Updated: Jul 24, 2018
Imagine you were one of the women followers of Jesus during his three-year ministry on earth. What would it be like as you heard his teachings, walked by his side, and watched his ministry?
I am learning new things from Jesus every day. He teaches in the temple, in people’s homes, and as we walk from place to place. He delivers words of wisdom as we eat meals together, and as we minister to others. In one sense, Jesus is just like you and me. He eats, sleeps, prays, and does his “job.” Yet, he is so different than us in that he has a deep connection to the Heavenly Father and a continual awareness of what the Father wants him to do and say. His words and actions constantly teach us how to live according to the Father’s will. His message is profound, and his love is unconditional. He often speaks in parables which leads all of us followers to meaningful discussions with one another. In one way, he is very mysterious. Yet in another way, he is personal and brings light to our everyday emotions and life. As we travel from one town and village to another, his teachings and actions are always somehow connected to the good news of the kingdom of God.
One of the parables he shared recently was about a farmer. He sowed seeds in four different places. Some seed fell along a path and was trampled on and eaten by the birds. Other seed fell on a rock with little soil, but when the plant began to grow it quickly withered from shallow roots and lack of water. Some seeds fell and when they started to grow were choked by the thorns all around them. The last seeds fell on good soil and were able to come up and yield a crop, a hundred times more than was sown. Jesus explained to us that the seed is the Word of God. The first seed represents the person who hears the Word but then the devil immediately snatches it away from his or her heart. As we go from town to town, many come to listen to Jesus. But I can see that they walk away with no interest to follow our Master.
Jesus says that when we do not believe, we cannot be saved. We also meet many people like the second group of seeds. They joyfully receive Jesus’ words. After this, they believe for a short time. But when things get difficult, because they do not study the Word and get into fellowship with other believers, they fall away. Sadly, the third group of seeds represents those who truly hear and believe, but then life’s worries, riches, and pleasures choke them from being able to mature. Sister, I long to be of the fourth category of seeds: one whom Jesus says has a noble and good heart; who hears the Word and retains it; and through perseverance produces an abundant crop. I can see that I will mature in my faith as I continue to walk with Jesus. How exciting it will be if I can sow seeds that will help others to know God.
My dear sister, please take this lesson to heart. I trust that you are reading my letters, praying, studying God’s Word, and fellowshipping with like-minded people. Don’t let the devil snatch away God’s Truth. Meditate on His Word. Let it permeate deep into your soul. Remember how the Psalmist says: “I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Don’t let the worries of life or temptations of the world rob you of an abundant life of following our Lord. If you have not already, please share these precious words of Jesus that I have been writing about for over a year with all those in our family and our neighbors. His teachings truly are the way to an abundant and eternal life!
Learning everyday from the Master,
your Big Sister
Today’s Bible Reading: Luke 8:1-15; Psalm 119:11; Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20
Today’s Application: Which seed are you? Jesus warns us of several things. First, be sure that you are soaking up the fresh water of His Word every day, so you will not dry up and fall away. Do not let the worries, riches or pleasures of this world prevent you from maturing in Christ. Think about these categories: difficulties, worries, riches, and pleasures. Are any of these stunting your growth and preventing you from positively influencing those around you for the Kingdom of God? If so, first confess this and turn from these things. Ask the Lord if there is anything you should give up or change. Share this with a mature and trusted friend so they can encourage and pray for you and help you get back on track.