• Luke Hamblett

In this weeks blog I want to continue with the journey we have started in terms of looking at 'seeds'. We are going on the idea of nurturing and growing a seed.

Growth is something that is so important in modern culture, financial growth, personal growth, physical growth, the list could go on. The idea of something growing in some way is often the under pinning motivation for a lot of what we do. But, in order for us to grow, we have to meet certain criteria - just like a seed does. Take a step back to the fist blog in this series, it's essential the seed is planted in the correct soil, you have to be in the right place to grow. We have to acknowledge this to put context to the next few points we are going to look at.

Firstly, in order for a seed to grow it must have water. Water is a key ingredient for growth for the majority of life on our planet. Without it we wouldn't survive.

John 7:37-38 (NIV)

37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

In this verse Jesus tells the people that anyone who is thirst should come to him and drink. At first glance it doesn't make any sense, unless Jesus has an endless supply of water with him at all times. What he is really referring to is a spiritual thirst. In order for us to grow spiritually and have 'rivers of living water' flowing from us, we must first go to Jesus and drink. In order for us to grow spiritually we need to drink from the source. As the first part of verse 38 says, we have to believe, we have to have faith first to recognise that we need to drink. Then, rivers of living water will flow from within us.

Once the seed has been watered it will begin to sprout and the next thing it will need is sunlight. Another one of the essential parts of our planets ecosystem is the sun, our world revolves around it, it provides warmth and light.

John 8:12 (NIV)

12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

If we look at this verse in comparison to the idea of the sun, something that could also be called 'the light of the world' in a different context, we can draw some parallels between it and Jesus. The first thing is that the sun is the light in the darkness, Jesus is referred to as the light in the darkness in John 1:3-5, just as we know that each morning the sun will rise we have the same assurance that Jesus provides an eternal hope, a 'light in the darkness' that will not be overcome. But, in order to stay in the light we have to follow the direction it goes in. Many plants will grow in the direction of the sun, take a sun flower for example, it will turn to face the sun to soak up as much of it as it can. We should do the same thing with Jesus, and in doing so we will find spiritual growth.

Finally, the seed will set its roots into the ground. This is a topic that we have looked at before and Jesus teaches a lot about foundations in the Bible. In order to withstand storms, winds and floods a plant must set it's roots deep enough into the ground to keep itself stable. Roots also soak up nutrients from the ground in order to help the plant grow.

Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

This verse in Colossians puts it very plainly for us, we must be rooted and built up in him. The idea of being built up 'in' Jesus doesn't mean that he is only the foundation that props us up, but we should be immersed in him. If we look at the three points that we have covered: water, sunlight, and setting roots - they all point to Jesus, they all come from Jesus and they are all unchanging in Jesus. The water, light and foundation that Jesus gives to us freely doesn't change, we are free to soak in as much as we like.

Everything we need to grow is found in Jesus. Let's take time this week to focus on returning back to the source for our water, our light and our foundation.

I pray that this week we can look to Jesus as our source for spiritual growth and that we might have rivers of living water flowing from within us.

  • Luke Hamblett

So in this weeks blog I wanted to continue from The Parable of the Four Soils that we looked at last Wednesday but to take time to focus on the idea of planting seeds.

In the parable of the four soils Jesus use the seeds to represent the word of God. If we take the idea of the seed being what we preach then we can substitute the seed for whatever it is we are saying/preaching or the message we are sending. It's really important for us to consider what kind of seeds we are sowing.

If we plant apple seeds then we will grow apple trees, but if we plant thorn bush seeds then we will grow thorn bushes. Essentially, what we say and do is important as it dictates what kind of seeds we are planting.

Galatians 6:7 (New International Version)

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

This verse from Galatians teaches us that we reap what we sow. It seems like a very straightforward concept that you would reap what you sow in terms of planting seeds. But it's something that we are all too forgetful of in terms of sowing the word of God, we are often quick to speak and sow bad seeds without thought.

James 3 teaches us about taming the tongue, this is something we need to pay particular attention to when we are considering what kind of seeds we are sewing.

The second thing that I want to draw attention to is this verse in Corinthians:

2 Corinthians 9:6 (New International Version) 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

The context of this verse is talking about generosity but I want to look at it from the perspective of preaching God's word. The more we preach God's word, the more we have to reap. If people have never heard the word of God then we can't 'harvest' their fruits. It's important that we plant as many seeds as possible with our time, now this doesn't mean that we let the quality of the seeds slip and plant some thorn bushes mixed in with our apple trees. Like we've already looked at above, it's important that we are planting the correct seeds.

Take some time this week to think about what kind of seeds you are planting and think about what opportunities you might have to sow seeds. Make sure you don't let them slip by!

I pray that we may all have the boldness to speak the word of God in to the lives of those around us.

Have a blessed week!

Updated: Jan 7

Lets take a look at the parable of the four soils, also known as the parable of the sower.

Luke 8:4-15

While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “ ‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

So, the first thing that comes to my mind when I read this scripture is: Why does the farmer/sower throw seeds on the path, rocky ground and the thorns?

One of the things that I have always found important to myself is working efficiently, maximising my work output and working as quickly as possible but still being effective. I think this is something that is culturally accepted as a good thing within modern society. But, when we look at this scripture, the message isn’t that the farmer is at fault. In fact, during this time scattering as much seed as possible would be the most effective method of working for farmers. The fact that some of the seeds don’t produce a crop isn’t the fault of the farmer or the seed, it’s entirely dependent on the ground in which the seed falls.

Jesus then goes on to break down the parable and explain the meaning behind it. He explains that we are the farmers, the seeds are the word of God and that the soil represents the people we preach the word to. We come across four types of soil (hence the name!):

The path - The path represents people that completely reject Gods word. They hear the message and completely turn away from it.

Rocky ground - The rocky ground represents the people that hear Gods word and believe it but they do nothing about it. On the surface they are filled by the word and spirit but have no roots beneath.

Thorny ground - The thorny ground represents those who are choked by circumstances and cannot grow because of this.

The fertile ground - The fertile ground represents those who receive the word and then produce fruit as a result of this, changing and growing.

Sometimes we might preach the word and it will fall upon the first three types of ground. Does this mean that it isn’t worthwhile? Absolutely not.

This parable is all about faithfulness. The farmer is the same, the seed is the same and the sewing is the same. But the soil is different. Sometimes we will sew seeds and see no fruit, but we should persevere none the less. Our faithfulness and obedience shouldn’t be directed by the fruits that we see, we should be encouraged that the faithful farmer received a yield of 100 times more than he had sewn, even though many seeds had fallen on the wrong ground. God will honour your obedience and although the immediate results in front of you may not be apparent, the yield of crop is often much greater than you know.

I pray that we all might be as faithful as the farmer and continue to sew seeds with hope and perseverance.



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