Tuesday, February 20, 2018

By Itself

“The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29)

I remember my father sowing fields by hand. We had a seed drill, but if the plot was small it was hardly worth breaking out the tractor, so he would strap on an old Burpee seed bag, walk the furrows and manually scatter the seed on the ground.

I never saw him lose sleep afterward, pacing the floor, wringing his hands and worrying that a crop might not grow. He knew that life is inherent in the seed and in time the earth would produce "by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear."

Because Carolyn and I have been at this business for awhile, we're sometimes asked how it works. I usually shrug and say, "Beats me"—my version of the saying, "he knows not how." We just love and pray and teach the Word—simply, honestly, humbly, one hopes—and leave the results to God. The harvest, if it comes, will come of itself,  "automatically" to use Mark's word.

"Outcomes are of the Lord," Dallas Willard used to say. Don't  worry about results or how they happen. Just "proclaim the word; do it whether you feel like it or not" (1Timothy 4:2). Scatter the seed hither and yon, and see what God will do. 

David Roper

Playing Second Fiddle It's said that the hardest instrument to play is second fiddle. I thought of that old adage this morning as I...