Bumper Crop

January 19 

Bumper Crop

Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 11:1-7 | Genesis 39:1-41:16 | Matthew 12:46-13:23 | Proverbs 3:33-35

Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 13:1-23

“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:23, NIV).

Every farm boy knows that farming is all about the harvest. You work all year long in hopes of a bumper crop. You work in hope of the hundred fold yield.

As a teacher you long for students to hear and put into practice the words that you speak.  To mix the metaphors, you teach so that your students will have a bumper crop of hearing and obeying.

But most years, conditions are not sufficient to produce the hundredfold yield, sometimes it is sixtyfold or thirtyfold. Sometimes the plants dry up and die.

Pesky birds can eat up the seeds that fall on the path—just as the Word of God can be stolen by the enemy of our faith. Trials can be as thorns that choke out and starve the plant. Prosperity, too, can function as rocky soil, keeping us from a fruitful harvest.

But then there is the good soil. It yields an abundant harvest of hearing and obeying the Word of God. It is the soil in which disciples flourish.

It is the fallow ground prepared by the plow of repentance. It is the productive ground that is warmed by the sun of God’s presence and watered by the rains of God’s Spirit. It is soil in which faith is enabled to cause the seed to sprout and grow—that has been readied to hear and obey.

May God till the soil of my heart and yours, that we may always be ready to hear and obey—that conditions will be right for abundant growth and a bountiful harvest.

God, prepare my heart to hear and obey today and always. Help me to resist the temptations that would bring drought and stunt growth. Help me to grow and produce an abundance of good fruit. Amen.

About pastorjeffsneighborhood

Born and raised in Minnesota, I have served in churches in Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon and California. I am a graduate of Crown College (MN) and George Fox Evangelical Seminary (OR). I have also done additional graduate studies in New Testament Studies at the Center for Advanced Theological Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary (CA). I am also a graduate of the College of Prayer. Having served as the Academic Dean and Program Director at Horizon Institute of Los Angeles for several years, I have returned to the pastorate and serve as Pastor of Big Trees Community Bible Church in Arnold, CA.
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