Deuteronomy 9:1-10:5; Luke 8:4-15; Psalms 69:32-36; Proverbs 17:23
NT: “As a large crowd was gathering, and people were coming to Jesus from every town, he said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some seed fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the sky devoured it. Other seed fell on the rock; when it grew up, it withered away, since it lacked moisture. Other seed fell among thorns; the thorns grew up with it and choked it. Still other seed fell on good ground; when it grew up, it produced fruit: a hundred times what was sown.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone who has ears to hear listen… This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. The seed along the path are those who have heard and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. And the seed on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy. Having no root, these believe for a while and fall away in a time of testing. As for the seed that fell among thorns, these are the ones who, when they have heard, go on their way and are choked with worries, riches, and pleasures of life, and produce no mature fruit. But the seed in the good ground — these are the ones who, having heard the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it and by enduring, produce fruit.” (Luke 8:4-8, 11-15 CSB)
Producing good fruit is a constant theme in the New Testament. That is something that we cannot do on our own. Just as a briar bush can’t produce produce grapes, a sinful life can’t produce good fruit. Jesus taught in John 15 that the way that we produce good fruit is to abide in Him (the vine) and allowing His words to abide in us. As Jesus looked over the large crowd that was gathering around Him, He told this parable. There are many who may come to Him out of curiosity. They may hear of His works and want to see if the claims are true… to see if His teachings are palatable to them… or to perhaps experience a miracle in their own lives. Though many may come to Him and hear His words, few actually listen to His words and fully receive them into their lives. Only those who not only receive His words, but endure in holding on to them through the trials of life, and don’t get distracted from them by the cares of the world will produce good and bountiful fruit. How do we treat the Lord’s words? Do we reject His words straight away? Do we only accept the words that align with our way of thinking and reject the rest? Do we let go of His words when times get tough and rely on our own understanding instead? Do we allow our lives to become full of mixture where His words can’t get firmly rooted? Or do we fully embrace His words and trust them completely – believing that His words are truly the words of life? Lord, search me – know me – show me… and when You show me, give me the grace to respond in loving obedience to You.