NOTHING WRONG WITH THE SEED Andy Hollifield 2-19-18
Mark 4:8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
Thirty, sixty, or a hundred. Think about that for a minute. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe in gambling and believe the bible speaks against it in numerous places. But I want you to think about this; if you were a gambler and placed a bet on something that had 30 to 1 odds, if I am correct, your one dollar bet would win you thirty dollars if you won. At 60 to 1 you would get 60 dollars for a win and at 100-1 your dollar would get you a hundred. Now think about this; if it was a guaranteed payout at one of those odds and you couldn’t lose but were assured of winning one of those payouts, we would all wager all we could on the 100 to 1 payout. Of course, if it was a guaranteed win it wouldn’t be gambling. Now, in light of that example, think about this: We have been guaranteed a payout and the worst we can do is 30 to 1. That means we will make back 30 times as much as we wagered. In this case we will call it invested. To gamble means there is a chance you could lose what you wager. To invest means to put money, time, talent, towards something with the hopes of achieving something, accomplishing a purpose, or accumulating gain of some kind. Now look at this one. The word “guarantee” means something that assures a particular outcome or condition.
Look back up at the verse from Mark 4. Starting in verse 4 we find seed that fell by the wayside and was devoured. In verse 5 we find seed that fell on stony ground and without much soil, it sprang up too fast and was scorched because it’s roots hadn’t developed yet. In verse 7 the seed fell among thorns and was choked out by the thorns. Now for the good part. Verse 8 says that some seed fell on good ground. It sprang up and increased, meaning that it produced more seed. Some of it wound up being 30 times as much as what had fallen on the good ground and some was 60 times as much and some even 100 times as much. For those that are farmers let me put it this way: if you planted 500 pounds of beans and only harvested 500 pounds of beans, you would consider it a terrible waste and would never use that brand of seed again. It just wouldn’t be worth all the labor, much less the cost of seed and fuel and fertilizer. Now think about this; if you had a guarantee that the seed you used would bring forth 100 fold, you would use it. For 500 pounds of seed, that would yield 50,000 pounds of beans. Do you know what else a good farmer would do? He would make sure that ground was perfect. It would be plowed and disked to just the right texture, it would be irrigated to provide the right amount of moisture, and the field you chose to use would have adequate light but not too much. If you had that much at stake, you would do everything in your power to get the maximum yield that you had been guaranteed.
Before we get too far, we need to look at the seed. If you go back and read that parable that Jesus used, there was only one seed being sowed. There wasn’t a different one based on the type of ground. The seed didn’t change based on the ground but the ground had to be changed to get the most out of the seed. That means; the better the ground is, the more fruitful the seed will be. I know that may seem like the long way around to say something so simple but it is of utmost importance. If you read the explanation of this parable that Jesus gave, his word was always the seed. His word doesn’t change for me or you or to keep up with the times or the latest fad. His word and his will and purpose don’t change based on our mood or how we feel. That word is infallible, unfailing, perfect, and sufficient. To get the most out of it we have to change our ground. We can’t change the seed but we can change the ground where it is planted.
The bible says in 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Studying his word means that you are learning more about the seed and rightly dividing means you are learning more about the conditions needed for it to be fruitful. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 the bible says for us to “Pray without ceasing.” That means what it says; always praying. Hosea 10:12 says “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” To “sow to yourselves” means that you are reaping the benefits of what is produced. What you reap is the continuing mercy of God. The fallow ground means that part of your life that has been plowed up but has been left inactive and not being used. Just knowing that we will be reaping mercy by our prayers and the seed we sow and it could be to the benefit of those we are praying for. That should make every one of us plow up every inch of our field in our lives so that when the sower comes through, that good seed of his will fall onto the fallow ground and become fruitful producing life in those that will be the increase of our seed.
We aren’t seeing folks give their heart to the Lord and lives be changed, not because of the seed, but because we haven’t prepared the ground to receive the good seed. We can’t prepare someone else’s ground. We have to prepare and plow up our own fields and when we start bringing forth light, then we can see the fruit being produced wherever the Lord’s seed has been sown. Jesus said that if he be lifted up he will draw all men unto him. We just have to do the plowing because we have the guarantee that if the seed of his word falls on good ground, it will bring forth fruit. Plowing is hard work but the end result is plenty of fruit. Just plow your field and get the ground ready. He will do the sowing. There ain’t nothing wrong with the seed. It’s as good as it ever was. Keep plowing! Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!