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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: April 18, 2024

If I were to give advice to seminarians or young pastors about the parable of the sower and the seed, I would humbly suggest that preaching on this text is like walking on a solid, firm road that is surrounded by quicksand. Just keep marching straight ahead and you’ll be fine, but if you deviate from the simple point of the parable, you’ll find yourself sinking in confusion and messiness. 

So the point of the parable is not really that we should take a kind of spiritual inventory to figure out what kind of soil we’re dealing with when we preach the word. Nor is the point that we should figure out the most effective ways to preach the Gospel to the most potentially fruitful soil. That’s quicksand, an exercise in diving into a mystery you’ll never be able to solve.

Rather, the whole point of the parable is that this is just the stuff that’s going to happen when you preach the word. Some people will never believe. Others will believe for a brief time and then fall away when they face persecution and pressure. Others will fall away as they’re seduced by the cares and pleasures of the world. And then some will believe, bearing much fruit. That’s just what’s going to happen. In every congregation, in every nation, in every generation. So don’t lose hope when the word doesn’t produce fruit.

When you invite your friends to church and you tell them why you believe in Christ and they look at you like you’re a fool, don’t think it’s all your fault that the word didn’t take root. When you see that your loved ones who sat in the same patch of the field as you no longer believe, don’t think that the word is broken. Don’t think that you did something wrong when you spoke about the promises of Christ to them and they wouldn’t come back home, still desiring the favor of the world. This is just what happens. Jesus said it would happen. Believe Him. 

And believe Him with everything else He’s said about His word. Trust Him when He says that His word will not return to Him void, that He will bring forth good fruit and establish his Kingdom through the word of His death, His resurrection, and His eternal victory of sin, death, and the devil. Trust Jesus when He says that your sins have been destroyed forever and that He has welcomed you into His arms. Trust Jesus when He says that His word has made you a child of God forever.

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