Listen, Hear, and Grow

He [Jesus] said, “The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn’t know how. For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

He said, “How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it? It’s like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth, yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. Without a parable he didn’t speak to them; but privately to his own disciples he explained everything. Mark 4:26-34 (WEB)

As I am writing this, I am listening to “Indescribable” by Chris Tomlin. That song could be a background for most of my devotions with God! My pastor spoke on this passage yesterday. One of his comments on these verses was that God was a terrible gardener! And he is right! In my own life, God has scattered as many seeds as there are grains of sand on Pensacola Beach. Most of those seeds have fallen on dry, rocky ground. I have guarded those familiar rocks, not allowing rain or tools to soften and break up that ground that I know so well. And yet the Gardener is polite and waits to be invited to send His rain and use His tools to encourage those seeds to establish deep roots in my life that will produce extravagant fruit because the seeds are good.

Jesus’ parables seem so nice as they use vegetative metaphors but the reality is – Jesus’ parables will change my theology and break up the stony places in my heart! Here Jesus tells me that God sows into my life and when the fruit comes, God does not let me gaze and enjoy the pretty fruit – He takes it to be used. It is for a bountiful, eternal harvest! Let me just be honest and transparent here – when God gives these words to me and I share them – those words are not for me to make gazillion dollars in book sales but instead they are like bread that He casts on the water and it does not return empty but it grows in another life and is spoken to another and on and on. The Word is for HIS glory – not mine! Neither Jesus nor His disciples were rich by the world’s math. They were eternally rich! I choose to be His disciple and all that it means!

And then there is the mustard see that is tiny and grows in to a sequoia-size tree! What I see as an unimportant or of no consequence, grows like (pardon the pun) – Miracle Grow! Be warned: that goes for fruit and sin! We must be vigilant to the ‘mustard seed-size’ sin that creeps into our lives and can multiply like – kudzu!

I am taking time for Jesus to speak privately to me and explain His parables in my life. Speak, Lord. I am listening.

Now Samuel didn’t yet know Yahweh, neither was the word of Yahweh yet revealed to him…

Yahweh came, and stood, and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak; for your servant hears.” 1 Samuel 3:7, 10 (WEB)

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