"And He said, 'So is the Kingdom of God as if a man should cast seed into the ground, and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself: first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.'" Mark 4:26-29
This parable of Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a man who sows his seed and waits until the seed, of itself, springs up and grows, maturing until the harvest. Then the farmer puts in the sickle for the harvest. The farmer can only sow good seed, cultivate the crops and wait for the fruit to mature. He himself cannot make the seed grow and produce fruit.
The kingdom of God is like that in that all we as Christians can do is sow the pure Word of God (not seeds of false doctrine). We cannot make the seed of God's Word grow or produce fruit. The power to create spiritual life and produce fruit lies in God and His Word and not in us as the sowers. It is our task to sow the Word of God but the results must be left up to the Holy Spirit, who brings people to saving faith in Jesus Christ and also sanctifies them through God's Word.
We cannot see how faith is created in the heart, nor should we expect to harvest immediately after the seed is sown. Our Lord has given us the simple task of sowing the good seed of God's Word and the rest is up to Him! He causes the Word to take root and grow in His own way and in His own time.
By means of God's Law, the Holy Spirit convicts people of their sins and shows them their guilt and condemnation before the Almighty God. By means of the Gospel, He comforts them with the assurance that atonement has been made for their sins -- and the sins of all -- through Jesus Christ's holy life and innocent sufferings and death in their stead and that forgiveness and everlasting life are theirs when they repent of their sinful ways and look in faith to Christ Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.
If we only sow the Word, we need not worry about the results. They remain in God's hands, and He has promised that His Word will not return unto Him void.
God Himself says, "For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: It shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" (cf. Isaiah 55:10-11).
Let us then sow the Word and await the harvest!
"On what has now been sown Thy blessing, Lord, bestow; the pow'r is Thine alone to make it spring and grow. Do Thou in grace the harvest raise, and Thou alone shalt have the praise. Amen." (On What Has Now Been Sown, John Newton, 1779)
[Scripture is quoted from the 21st Century King James Version (KJ21), Copyright © 1994 by Deuel Enterprises, Inc. Devotion is by Randy Moll. He may be contacted by email at [email protected] More of Moll's devotional writings are freely available at https://goodshepherdonline.com. Opinions expressed are those of the author.]