Any homeowner in the Denver area who has tried to plant grass seed in our stubborn clay soil knows that patience, persistence and purpose are necessary. Of course fertilizer, sun and water play their part, but perseverance will eventually produce the desired results. Once one has a beautiful green lawn, the battle is not over. The proud gardener must then protect his investment from heat, weeds, drought and varmints.
A Christian also has to sow good seed into often stubborn soil. Most of the untaught world is at least as resistant and hostile to God’s word (Lk 8:11) as was the clay to the grass seed. Our seed is generously provided and ever increasing from God (2 Cor 9:10). We are to sow bountifully not sparingly so that we will also reap generously (2 Cor 9:6). In Jesus’ parable of the sower, He explains that much of the seed that is scattered will not grow to maturity and reproduce (Mt 13:3-23). Much like the physical seed, the spiritual seed will meet harsh resistance.
Some never reaches the heart of the listeners because of their calloused hearts (Mt 13:15). Some seem to understand but trouble and persecution quickly choke it out (v 21). Worries and the deceitfulness of wealth destroy other seed (v 22). But if we plant with patience, persistence and purpose, a good crop of faithful followers of Christ can be the result (v 23). We don’t have to do all the hard labor by ourselves, as the apostle Paul explains, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” (1 Cor 3:6)
As with our hard-earned green lawn, we can take great satisfaction upon seeing a new crop of faithful Christians sowing more seed for the kingdom. But as with the adversaries of our physical lawn, there are many enemies of the kingdom of Christ (Mt 10:22) (Lk 6:22). Our task as we march on to our heavenly home is to plant, water and reap (Mt 28:19-20).