Tidings for Tuesday

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. Matthew 13:4

Our neighbour drove his little grey tractor around and around the field, hauling the seeder, and halting occasionally to replenish the bins of oats and fertilizer. Every time he drove across the lower corner of the field, the seeder would lurch upward and then plunge back into the soil. Later, when the field was all seeded, we watched as the crows came to check out the work. They congregated in the lower corner and ate the seeds they found on the surface, leaving the rest of the field alone. I asked the neighbour why there were seeds available to the crows in that one area. He replied that a roadway ran across that corner of the field, and his plow and harrows had been unable to break up the soil. So the seeder had been unable to penetrate to any depth, and the seeds remained on the surface. To germinate – and to not be eaten by birds, the seeds needed to be in well tilled ground. The Word of God is like that in our lives.

God’s Assembly is described in Scripture as a cultivated or tilled field, or as God’s husbandry (1 Corinthians 3:9). The tilled field is a good picture of the Assembly as a place where God’s people labour and produce fruit for His glory. The field has opportunities for those who would work the soil, break up the clods, level the ground, apply the fertilizer, plant the seeds, water the crop, keep the birds and other destructive creatures out, monitor for maturity, and reap the harvest. These tasks all have their parallel in the work that goes on in an Assembly. For a fruitful and prosperous Assembly, all must participate and share the responsibilities, although some will be better at some tasks than others. The time will come when the workers will rejoice and appreciate the value of the Good Seed of the Word of God.

To produce the best grain crop, the ground must be properly cultivated. To produce the best spiritual crop, the crop must be planted in the truths of Scripture, and by those who understand and apply God’s principles. It is little wonder that organizations and denominations that drift away from the truth produce little that is of any true value to God. Such places may have well-paid organizers and performers, but they lack the submission to God’s principles and patterns. They may produce plenty of activity and excitement, but they produce few true converts to Christ and very little growth in the lives of those who are saved. Like a roadway through a field, they allow the Word of God to be snatched away by the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Are we labouring for the Lord in His cultivated field, or on the roadway of disobedience and futility? -Jim MacIntosh

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