14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.
How Does Your Garden Grow?
This is a familiar passage, but let's take a closer look. In both cases, fruit grows…it’s just that the ground in verse 14 also supports the cares and pleasures of the world, which keep the fruit from reaching perfection. The fruit started. It didn't become perfect.
When we accept Christ, and re-establish our relationship with God, He immediately starts working on our hearts. He has to break up our fallow ground…drought scarred and blighted from the years we spent separated from God. He has to nourish our hearts...cover it with the Blood of Jesus to restore it to its proper state…water with His Word…remove sticks and stones from past hurts and years of neglect. After a while, the soil of our hearts starts to smell like the ground does when you're out in the country after a rain…that sweet smell that fills the air. That’s what good soil smells like. It will support anything you plant. Good seed. Bad seed. Good soil will grow anything…including wrong things.
24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
Dear one, be careful what gets planted in your fields. You have to be careful about what you take in…what you focus on…who you focus on. Paul said in Philippians 4:8-9:
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Focus on cultivating that “precious fruit”...
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
Saints, we will grow what we sow. If you plant mistrust, jealousy, envy, backbiting, slothfulness, conceit, expect a harvest of the same thing. If you sow good seed…tithing, longsuffering, patience, mercy, compassion, kindness, reaching out to the poor, sick and afflicted…bearing one another’s burdens, sharing one another’s joys…spreading the good news about Jesus Christ…you can expect a pleasant harvest!
So, here's the question...What are you growing in your garden? Would you want to eat the fruit growing there?
Does the fruit of your life look good on the outside (go to church, sing in the choir, praise and shout), but when you cut it open, is the inside mushy or rotten?
Or maybe your fruit is good, but you tend to pick it before it ripens…refusing to let patience have its perfect work…you get too involved in areas outside your calling, or beyond your maturity.
Maybe your fruit is good and ripe…too ripe as a matter of fact. Instead of grapes, you’re growing raisins. Your vines are full of fruit rotting without being picked, while you sit there, offended, refusing to take your place in the ministry and fulfill what the Lord has called you to do?
You might have good, ripe fruit, picked in season, but banged and bruised from being tossed around because you’ve got one foot in the Kingdom of God and the other in the world.
Or maybe you don’t have any fruit because you’ve never opened yourself up to have your soil prepared…you haven’t given your heart to the keeper so that he can prepare your heart and sow good seed.
The Gardener is waiting.
Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro , GA. These weekly notes as well as information about what's happening at Fellowship are sent out by Evangelist Stephanie Robinson.
Previous Lifeline mailings are posted on a blog at www.lifelineatfellowship.blogspot.com.
Feel free to share this message. For questions, email at firstname.lastname@example.org
455 HWY 138 Suite C
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Alton Watkins, Pastor