"He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come."
- Mark 4:26-29 NIV
In these verses from the Gospel of Mark, Jesus imparts divine wisdom and revelation designed to help us better understand certain Kingdom principles. They can have many applications, but let's look at some here that can give us new insights into the power of God's Word.
Jesus said: "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground." (v. 26) The Savior tells us earlier in this chapter that the "seed" sown here is the Word of God, and the "ground," or soil, represents our hearts. (v. 14-15) When we are seeking the Lord about a situation, a need, or an area of our lives that we're concerned about, He gives us a word or a promise in seed form. As we study and meditate on these truths and principles of Scripture, they become planted in our hearts. This is how we begin the supernatural process of bearing fruit and reaping a harvest of good things from the Word of God.
Jesus goes on to say: "Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how." (v. 27) The first thing this verse reveals is that, though it's the very nature of the seed to produce, it takes time to sprout and grow to maturity. Very rarely is it an overnight process, and we have to be as patient as a farmer who waits a long time for his harvest. And we must resist the urge to dig up our seed with doubtful words and actions. This verse also reveals that we don't have to understand the process for it to work. As the Lord says in Isaiah 55:8 (NLT): "My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." By faith, we trust that the process is working, simply because God said so. Earlier in this chapter of Mark, Jesus warns us that Satan will try to steal the Word from our hearts, so that it will never bear fruit. (v. 15) It's up to us to "hold it fast," and to guard it diligently. (Luke 8:15 NASB) Jesus mentions other threats to our harvest, which He says can "come in and choke the Word, making it unfruitful," including "the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things." (v. 19) There is inherent power in the Word of God, and it will produce abundant fruit if we cooperate with God's process for its growth.
The Savior goes on to say: "All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head." (v. 28) The soil of our hearts has the ability to grow whatever seed is planted in it. If we plant the promises, plans, and dreams that are given to us by God, we will reap a harvest of good things. But this verse reminds us that there are stages--or steps--to the process. When the Lord gives us a vision for our future, we will have to go through a period of preparation. He'll start us out small, and as we prove ourselves faithful, He will lead us on to greater opportunities and responsibilities.
Next, Jesus says: "As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come." (v. 29) If we stay in faith, and refuse to give in to fear and doubt, we will witness the day when our harvest flows forth in abundance. Today, let's do our part in God's glorious process, so that we can receive all the good things He has in store for us.
Prayer: Lord, teach me how to plant Your promises and plans in my heart. Help me to guard my seed and my soil so that they will bring forth a harvest of good things. Thank You for the blessings and rewards that I'll reap as I wholeheartedly cooperate with You!
- J. M. Farro