As Jesus sat on a boat at Capernaum he spoke to the great crowd in parables, one being the Parable of the Sower. He said: “Behold, the sower went forth to sow; as he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side and the birds came and devoured them; others fell upon the rocky places, where they had not much earth: and straightway they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was risen, they were scorched, and because they had no root, they withered away. And others fell upon thorns: and the thorns grew up and choked them: and others fell upon good ground, and yielded fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty. He that hath ears, let him hear” (Matt. 13:3-10).
How many of us will produce in such quantities? It is possible! Certainly we can win 10, 20, 30, 60 others to Christ during our lives if we put for the necessary effort.
I have heard many say, “I just cannot do personal work of any kind. I don’t have the ability to do it.” There is not a Christian on earth who does not do this, to a certain extent. The apostle Paul wrote, You are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men (2 Cor. 3:2). The words of the apostle to the Corinthian brethren plainly show that the unsaved read the lives of Christians as if they were letters. A preacher is reported to have said to a very wealthy woman, “What did I say in my sermon tonight that caused you to come forward during the invitation song, confess Christ, repent of your sins and be baptized?” Her reply was, “Nothing you said, but the life of a member of the body of Christ I know is a fine Christian, and the life she leads is the sermon that made me want to become a Christian like her.”
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church, “But this I say, He that sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he that sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6). In the same vein Jesus taught: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together; running over, shall they give into your bosom. For with what measure you mete it shall be measured to you again” (Lk 6:38). Again, Jesus said, “And every one that has left houses or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive a hundred fold, and shall inherit eternal life” (Matt. 19:29). What Jesus meant by this statement is that the heavenly Father and Christ are to be given the preeminence and the things He mentions be made secondary.
The sowing program is far more important than any financial program. This has to do with sowing the seed of the kingdom. This seed will germinate and produce a far more important crop than any other.
It is for us to do the planting, leaving the matter of increase in God’s hand. Paul said, “I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6). In the ninth verse of this same chapter Paul says “We are God’s fellow-workers.” Christians are partners, co-workers with God in the salvation of souls. Don’t be afraid to sow the seed. God will take care of the harvest in His own way. His promise is, “My word shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please” (Jer. 55:11). We need not worry about the fruits to be borne: God will take care of that part of our cooperative effort.
From the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) we learn a lesson of infinite value to us today. The one talent man was afraid to sow. Because of this fear he lost all opportunities for a successful harvest. In the 30th verse of this same chapter, we are told the one talent man who failed to take advantage of his great opportunity was ordered to be cast into “outer darkness” and in that place there will be “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Whatever talent we may have, we must use it to the very best of our ability and the Lord will hold those responsible for misuse of it in the day of judgment if they neglect or willfully refuse to do so. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows unto his own flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows unto the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal. 6:7-10). Brethren, don’t be afraid to sow.