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— By Richard Merritt

When our daughter Holli was four years old, her great grandparents moved to Camden. They had kept her as needed from the time she was born. She did things that made them laugh and smile. At granny and papaw’s house, Holli had some cotton seed she was given to plant. She had watched Papaw and granny work in the garden. She took the butter dish of seed out into the yard and broadcasted it.

When papaw asker her where she planted her seed, she said “You’ll see.” Granny laughed a lot about her answer. The time passed and the seeds began to grow. Her plants showed up a little here and a little there in places all over the yard.

Her method of planting is God approved. “And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow.” (Matthew 13:3 KJV)

The Jews were familiar with the broadcasting method of planting seeds. Jesus took everyday events such as planting seeds and used them to explain spiritual things. These illustrations are called parables. A parable is fact or fiction concerning familiar things used to explain unfamiliar things.

As the sower went forth to plant his field, he wanted all the seed out of the barn and into the ground. The broadcasting method was used to explain how the gospel seed is sown when God’s people tell others about Jesus and His free gift of salvation. Broadcasting is taking a handful of seed and swinging out the arm while releasing the seed so it scatters around everywhere.

The sower in the parable was not planting in a row. He broadcasted it all around. Some landed on the hard-packed soil of the path on the edge of the field. It was so hard the seed lay on top of the ground. These wayside seeds were eaten by the birds. Jesus spoke of the hard hearted sinner that refuses to receive the gospel message and remains unsaved.

“He came unto his own, and his own received him not.” (John 1:11 KJV)

Some people are like that today.

The other three groups symbolized the saved ones. They had varied results in their lives in their lives. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1:12 KJV)

Some people are like that today. Those that are saved by believing do not mature spiritually in the same manner as others.

The soil of some hearts is like the plants that sprang up on the stony ground. The seeds sown on stony ground produced plants. The plants indicate life. They were saved but never matured to fruit bearing due to the lack of a strong root system.

When hard times came, they withered and died. Some believers die without bearing fruit for God. Since Satan cannot keep people from being saved, his next step is to keep them from maturing to fruit bearing.

The soil of some hearts is like the plants that sprang up on thorny ground. These plants lived. They also represent saved ones that failed to mature to fruit bearing. They were choked out by the thorns and weeds. The cares of the world choke out the desire of some children of God to mature spiritually into fruit bearing believers.

The seeds that fell on good ground also sprang up. The soil was soft and the plants grew upward and downward with strong roots and a healthy life that matured to fruit bearing. These produced a great harvest of fruit. The harvest refers to people being saved.

Jesus summed up this parable by saying “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear” Matthew 13:9 KJV)

Are you a fruitful believer?

Trying growing in the Lord, you’ll like it.

(Merritt is the pastor at Trinity Missionary Baptist Church.)

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