading God’s word but many of us fail to receive it with the right intention. We may be the first to rate a sermon rather than take it to our heart and reflect in our life. Unless we receive the word with the right attitude, we cannot keep the word to bear fruits. We need to understand the word to apply to our life. Jesus said, “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light”. If we have the heart to receive, God will give us understanding and revelation through the holy spirit.
Preparing and receiving God’s word are important aspects of being fruitful. Satan knows well about the power of God’s word and he will distract us not to have an open heart. If he can pluck the seed away at that stage, he can make us unfruitful. Is your heart a good soil for God’s word? Are you receiving the word with a real intention of growing? Let’s continue remaining part of the growth process in next post – Living a fruitful life (Part 2)
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.13 But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience. – Luke 8:11-15