Sow & Gather

mark

The Good Soil Bears Fruit

TransformationMarci AnthonyComment
the-good-soil-bears-fruit #sowandgather #transformation

But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance. Luke 8:15 NASB 

Some of my favorite things to do in the spring are shopping for flowers, plants, and walking through gardens. It inspires me to get my own flower garden and pots ready for the spring. I’m a wanna-be-gardener who has grand plans, but I’m happy just to get my pots filled and for a few plants to survive. 

Over the years I’ve learned to trust certain nurseries that purchase from local farmers who use organic materials and good soil to grow plants. Those plants have a longer survival rate, especially in Texas heat! 

Before I add my new plants to my old pots, I make sure that the potting soil is ready for my new plants. When you take the plants out of their container, the soil is rich and the roots are strong. For that new plant to survive, it needs to be surrounded by good, rich, nutrient-filled soil. There is nothing like the smell of pure, rich, composted dirt and mixing it all together with your hands! 

Planting reminds me of this verse which is a perfect picture of the heart, and the seed is the Word of God. This verse comes from a parable that Jesus told, and He was using soil as a metaphor for the heart. Some of the seed fell on a hard-packed path and it was trampled on, some fell on rocky soil so the roots could never grow deep, some fell among the thorns, and the thorns choked it out, and then some fell on good soil that grew up and produced a crop. 

My heart has been hard, my heart has been shallow and my heart has been full of weeds. God is the sower and His Word is the seed. When I open up His Word, the Bible, I need to make sure that my heart is ready to receive His seed. I need to humble myself before Him, pour out my sin, and ask that Jesus prepare my heart. I do this so I can hear His Word, and so that His Word can take root in my heart. 

How is the soil in your heart? Is it hard? Is it full of things that keep the roots from growing; are there any weeds that are choking it out? 

Create me in a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 

Happy planting! 

Dig Deeper |

Luke 8:4-15; Mark 4:10 -20 

Action Item |

How is the soil of your heart? Is it ready receive the Word of God? 

Prayer |

Dear Father, You are the great Sower. I’m so thankful that you turn over the soil in my heart and prepare it for receiving Your Word. I want Your Word to take root in me and to produce fruit for Your kingdom. Amen 

Join Us | 

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.

What Will I Sacrifice for Love?

loveMarci AnthonyComment
what-will-i-sacrifice-for-love-sowandgather.com #love #redbandana

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13 (NASB) 

Standing in the 9/11 Memorial Museum was an emotional experience for me. The graphic images of the war-torn buildings and media coverage reminded of the day and where I was when the tragic event occurred. There were amazing stories of heroic men and women who gave their lives to attempt to rescue those that were stranded in the buildings. One such man, Welles Crowther, carried with him a red bandana every day, a practice he had learned as a small child watching his dad get ready for church. The bandana became a symbol of his close relationship with his father. 

On the day of the attacks, Welles helped twelve people to safety and sacrificed his own life trying to get more out. Those rescued only knew him as "the man with the red bandana.” One of his bandanas is now on display in the museum as a reminder of his selfless acts. 

This story pierced me because as I stood there I began to think of another Father who is an example to me. Even though I cannot see the battle raging on around me every day, I know it is there. Spiritually war-torn, in need of a Savior who is our only hope; I know the selfless act that my Father performed at the cross. And yet, how many times have I said, "Tomorrow I will share."  "I’ll have time later."   

Those phrases are so simple, but they carry with them the fact that I am unwilling to sacrifice my reputation. I don't want to rock the boat or offend anyone.   Truthfully, it is an indication that I don't understand that any moment might be too late to tell that person about Jesus. Oh, when will I be willing to wrap myself in the Gospel for the sake of those dying around me? To have the courage to offend and to be hated for those that may come to know Christ. Will I be brave enough or love enough to sacrifice for those I call friend? Will I, like Welles, decide that those dying are worth the cost of my own life? Like him, it doesn't really matter if they know who I am, but only that they know who He is.  For He is the only way to truly live. 

You can learn more about Welles Crowther via this short documentary.

Dig deeper  |

Mark 8:35-38 

Action Item |

Who has God placed in your life for the purpose of sharing the Gospel?  Pray that God will give you the opportunity to tell them the "good news”.  Be bold and speak the truth. 

Prayer |

Father, please give me the courage today to be a messenger of the good news.  Let me lay aside any selfishness and fill me with Your love for those who are in need of a Savior.  Give me eyes to see them as You do Lord.  May I wear the Gospel in a way that it speaks of my relationship to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Join Us | 

Gather with us by sharing your "Action Item" or "Prayer" by clicking on the Comment link at the top of the post.