This past Sunday I had the privilege of preaching a message from God's Word where I spoke about the importance of becoming "seed inspectors". If you would like to watch that you can do so here directly below. If you prefer to read and not watch, I'll summarize the lesson below the video.
The scripture reading for this lesson comes from Luke 8:11 where Jesus said,
This of course is the first part of Jesus explaining to the apostles what we call "The Parable of the soils". While it is certainly of utmost importance that we understand the characteristics of the types of soils Christ mentions in this parable (after all, that is the point), I think it is also important that we understand the characteristics of the seed. Any good farmer or gardener knows about the seed that they plant. They need to know what it looks like, how much water it needs, how deep it needs to be planted, etc. In the same way, if we desire to be effective sowers of the seed of the Kingdom, we should know as much as we can about the Seed. Let's look at three characteristics of seed that can help us be effective sowers.
1. Seed is Preservable
It's the very design of seed to be able to withstand the test of time. For thousands of years farmers have collected the harvest from their fields and set back a portion of it for seeding next year's crop. I recently read of researchers finding a 2000 year old date seed, and after planting it, they were amazed to see that it sprouted! If physical seed is preservable this way, how much greater is the spiritual seed in the form of the Word of God?
We see an example of spiritual seed preservation in the historical account of King Josiah recorded in 2 Kings chapter 22. King Josiah's father Amon and grandfather Mannaseh were evil kings that forsook the Lord and worshiped idols. You might think with that kind of history King Josiah didn't stand a of knowing what was right. However, we read that one day Josiah commanded that the money be taken out of the Temple and given to the builders in order that repairs be made to the temple. In the process of finding the money, the high priest Hilkiah finds the book of God's law and Josiah's secretary read it before the king.
King Josiah was good soil. He heard the Word of God and knew immediately that he and his forefathers had been sinning against God. He immediately called all the people together, from great to small and read to them from the Book of the Law. King Josiah and all the people made a covenant to obey the commandments of the Lord and they expelled and burned all the idols from the land. King Josiah's response was to plow up everything that came before and to allow the seed of the Word to grow up instead. Even after many years, the seed of the Word stood the test of time. When it was introduced to good soil it sprouted in King Josiah.
The word of God is indeed preservable. Jesus said in Matthew 24:35 that "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away." Peter wrote in 1 Peter 1:23 that the seed is imperishable!
2. Seed is Transportable
Physical seed is designed to be taken from place to place. People have regularly taken advantage of this fact when traveling great distances. Take for example, the pilgrims that traveled over 4,000 miles over rough seas to settle in the new world. Upon their arrival they planted seeds that they had brought with them in hopes of having a harvest.
Animals also spread seed with great proficiency. Birds alone are responsible for transporting seed miles away from where they originally consumed it. Physical seed has been designed to travel great distances and grow.
In the spiritual sense the gospel seed is also transportable. When the gospel seed is planted in Texas it produces Christians. When it is planted in New York it produces Christians. When it is planted in Bangkok, Thailand it produces Christians. We just so happen to have an excellent example of this through the missionary journeys of Paul. The apostle Paul traveled all around the region sowing the gospel seed as he went. The result was of course that churches sprouted both years after (preservable remember!?) and miles away from where the church first began in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost! When we consider the words of Christ in Mark 16:15 the fact that the gospel seed is transportable shouldn't surprise us at all.
By the very authority of Christ, the gospel seed has been made transportable and it has been made to be taken into all the world.
3. Seed is Predictable
This is a concept we understand quite well of physical seed, but for some reason when it comes to the gospel seed the world is filled with confusion. When a seed is planted, it will only produce after the kind that it came from. For example, when a corn seed is planted, it will produce a corn plant. No one plants a corn seed and expects it to produce a watermelon plant. Why? Well because it's a law of nature established by God on the third day of creation.
This indisputable law of nature states that a seed will produce ONLY after its kind. The same is true of the gospel seed!
When the pure, uncontaminated gospel seed is planted in the fertile soil of hearts of receptive people that obey the gospel, it produces only Christians that are added by God to the same church we read about in the pages of the New Testament.
Once we understand these three characteristics of seed, we are able to refute many of the lies of Satan that he has been effective at sowing into the world today.
When the world believes the lies of Satan and yells out, "The Bible is outdated! The church you read about in the New Testament needs to evolve and change to fit in with the times!" We can know that the gospel seed is PRESERVABLE, IMPERISHABLE and is made to stand the test of time!
When Satan deceives the world into believing that, "The Bible was only intended for a certain culture in a certain place! It's not meant for our culture today!" We can reply that the gospel seed is TRANSPORTABLE and was made to take to the whole world!
When Satan ensnares millions upon millions with the lies such as "It doesn't matter what name you wear when you worship! There are many paths to the same God! Join the church of your choice! How you worship doesn't matter!" We can say with love and patience that the gospel seed is PREDICTABLE in that will only produce after its kind.
Are you inspecting the seed that you are sowing? Have you inspected the seed from which you came spiritually? Friends, as I stated earlier Satan has been extremely effective at sowing seeds of lies into the world designed to take root in the hearts of GOOD SOIL and to prevent to pure gospel seed from taking root. I want you to know that if you have not done what God wants you to do in doing what is below, then you have a weed sown by Satan growing in the place of Christ.
- Hearing the good news of the gospel. (Romans 10:17)
- Believing that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God. (John 3:16)
- Repenting of your sinful life. (Luke 13:3)
- Confessing faith in Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:10)
- Being baptized FOR the forgiveness of your sins. (Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
If after inspecting the seed you find that what you did to become a Christian is not what God commanded, I want to encourage you to be like King Josiah and plow up everything that stands in your way and obey the pure, unaltered, uncontaminated seed of the gospel.
As always, I'm here for you should you have any questions!