For nearly three months now we’ve been studying Matthew 13, the parable of the sower. This is the last blog on this passage.  If you are new to the blog you may wish to go back to November and reread the thread of the lessons we’ve been discussing. Bottom line: if a farmer expects to reap a harvest, the sower needs to prepare both himself and the soil.

For the message of the Kingdom to germinate and flourish in a person’s mind and heart, preparations must be made. A soil that is not prepared, struggles to receive the seed.  A heart that is not prepared, struggles to receive the Word of God.

Plowing prayer and plowing love in hard ground and hard hearts will test your limits. Farming (sowing) requires endurance. Endurance is a fruit of the Spirit. Understand that in doing B4T our work is not only about reaching people for Christ. The work Jesus has assigned us is also His way of His working within us to develop the fruit of His Spirit. And yes, Jesus is also working through us to impact the lives those around us. He’s working both in us and through us for His glory.

Embrace the need to endure. SO DON’T QUIT!  Your plowing is likely making cracks in the soil. Evidence may be seen in the improvement of the character of those you work with. Maybe some are even becoming better Muslims because of you. That’s ok! Endure in your plowing.

Plowing hard ground is not done in a day. If I may emphasize it again; plowing prayer and plowing love in hard ground and hard hearts will test your limits.  I believe this testing is a big part of our assignment in being overseas – to grow in Christ.

People will not change by being told to change.  People prioritize and believe what they see over what they hear. Therefore people need to see the Gospel, not just hear it. Most of us are working in the hard soil. I believe we’ve all seen deserts in places like China, Egypt, Morocco and California that have been transformed into lush productive farmland. With God’s help, I believe we can do the same spiritually. The key is in how we cultivate the soil.

If you’ve been out there working 3, 4, or 5 years. You are close. The harvest is coming. Endure. Cling to the hope that the harvest is coming. Keep plowing.

Plough in prayer. Plough in loving on-going relationships.  Be with the same hard-hearted people day in and day out—work with them. Does this guarantee a great harvest? No. All this is done to ready the soil to receive the seeds. But if we do our job, as Paul says, God will give the growth.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God makes it grow.  1 Corinthians 3:6

 

 

PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for other 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.