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Devotional: August 7, 2020

Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like a seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets about it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens. The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!

Mark 4: 26-29 The Message


As we returned home from our vacation in Idaho, we drove through fields of grain being harvested by huge combines.  It was quite a sight!  When we drove down, some of the fields were still green. Now, with all the warm weather, the grain was golden, and ripe for the harvest. It literally ripened while we were away. 


Jesus often compared God’s kingdom, and the gospel, to seed. He did so to emphasize that God’s kingdom is full of life, that it grows, and that it nourishes us. In this particular teaching, Jesus emphasizes the truth that often God uses the seeds that we plant (positive words about the Lord). Without any help from us, these “seed words” often, over time, grow and sprout into a great harvest in the minds and hearts of people we know. It is truly miraculous!


It is similar to the harvesting we witnessed on our trip. We did not watch it turn golden brown, for it did so while we were elsewhere. While this grain is harvested each fall, the ultimate harvest of souls can take years, or even decades. So please don’t be discouraged about how long it takes for someone to come to know the Lord. Simply trust the process. God is at work, even when we are away!


The good news is that it is the Lord who saves people, not us! Sometimes we may be able to only plant and scatter the seeds. Others will help with the watering, nurturing, and tending.  Our responsibility is to trust in the Lord, and know that he is the ultimate caretaker of those whose hearts have been planted with His word. Trust the Lord of the harvest…


Prayer


God of every season,

Thank you for the beauty of the summer, and the blessing of living in a region rich with agriculture. As we experience the joy and excitement of the harvest of our food, remind us of the spiritual harvest. Help us as we scatter the seeds of Your word into the ears, hearts, and minds of people who do not know You. May the seeds we plant grow people into Your love, through Your power and Your grace. We pray this prayer in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.



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