Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times. Mark 4:3-8
If you want to manage any organization to be productive, you have to set it up for effective operation. You have to train your colleagues so they are prepared to perform. You have to build their commitment through education and leadership. Competing goals that can cause the organization to lose focus have to be dispatched. Your ability to produce at a high level will be a function of the kind of organization you are able to build.
In our text for today, Jesus tells us that the same is true for our sharing the gospel. Think soil. What kind of dirt are you? Are you hard dirt – ignorant to the eternal value of what you have received? Maybe you are shallow dirt – uncommitted to the work of the Kingdom. Are you thorny dirt – so distracted by other goals you don’t really have time and energy to do the work to which God called you?
Your answer may be like mine. I am lousy dirt, replete with all those problems. But here is the great news for us. We can improve our soil! Pull up the thorns by throwing your competing goals out of your life. Grow your commitment to the gospel through prayer, sacrifice and working alongside God in His redemptive plan. Your dirt will get deeper. Soften your soil through praise, and love for God and your fellow believers.
Just like a poorly performing organization doesn’t have to stay that way, you don’t have to keep being unproductive, hard, shallow, overgrown soil. We can make an unproductive organization produce through good management of the business. We can make ourselves more productive through better management of ourselves. All it takes is a willingness to follow God’s leading and a commitment to pick up your shovel and go to work every day.
This week, improve your soil, my friends. Do the work of pulling up weeds, breaking the surface and tilling down deep. The reward of being a productive acre for Christ is worth many times the effort.