“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:8)
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”(Matthew 13:23)
We live in New Jersey. Out-of-staters think of our state as being filled with factories, smokestacks, and refineries. But we rank near the top of all US states in growing peaches and blueberries. Yes, there can be much fruit even where it is not expected !
During this series we have been challenged to be good hearers. We’ve been encouraged to have a soft heart instead of a hard heart, to grow deeper roots, and to stay on course for godly contentment.
Today we get to celebrate what it means to be set free to be fruitful for Christ! “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23a)
We may think this wonderful fruit depends only on how hard we try. But let’s look at how it does not all depend on us. In the hymn “The Sower” William Cowper wrote:
“Let the same hand that gives the seed
Provide a fruitful place.”
Yes, it is God who prepares the ground — God sets it all up ahead of time —- then we move in it, all the while strengthened by his power.
Paul explains more about how this works :
“So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience” (Colossians 1:10-11)
If you’ve seen some of my other blog posts, you know there are ways I flail when trying to do the Lord’s will– so today God reminds us that the burden is not on our shoulders—-we will harvest our fruit by his power !