Saturday, December 23, 2017

Luke 8 ~ a lesson in obedience

 lesson in obedience, Luke 8, Jesus' parables, Scripture Writing

Earlier this week I was once again reading through Luke 8 and came upon Jesus' parable about the farmer and the four types of ground. Many people are familiar with this parable, as it is often used to help explain some of the different reactions we might expect when we share the good news of the Gospel with others.

This time through something different struck me, and I am thankful that I was listening to the Holy Spirit's quiet voice to read it again.

This parable begins with an act of obedience.

A farmer went out to sow his seed. This farmer had been given a job, and he went out to do it. We are not told that this farmer went out looking for good soil, or worrying about how much rain he might have this week - we are told that he went out to do his job. God had provided him with seed and he went out to plant it. Obedience.

Oh that I would be that obedient! Instead I am often trying to discern what kind of soil I am looking at, or whether now is the best time to plant - when will the rain come, who will nurture the plant? What I need to be doing is sowing the seeds of the good news of the Gospel! I need to be sharing the redemptive work that Christ has done in my own heart and life and leaving the results up to God. I cannot know what kind of soil my seed will land on - whether it will be the path, the rocky soil, the thorns, or the good soil - but I am not commanded to do a reconnaissance mission on soil - I am commanded to go - to sow the seed I have been given.

This new understanding of the lesson of obedience that is included in Jesus' parable made me start thinking about other areas where we as Christians might be slow to plant, and how we can do better. Christmas is just a couple of days away. Have we been focused on telling others about the birth of Jesus, and the significance of His life? Or have we been so busy waging war against the Happy Holiday slogan that we missed the opportunity to share His love? Are we sowing the seeds of peace amongst our own families? There are many opportunities that present themselves when we gather with extended family over the holidays. Are we being the peacemakers, or are we holding on to past slights or barbs? 

Will we carry our seeds of grace and mercy into the new year? Will we focus on what we want to do, or will we focus on telling others about the rich blessings we have been granted this past year? Will we focus on doing God's work in 2018, and have we prayerfully taken time to ask Him what He wants us to be doing? If not, it is time to spend more time in His word and in prayer, and less time watching movies or shopping.

A lesson in obedience is waiting for us, will we choose to learn it?

May the great joy we find in the humble birth of Jesus, and the songs of adoration we sing today be the songs that we sing throughout the year. May that Joy lead us to humbly and diligently sow the seed of the Gospel in every area of our lives. 

Re-reading the parable made me think of this Leon Patillo song:

Let us be obedient - and leave the results up to God!

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