Reaping a Harvest: 2 lessons from Jesus

Yesterday I read about the need for good seed, i.e. the Word of God as an antidote to worry, and the temptations of riches and pleasures (Luke 8 – Parable of the Sower).

Jesus extends this thought in the next parable – the Parable of the Lamp. These are not two isolated stories.

In the same way that no one hides a lamp under a bed, once we have received the seed of God’s word, we need to let it shine.

Mixed metaphor I know. Deal with it.

So we need to be careful how we listen to the Word. We need to breathe it in, listen, ask God what he is saying to us today, even if we’ve read that passage 100 times before.

And if you hear what God is saying, if you receive his word today, even more will be given to you. Like the harvest in the good soil. But if you don’t listen well to the word, even what you thought you had is valueless (Luke 8:18).

So here’s what I think God is saying to me afresh from these two stories:

  1. If I want to reap a harvest, I have to get into his word. It’s the seed.
  2. Then I have to share what I hear. It’s a light.

Bring on the harvest.

3 Ways to Stay in the Word

The word of God is alive and active.

We need to stay in the word.

The Parable of the Sower (Luke 8) shows that there are lots of reasons we are unproductive in our faith journey:

  1. The Devil takes away the word before we even get started (seed on the path)
  2. Times of testing cause us to fall away (seed among rocks)
  3. Worries, riches and pleasures stop us from maturing in faith (seed among thorns)

The seed is the Word of God. And it grows to an abundant harvest if you let it.

Let’s assume the Devil hasn’t taken the word from you and that it has at least taken root at some level (after all, you’re reading this aren’t you?).

That means your main enemies are (staying just in Luke 8):

  • Testing times
  • Worry
  • Riches
  • Pleasures

I would say that I have let all these get between me and God at one point or another in my life.

Get over it, I’m human.

At my best I read daily, pray, re-read and re-read again, asking God what he is saying to me in the passage today. And on those days I’m less troubled by worry, riches, pleasures.

And the tests in life seem smaller.

So get into the word! And stay there!

The rich soil of your mind, when constantly fed by God’s word, will yield a great crop, exponentially larger than you imagined.

Jesus tells us how to do this in verse 15:

  1. Hear the word – you’ve got to position yourself daily in front of a bible and listen
  2. Retain it – why not journal what you hear, so you can read it back and retain it?
  3. Persevere – it is tough, but if you want to see a harvest that counts, you’re going to have to keep going, even when it doesn’t feel like anything is happening.

Get into the word, and stay there!

What will you change about your routine or lifestyle in order to hear, retain and persevere in God’s word?

(comment below!)

Psalm 91, personalised

I live within the shadow of the Almighty, sheltered by the God who is above all.
God is my refuge. He is a fortress around me. I am trusting in him.

He will save me from every trap and from any disease.

He covers me with his wings and there I find safety. His faithfulness is my shield, a barricade around me.

I will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day.

I will not fear any deadly disease that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys in the daytime.

A thousand may fall at my side, ten thousand at my right hand, but evil will not come near me.

I will see how the wicked are punished but that punishment is not for me.

The Lord is my refuge. God is my dwelling place. No harm will overtake me; no disaster will come near my house.

He orders his angels to protect me wherever I go. They will steady me with their hands to keep me from stumbling against the rocks on the trail.

I can safely meet a lion or step on poisonous snakes and even trample them beneath my feet!

I love the Lord! He will rescue me. He will make me great because I trust in his name.

When I call on him he will answer. He will be with me in trouble, rescuing and honouring me.

God will satisfy me with a long and fulfilled life and show me his salvation.