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Seed on good soil bore a lot of fruit

October 14, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Matthew 13:8-9, 23, Luke 8:15, Galatians 5:22-23

Matthew 13
8 Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one. 9 Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”

23 As for what was planted on good soil, this refers to those who hear and understand, and bear fruit and produce—in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one.”

Luke 8
15 The seed that fell on good soil are those who hear the word and commit themselves to it with a good and upright heart. Through their resolve, they bear fruit.

Galatians 5
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The Giving Garden at Resurrection’s West location has produced and given away some 10,000 tomatoes to bless people in need of wholesome food at various food pantries. That’s double the goal the planners aimed for this year. You know that remarkable crop didn’t require planting 10,000 tomato seeds! And (if you’ve ever gardened) you know some seeds or seedlings didn’t thrive, yet this great crop still came about as the gardeners nurtured the seeds that grew. Jesus said the same is true of spiritual seed: “There is the promise of seed that really does bear fruit. According to this map, the way to that is by hearing and understanding. This takes time, and sometimes hard work. A quick glance at the scriptures, an occasional sitting in church or a study group and being entertained by some new idea, is probably not enough. Care and thought needs to be put into the task of hearing the word of the kingdom until it has taken proper root.” *

  • The apostle Paul used the image of a fruitful tree to portray the kind of people into which God’s Spirit steadily shapes us as we daily remain open to his presence. The Spirit’s cultivation of God’s “seed” in our human lives results not merely in inspiring internal experiences—it ultimately shows itself in lives that glow as they act out the beautiful qualities Paul listed for the Galatian Christians. Do you express and act out love, joy, peace and all the other fruit of the Spirit in ways that were not characteristic of you in the past? Take a personal inventory of how present each of the “fruit of the Spirit” qualities is in your life. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify one or two of the areas where you can allow the seed God sows in you to grow more fully during the remainder of 2023.
Prayer

God, please grow a bountiful crop of your love, your purity, your goodness and compassion in the soil of my heart. Let me be full to bursting with the fruit of your Spirit. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Angie McCarty

Angie McCarty

Angie McCarty is an ordained elder from the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church who moved to Kansas from Arizona in 2017. She is a Pastor in Resurrection’s Adult Discipleship department, creating and managing Leawood’s classes for adults. She is also the part-time pastor at Spring Hill United Methodist Church. She completed her doctorate degree at Saint Paul School of Theology in May 2023, focusing on Christian sexual ethics. Angie is married to Jonathan Bell, who also serves on staff at Resurrection. Together they have six kids, a live-in sister who is active in Matthew’s Ministry, and a totally joyful life.

We have several plants at my house. My husband tends to all of them except for one. On my bedside table, I have a plant that is green. That’s all I know about it. When it starts to wilt, I put a little bit of water in the pot, and it magically comes back to life.

In the parable of the Sower, Jesus does a magnificent job of using what his crowds would have understood. In an agrarian society filled with farmers, shepherds, and other trades people, Jesus was speaking their language; the language of comparing our spiritual life to the seed. We are meant to identify ourselves and the way our spirit is growing or not. Is our relationship with Jesus being choked out by weeds? Have we committed to living with a good and upright heart like the seed that fell on good soil?

One thing Jesus doesn’t address is the plant on my bedside. What do we do when our spirits are dying? What do we need to bring them back to life? What do we do to grow closer to God? Do we replant? Re-pot? Dig it all up and start over?

Whether through our circumstances or behaviors, we may all have experienced a time when God felt very far away. Pastors are no exception to this reality. Sometimes we know right away that our spirit is weary and that we are in need of a drink from the Living Water that Jesus provides. More often, I think we wait too long to examine what’s within our spirit. When we are desperate, we cry out for something to bring us back to life.

What is that magic concoction that gives us life? Finding Jesus through engaging in the five essential practices is a great place to start. Through worshiping, studying, serving, giving, and sharing our faith, we can reengage in that which gives us roots. These practices take us back to the core of our being, finding a connection with the one who waters us, bringing us back to a vital life that produces fruit.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Wright, N. T., Matthew for Everyone, Part 1: Chapters 1-15 (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 166). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.