Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Good Soil: Part Five (Luke 8:8,15)

And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. (Luke 8:8, 15 KJV)

For disciples of Christ, their great desire should be fruitfulness, fulfilling that last command of our Lord to make disciples. In this pasage, Jesus explained how to become fruitful. It is not a byproduct of a fancy degree or untiring work, although both may be important parts of the process. Fruitfulness comes only as a result of the Sower's Seed, the Word of God, planted in the fertile soil of our hearts. 

Before we go further, it is vital to recognize that our hearts are the receptacle for the Seed, but it is the Seed that brings the fruit. Without it, there can be no fruit. Hearts that long to be productive must allow that vital Seed to be planted and grow, and that requires time spent in Bible study and contemplation. It requires obedience to the Word. 

There is one more very important characteristic of the disciple that is fruitful. Patience. The word translated as patience is hypomonÄ“, and it comes from two root words that, taken together, mean "to abide under".  The word indicates constancy in the face of trials and incredible opposition. This is the kind of perseverance that endures all ills, all manner of bad treatment and discouraging circumstances, yet never gives up. 

It is the same patience with which missionaries serve and work for years without seeing a convert. This passage indicates that the Seed that finds a home in fertile soil and is nurtured consistently will bear fruit in time, if we are willing to persevere. It does not suggest that the waiting will be easy. 

The problem with waiting is that we do not like it, and we do not want to do it. I well remember overly-enthusiastic evangelistic acquaintances who were so aggressive with their tracts that I was delayed in finding a vital relationship with Christ. Impatience for fruit is common, and I confess to a tendency toward impatience myself, but it is counterproductive to the cause of Christ. 

If we are to bring forth fruit with patience, then patience is what we must have!  There is nothing in Scripture to indicate that the Seed of the Word can be rushed. In fact, 2 Peter makes it clear that God will not be hurried, and He is, Himself, waiting to allow more hearts to turn toward Him. 

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NASB)

Have you planted seeds of truth that have not yet borne fruit? Wait. Wait prayerfully, but wait, just as our Lord does. In due time, He will bring the harvest. 

Today, pray that we and our loved ones will have fertile soil that welcomes the Seed of the Word of God and nurtures it until the harvest comes.
Link to last night's post: