By Julian Wells
“And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, ‘A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.’ As he said these things, he called out, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’” Luke 8:4-8 ESV)
Much of my Daddy’s success as a farmer relied on being able to recognize soil that was unsuitable for yielding a good cotton crop. That is why much of the acreage surrounding our home lay fallow when planting season arrived while he would lease other fields whose soil was more suitable. But even the good soil required careful preparation before the first seed was planted each year. As in so any aspects of life, preparation is crucial to success.
The same is true in our call to be witnesses among the people God places in our paths. As I consider my own personal faith journey, I can’t point to any one person who led me to accept Christ as my Savior. But I can name numerous people whose cumulative actions and words through the years prepared the soil of my heart so that the seed of the gospel finally took root.
Take time to reflect on those in your life who are most responsible for preparing the soil of your heart to receive the good news. Feel free to honor them in the comments section below.
For me, two people come to mind. My father’s mother, Myrtice Wells, (Granny Wells) was widowed very early in life, leaving her seven children when the Depression happened in 1929. She outlived five of those seven children. And yet, her faith in the Lord never wavered. And the second was my wife’s mother, Lois Causey, who was the greatest prayer warrior I’ve ever known. For them both, the Lord was their constant companion and dearest friend.
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” As you digest that verse, stop and ask yourself, “Does my life reflect the hope that Peter is talking about- a hope so visible that it would prompt such a question? Do I live a life that demands an explanation?”
Every personal interaction with an unbeliever is an opportunity to till the soil of their hearts to one day be ready to receive the seeds of the gospel in faith or to harden it further. Choose wisely. Their eternal future may depend on it.
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV)