Jesus Feeding the 5,000

A daily devotion for May 2nd

Seed Thoughts

He also said, This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 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. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.

Mark 4:26-29

Jesus is speaking of how his kingdom increases. He explains it as a coming to harvest by a patient expectation that God will work. The key of this whole passage is, …the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain. There are forces at work which will be faithful to perform their work — whether a man stews and frets about it or not. He does what he can do. But then God must work. And God will work. In that confidence, this man rests secure.

As Jesus draws the picture, this farmer goes out to sow. It is hard work as he sows the field, but this is what he can do. But then he goes home and goes to bed. He does not sit up all night biting his fingernails, wondering if the seed fell in the right places. Nor does he rise the next morning and go out and dig it up to see whether or not it is sprouting. He rests secure in the fact that God is at work, that he has a part in this process, and he must do it; no one can do it for him, and he will faithfully perform it. The farmer rests and waits as the seed goes through observable stages: …first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. It is only when the grain is ripe that he is called into action again.

This is the way we ought to expect God to work. He sows our witness first, perhaps a word of teaching or exhortation to someone — or to ourselves. And then a process begins, which takes time and patience, and allows God to work. One of the most destructive forces at work in the church today is our demand for instant results. We want immediate conversions, immediate responses, immediate dedications every time we speak. We tend not to allow time for the Word to take root and grow and come to harvest.

I have been watching a boy growing up since grade school. I watched him come into adolescence and enter into a period of bitter rebellion against God. I watched his parents, hurt and crushed by his attitudes, saying what they could to him, but above all holding him up in prayer. I watched the whole process as the seed which had been sown in his heart took root and began to grow. There were tiny observable signs of change occurring. Gradually he came back to the Lord. Just this past week he asked me to fill out a reference for him to go to seminary. That is the Word growing secretly. The sower knows not how it happens, but he can rest secure in this.

Lord, grant me patience and faith that you will do your work through your word in your own good time. Amen.

Life Application

Do I trust that that God is at work, and outcomes do not all depend on me? Having done what God has given me to do, do I then rest, since God is working?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

What to Do While Waiting

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