Jesus uses this picture about the farmer sowing his seed to help us understand how the harvest of the Kingdom of God works. The big picture for us is that the harvest of the Kingdom is people—people who were given the seed of God’s Word that is found in the gospel.
We need to plant the seeds of the gospel so that these people have a clear opportunity to respond to God’s offer of grace.
In Mark 4, Jesus tells us that believers are to be the faithful sowers of the Kingdom message. I believe one of the greatest hindrances to the harvest is that we don’t sow the seed throughout our personal networks—such as family, friends, coworkers, and social contacts.
Jesus was always looking for opportunities to hang out and tell people about the Father’s love. Likewise, it’s in our networks that opportunities for sharing the gospel take place.
One of my friends asked me if I would pray for him to have some opportunities to share the gospel. I said, “No, but I will pray for your boldness to speak to the opportunities all around you.” You can’t reap a harvest from Christ’s love among those who have already experienced it. The seed of Jesus’ love and forgiveness is for the unbelievers—the sinners who have not heard—and they are all around us daily.
“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, ‘It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.’” -Mark 2:17
Later in Mark 4, we see the different ways people respond to the seeds we sow through the different types of soil. There are those who receive the message with joy, but trials cause them to abandon the faith. In some, Satan steals the message out of their hearts, and yet others have it choked off by their worry about not having enough—driving them to try making it in the world.
With these responses, it’s easy to be discouraged. But if we desire to see the fruit of the gospel, we must continue to spread it throughout our networks and with those we meet each day. His Word always accomplishes His purpose.
“... 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 55:11
Ask your Father to show you an opportunity to share the gospel within your network this week.
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John's travels for ministry behind the Iron Curtain led him to found East-West Ministries International in 1993. John and his wife, Susie, live in Dallas, Texas and have a grown daughter and two grandchildren.