Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Let There Be Land...

"And God said, 'Let the waters beneath the sky be gathered into one place so dry ground may appear.' And so it was. God named the dry ground 'land' and the water 'seas.' And God saw that it was good. Then God said, 'Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed- bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. The seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees form which they came" (Genesis 1:9-11, NLT).

This third day of creation (my Wednesday) is about the creation of land and the plants and trees that it produces. Jesus himself uses "land" as a metaphor for the human heart. Let's go with that idea today. Jesus tells a story in Luke 8:4-11 in which a farmer sows seed. This seed falls on land that is in a variety of conditions. Some is hard, some is filled with thorns, some is shallow, and some is good. Of course, only the land that is good ultimately produces a crop. Jesus lets us in on the secret meaning of the story when he says, "But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by perservering produce a crop" (Luke 8:15, NIV). The land is the human heart and the seed is the Word of God. My aim today is to have a "noble and good heart" in which the seed of the Word may be planted and then grow. It's not my aim to make it grow--only God can do that. Jesus says in another place that a man scatters seed on the ground and then, "Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head" (Mark 4:26-29, NIV). As I go throughout my day, I want to be aware of the condition of my heart and to be quick to allow the hard, dry, and dusty places to become broken up and then watered by the Holy Spirit's living water. May may life then become a bumper crop in the midst of the world's famine.

1 comment:

Jim Harger said...

You wrote in your blog today, “It's not my aim to make it grow--only God can do that.” I completely agree with you. Unfortunately, many people try to do more than God intends which can lead to pride. They have the right intentions, but just the same, it can lead to a prideful attitude.

This brought to mind something I read last night in Contrarians Guide to Knowing God, by Larry Osborne. The author discusses how many of us are not called to do great things for God. Some of us are called to live a mediocre life that honors God. As he puts it, “I’m talking about wonderful people of integrity and obedience to God’s word who simply don’t register much on the intensity or impact meter – and never will” (Osborne, 2007, p. 46). He goes on to point out that most of the people Paul led to Christ did not go on to be leaders or missionaries, but nonetheless, lived out their lives for Christ. He concludes the chapter by writing, “The goal of spirituality is not to lead—it’s to know and please God” (p. 50). My prayer is that we all be aware of the condition of our heart and allow God’s Word to penetrate; even if it seems that nothing is happening.