In Mark 4, we read the parable of the sower. Parables were a kind of extended metaphors using the common topics/characters/things of the day in order to teach truths. Lots of people could easily relate and understand farming analogies.
We read that the sower of the seed cast his seed and it fell in 4 places with different results:
- Along the path – where the birds came and snatched it up right away.
- In the rocky ground, where there was no depth and it quickly died
- In the thorns, when it started to grow, but was choked by the thorns
- The good soil – where it grow, yielding fruit many times over.
I’ve heard someone say that many American Christians are the “third seed” type – as Jesus explains in v18 that the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
Am I a 3rd seeder? Am I unfruitful in my Christianity? Or is life choking it out? Do I consider other things in life more important than God?
How do we nurture a faith that will produce fruit? 2 Peter 1 gives us great instruction – we grow in our knowledge of the Word – the Gospel of Jesus, and we strive (‘making every effort’) to cultivate the spiritual ruits in ourselves so that we might be effective and fruitful for Jesus.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV)