4 One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: 5 “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. 6 Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” Luke 8: 4 – 8 (NLT)
Once my sister Holly and I made a day trip to Galena, Illinois. We spent some time in town wandering through shops then decided to go wine tasting. Finding a winery down a remote country road, we wandered around the property, savoring the panoramic view it offered. In the valley below it there were sprinklings of farms. Red barns, white barns, rows of corn, hillside vineyards – the scene was picturesque and calming.
The work behind the beauty was not readily evident as there were no tractors or farmers about, but I knew that the crisp red of the barns and the supports for the vines were the result of the farmers putting forth great effort to beautify the land and provide for the crops. They likely rose early and worked late every day to keep up with the demands of the land and its improvements.
This is similar to the effort God wants us to put forth to maintain the fertility of our faith. Once a person accepts Jesus as his Savior, there is work to be done to develop and maintain a relationship with Jesus and to live a right life by Him. Reading the Bible, worshiping at church, being in fellowship with other Christians, praying throughout each day…these all take time and energy that many people think they don’t have. But just as the farmer who puts time and energy into preparing the land for the grape vines reaps the fruits of his labor, so does the Christian who puts time and energy into his faith walk.
God wants to be in a personal relationship with each of us. We just need to put forth the effort each day to maintain that relationship so that we can enjoy the benefits of our labors. Do you have fifteen minutes every day that you can devote to having personal time with God?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for patiently waiting for me to reach out to you each day. Please Holy Spirit remind me to do so and to provide the words and encouragement I need to maintain a relationship with the Father. Amen.
Song for Meditation: Who am I by Casting Crowns