Luke 8:15, NIV
“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
Many important lessons can be drawn from the parable of the sower, but in his version of the story, Luke draws out a very important principle that was not mentioned by Matthew in the version of the story which is more commonly quoted. Matthew tells us that the one who produces a good crop from his life is the one who hears the word and understands it (Matthew 13:23). This is so true, but Luke adds a very important additional comment on this. For, sadly, it is totally possible for someone to hear and understand the word and do absolutely nothing about it!
Luke adds to the hearing of the word, the desire to retain the word in the heart and then, by persevering produce a crop. We have all known people who hear a thing one minute and have forgotten it the next! The fact that they may even have agreed with what they had heard is of little significance, because they just as quickly forgot it. Luke reminds us that this will not produce a good crop in our lives – we MUST retain in our hearts what we have heard and then persevere in the understanding and the application of the word in our lives.
Without perseverance a farmer would only produce a very limited crop from any sowing of seed. Farming requires diligent attention to the conditions in which the seed is sowing so that it will germinate successfully. It then needs protecting and caring for throughout the growing period until the time of harvest. Perseverance is an essential requirement for fruitfulness.
And so it is in with us. God sows many seeds in our lives of things that He want us to be and to do. But growing and developing those seeds requires diligence and perseverance on our part. There is an enemy of souls who wants to try, even, to devour the seeds before they can germinate and he wants to rob us of the blessing that would be ours if we were able to see the work God gives us to do through to completion – to harvest time.
I am increasingly aware of how important it is that we not only start well, but that we persevere and finish what God gives us to do. It’s in the finishing well that the crop is made ready for harvest. Perseverance may not sound like a very attractive option for the Christian walk – but in reality it’s the only way that the work of the Kingdom will ever produce the fruitfulness that God looks for from the seeds that He sows.
Prayer: `Thank you Lord for the seeds you have sown in my life. I’m sorry for those times when I have not persevered and the crop has not been good. Help me Lord to be so renewed in You, that it will be a joy to press through to completion so that the crop from my life will indeed be good. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.