Sowing the Seed

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
THE sower sowing his seed by the Lake of Galilee presented very much the same kind of appearance in the times of our Lord, when He was on earth, to that which our picture brings before our eye to-day. For by the aid of photographs, and the pencils of artists familiar with the incidents and customs of the Holy Land, we can almost bring up the very scenes of the New Testament, so sweet to our hearts. The sower busy at his work, the boats by the side of the lake, the rocks and thorns common to the midst of a mountain field, and the pigeons skimming over the ground, all speak to us of those everyday life pictures from which our Lord and Master formed His wondrous parables. How simple, how easy of application were His words addressed to those who had ears to hear—how difficult and hard to be understood by such as lacked that tenderness and brokenness of heart which receives the good seed of the word!
Each of our hearts is like some part of the field; over it the sower casts his seed. He bears the seed-basket near his bosom, and from his bosom he distributes the precious word of God. In the most lovely fields on the mountain-side we often find the broken pieces of rock and their surrounding, briars and thorns. These barren and massive fragments seem to have obtained an immovable place in the midst of the most fruitful places. On them the seed may fall; in them it will strike no fruit-bearing root. The stony ground will not stand the testing hour. That which grows there will wither as quickly as it sprang up. We all shall be tested and tried. Young people seem especially to be among those who "immediately" receive the word. How many dear young persons are now before us, who on hearing the happy gospel word, "immediately" received it, but who, when trouble came, as quickly gave it up as they received it. See to it that you are well-rooted. God grant that none of you may be stony-ground hearers of His word.
The briars and thorns have also gained a footing in the mountain field: no one cares to disturb them. Alas! for the seed that falls among them, for these lusty and worthless growths eat up the fruit-bearing power of the soil wherein they grow. We have before us just now different cases of promising hearers of the word who could not be whole-hearted, else they would not make so little headway.
The lusts of other things have entered in, and have overwhelmed the good seed in their souls. Earnest were these hearers a few months ago; but now the pleasures and interests of the world have rendered the gracious truth unfruitful; the cares of the world have done their deadly work, the thorns have prevailed. Make God your chief concern; take the solemn warning, be not as those of whom we speak, who weep their wasted lives—choked by the world!
We need not apply this part of the parable solely to the unconverted; it has a voice to Christians also. How thankfully would we shield dear young Christians from the sorrows of a life not wholly dedicated to God.
It is impossible to be, at the same time, like a fruitful part of the field and a part like that wherein are the thorns. Be out and out for Christ. In unhesitating, unwavering devotion to Him alone lies your true joy, dear young believer; and for His sake who loves you, and who died for you, give Him your heart.
The good ground—go where you will, note what field you may—has one peculiarity; it is always soft enough to be plowed up. Its bosom is ever laid open to receive the seed.
So in our hearts the plowshare of conviction of sin precedes the reception of the good word of mercy. True sorrow for sin, true repentance, the tearing open of the heart let none regret. It is in hearts farrowed by God the Spirit that the good seed springs up to bear its golden fruits. We would say to any who lament the hardness of their hearts, and who mourn over their sins—thank God He has made you feel. Thousands are not miserable. The plowman does not drive his plowshare into iron rock. Tears for and grief over sin are results of the work in us of God the Holy Spirit.
God give us all reality, and may the heavenly Husbandman find in our hearts and lives fruit, some thirty, some sixty, some an hundredfold.