April 02, 2020

The Farmer

Mark 4:26-29

“This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.”

—  Mark 4:26

Jesus often used pictures about farming to describe the kingdom of God. Here the mystery and excitement of farming helps us see something important about the kingdom. Once seeds go into the ground, the farmer has no control over them. It may help to provide water and sunlight, but the farmer must simply wait for the seeds to sprout and grow.

It’s a relief and a thrill to see the first tiny shoots appear. Sure, the farmer expects it—seeds usually grow when the conditions are good. Yet the farmer doesn’t control all the conditions. So when growth happens just as it should, it’s amazing every time. And when the time for harvesting finally comes—when all the conditions have been met regardless of the farmer’s lack of control—that’s another thrill and another relief.

When we sow seeds of the good news of God’s kingdom, we can trust they will grow if the conditions are right. Yet we don’t have control over the conditions. So we have to wait. And what a thrill it is to see the first sprout of faith begin in a child, a friend, or even someone we have just met! Even if we didn’t plant the seed, it’s a thrill to watch it grow.

It’s also another, deeper thrill when we see that a person’s faith in God has grown to the point where they are ready to join in feeding others and spreading the seed of God’s Word too.

Dear Jesus, please grow your kingdom. Grow faith and new life in me so that I may bear fruit. And please spread the growth or your Word where I have ­planted seeds. Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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