The parable of the sewer (Mark 4
) metaphorically describes the spreading of God’s word to the masses. Some of the word falls on deaf ears (the path); some is heard but not taken seriously (the rocky ground); and some is heard, taken seriously yet is placed on the back burner due to “concerns of this world” (amongst thorns). Finally, there is the word, heard, received, and responded to (prepared soil). This is the word that makes more “words”. This is the word that touches the heart, wakes the spirit within, and produces a harvest for the Lord.
Unlike the farmer, who plants most of his seed on good, prepared soil, most of God’s word falls on unprepared souls (soil). As a result, most of this gospel seed is wasted. Only a small percent of God’s word falls on the prepared ear, desiring the hope we all have. Perhaps, the soul should be prepared first, like the soil is.
What does it take to prepare the soul for God’s word? Like soil, each soul has different needs. Is the soul physically hungry? Feed it. Have they been hurt by another person who was or claimed to be a Christian, thus having a hard heart towards Christ? Show mercy and compassion to soften their heart. Have they been told that science disproves religion, so they think it is foolishness? There is evidence to the contrary, show them evidence. Do they have a twisted form of religion, compliments of a cult, so they refuse to believe Jesus offers a free gift to everyone who simply believes in Him? Study the bible with them (but beware of their traps, so you don’t join them!).
But most of all, share with them that which is most frightening to you: yourself. Your testimony of being broken and restored; the benefits and blessings you have received on this earth for following Jesus; the difficulties and challenges you still face daily, now made easier by placing your faith and trust in God, rather than yourself alone or a government created by other fallible humans. This requires exposing vulnerable parts of your life and past you normally would not want others to know.
These things all take time and for the most part, some kind of relationship must be established. Unless, that person is ready to hear. This is the person you will lead to Christ, today! But wait a minute! Who talked to them about Christ before you? Who in the name of Jesus showed some compassion or work for them before you came along? Who pointed out that the heavens declare the works of God and explained to them the necessity for there to be a creator of this universe? Who prepared and planted the soil before you came along? Who watered it? Who pulled the weeds? No doubt, the others who witnessed to this soul before you.
Sometimes we are blessed to see the efforts we put into a relationship with someone seeking the Lord. But more often, we are only preparing the heart for the word to be sewn or to water and care for it. While there is nothing better than to be part of the harvest for Christ; remember, without the preparer and sewer, there would be no harvest.
So share the gospel to all you meet. Believers and non believers. You may be preparing soil, sewing seeds, watering or weeding; and never see the harvest of this soul until the day of His Glorious Appearing. Then again, you may get to harvest, or encourage another Christian to share Christ with others too!