Cultivate the Ground
by Sylvia Huffnagle
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Gen: 2:15: And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (Cultivate it)
1Cor: 3:6-9: I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building. (This scripture is to show that cultivation takes place in human hearts.)
Mk: 4:14-20: The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended. (This is the fainting referred to in Heb: 12:1-13.) And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirty fold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
Those on stony ground--without deep roots fainted. Mk: 4:17, using the Amplified Bible, sheds light on why they fell away. It says they immediately were offended--became displeased, indignant, and resentful and they stumbled and fell away. In Matt: 13:21 it says—when the trouble comes they were repelled and began to distrust and desert him whom they ought to trust and obey and they fell away.
How did those whose heart was good ground manage not to faint as the flighty one did?
Jas: 1:2-8: My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
The next category of believer’s soil is okay, but they have other things growing in their heart besides the Word of God--there are weeds and thorns growing there too. The weeds and thorns (other priority interests) choked the Word and it bears no fruit. In the Amplified Bible, it says thorns are the cares and anxieties of the world, the distractions of the age, and the pleasures and delight and false glamour, and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things and that they creep in and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.
In this parable Jesus covers everything that causes a church or person to be non-productive, stagnate, immature, and/or even dead--some seed fell on good ground and brought forth fruit, thirty, sixty, and even one hundred times as much as was sown--they are the ones who hear the Word, and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit with patience.
Why do we need all that much patience? Because we already read that Satan wants to snatch the Word away. And we already read that tests and trials come because of the Word sown. And we read about people letting other things come in and grow in their hearts and that these things choke the Word of God out.
The fourth reason is Mk: 4:26-28: And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. (It takes quality time.) God assures us in Gal: 6:9, that we shall reap in due season, if we faint not.
Yet, another point is how much understanding the person has. In Matt: 13:23 in the Amp. V. it says the person with the good soil grasped and understood the Word and therefore yielded a good harvest. That ties in with what Jesus said next in Mk: 4:23-25: If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath. The Amp. V. says, the measure of thought and study you give to the truth you hear will be the measure of virtue and knowledge that comes back to you and more besides will be given to you who hear. This brings me to the next point, take heed what you sow.
Gal: 6:7-9: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.(There’s the warning about fainting again.)
In Prov: 4:20-23 we read: My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
In Rom: 13:14 we are told to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for indulging the flesh--put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature-to gratify its desires (lusts).
This all has to do with sowing and reaping. If you sow soap operas, guess what you are going to reap. If you sow babbling ‘Talk shows’, you will become a babbler. Whatever you are feeding into your computer (mind) will come out. If you do not feed it in, it cannot come out--garbage in, garbage out.
If you have chosen to be Christ-like, you must feed much on the Word of God. If you want to overcome, you must feed much on the Word of God. If you want to be protected from lies and the liar, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want to know how to handle trouble when it comes, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want faith in God's promises, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want to know the truth, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want strength to avoid temptation, you must feed on the Word of God. If you want to have the right attitudes toward all situations so that you can avoid resentment, frustration, anger, pouting, and anxiety, you must feed on the Word of God.
Cultivate your gardens!
© Sylvia Huffnagle
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