Monday, February 2, 2015

Support Your Local Firemen

submitted by Kerry Patton
 “And He (Jesus) spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow…”Matthew 13:3

Many years ago I attended a renewal conference for pastors in College Station, Texas.  The keynote speaker called several attendees up to the front and announced that we were going to form a fire department.  He pointed to the first minister and said “Now, your job is to answer the phone.” To the next minister he assigned the job of driving the fire truck.  To another he assigned the responsibility of keeping the hoses in order on the truck.  Yet another, the speaker assigned to keep the bell on the truck shined and to ring it when necessary.  And lastly, the speaker assigned the job of feeding the fire house mascot. “You will feed the dog.”  Then the speaker added: “Okay, on the count of three, everyone state clearly their job…altogether…One, two, three!”  And at the count of three in unison – each of these ministers stated their assigned jobs: “Answer the phone!” “Drive the truck!” “Mind the hoses!” “Ring the bell!” “Feed the dog!”  To which the speaker interrupted loudly: “NO! YOUR JOB IS TO FIGHT FIRES AND SAVE LIVES!!” Immediately, the assembled ministers had a look of shocked humor on their faces, for they realized they had been bamboozled!…But they did also get the point of the speaker’s illustration: While we have many tasks as ministers of the Gospel and even as members of the body of Christ, we all share a single job – to communicate the Gospel of Jesus in how we live, how we love, and how we serve others; fulfilling the Great Commission of Matthew chapter 18.

Keeping the Main Thing the Main Thing
I’ve only selected the passage above from the story of the Sower so I can highlight a certain portion: “…the sower went out to sow…”  

·      Question: “Why did the sower go out?” 
·      Answer: “To sow.”

The sowing was not incidental, nor was it accidental.  It was intentional.  The very reason the sower went out from wherever he was, was to sow.  There is no indication that he was out doing anything else and suddenly came upon a blank spot of soil and decided to sow.  Nor does the story communicate that an accidental dropping of seed occurred as the sower went about his daily routine.  The sower purposely went out to accomplish a singular task.  He went out to sow seeds. 
·      Why did the sower go out to sow seeds?

·      Because a harvest was necessary.  Without sowing, there is no harvest.
That is why we sow seeds…because we expect to harvest from what we sow.  No one sows seed in their garden and prays for crop failure.  We sow to reap!

We know from reading the entire passage of Matthew 13 that the Sower is representative of the disciples of Jesus, the very men who were being sent by Jesus, to go and illustrate; to communicate the message of the Kingdom of God…that seed which would be sown onto/into the soil of the hearts of men and women.  This sowing…this evangelizing…was the task of the disciple.  Whatever else they would put their hands to, this was their job.  It was their number one priority.  They were sowers.  They would sow.

To Do List
Just about everyone has one of these at one time or another: a To Do List.  We make lists because some things are important.  They are important enough that we can’t allow them to slip away and go undone.  No doubt, you are like the rest of us…you are busy.  You have plenty to do!  My intent is not to place yet another responsibility upon your overburdened shoulders, but to place before our attention once again that most important responsibility that has always been ours…from the very first day we became believers in Christ, and followers of the same: We are to be sowers.  It is our Main Thing that we are to keep as The Main Thing; no matter whatever else we may find ourselves to do in this life.

Too often however, we approach the concept of sowing the seed of the Kingdom, or as we would say more clearly: sharing our faith, incidentally, or even accidentally.  Truth-be-told, for many followers of Jesus, the responsibility of communicating our faith is so unanticipated, that we make neither preparation, nor expectation to do it whatsoever.  We may trust though, that should the Lord guide someone into our path, that maybe…just maybe if that happens, he will give us what we are to say…and the boldness to say it.  Well, okay.  If that approach gives you comfort and peace...But that isn’t the approach of the sower.  The Sower went out to sow.  Why?  Because a harvest was necessary!
Why do we share our faith?  Because a harvest is coming…and if we don’t communicate…if we don’t scatter that seed, over all those diverse types of soil (the various stages of readiness of the human heart), the lost will never know of God’s love, mercy, and his grace.  That is why we sow.  That is why we sow intentionally.  “…The sower went out to sow…”

What if I made plans for sharing the love and message of the Gospel with others tomorrow?  What if I actually prepared to do it and set my mind to accomplish it?  What might happen?

Almighty God, help me to become a sower of seeds. In my going about, in my everyday living, make me a communicator of your Gospel.  Send me out to sow.  In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen.

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