Ground that Produces
As we finish our where we sow series, I want to make sure that we all receive the wholeness of the idea that in order to receive anything you first have to sow. Nothing comes from nothingness, but yield always come from sowing. Sometimes when we and where we sow affects how much we yield. In this day and time the enemy has tricked many in the church. Many people, by proxy of tradition or bad teaching, do not pay tithes, because the enemy has fooled them into thinking that 10% is too much. Many African American churches don’t help the poor, because many of our own parishoners are suffering with poverty. Some of us don’t give neither time nor money to the house of God, because we are too busy trying to turn up to impress people who don’t even like you or trying to lie to yourself in order to make yourself feel good about the bad decisions you have made. I know it is tight but it’s right! The truth of the matter is many of us are mad or upset about the yield, but don’t want to be responsible for where we are sowing! While we are pointing the finger at everyone else, some of us need to look in the mirror and do like Mr. Brown and say self you did that, self you sowed that, and self you deserve what you are reaping! When it comes to yield church we all have to be real with ourselves and deal with what kind of ground we have been sowing in. With all that I have been through, and all that God has brought me out of I don’t know about you but I am at a place where I am looking for a harvest! I am looking for some fruit! I am looking for a yield! Is there anyone else in the place tired of not getting anything from what you sow? Someone be honest with me and say Lord I am tired of no yield!
Jesus in the parable says something powerful in the first portion of our text today he said others fell on good ground and yielded a crop. Church let us wrestle with this text. Now Jesus has already parabolically showed us what good ground isn’t. We know that wayside ground is not good for sowing. Wayside ground is not good for sowing, because it is hardened from being trampled on and the seed does not penetrate the hardened surface. The seed being exposed allows the enemy or the birds to come and easily get it. Stony ground looks good but is not good ground, because of the hidden stony places beneath the surface doesn’t allow the seed to get rooted deeply enough to be nourished. When the seed comes up it perishes quickly due to having nothing to sustain it. The thorny ground is decent soil, but the thorns of life and people who are in our lives can choke out the yield that the fruit is trying to produce. Jesus through this parable tells us that these areas are not good ground, because all of them are non productive. So when Jesus says and some fell on good ground and they yielded a crop it made me question how does the good ground become good ground. When I think about my grandfather and old farmers they would always prepare the ground. Either they would allow this to happen naturally or they would work the ground to get it ready. Some ground needs to be broken up, because it is hard and not pliable. Pliable means it cannot absorb anything so you have to break it up in order for it to be ready. Some ground you have to dig deep into it and remove large stones and other things for it to be ready. sometimes when you are on some old red clay ground you have to go a little deeper in order to bring up what’s deep down in the ground so that the clay and the stones don’t block the harvest. Some ground is good but the weeds and the thorns in it will kill the seed that is planted by choking it out or not allowing it to breath fully. The ground is ok, but in order for the yield to come you have to chop up or pull up the thorns and the weeds. I am learning via this parable that the difference between good ground and the other three soil types is that one is ready and the others are not ready. Stay with me I am going somewhere. The good ground has already been broken up. It has been plowed up. It has already dug up the stones and that old sticky red clay. The thorns and the weeds have already been chopped up or pulled up and the ground is ready. Some of yall missed your shout, because no matter kind of ground you are right now. God can still work on you and cause you to be good ground!
See the soil represents our hearts. If your heart is hardened because you have been trampled over and walked on, you have to allow the water of God’s word to soak in and soften you up a little, and when you get a little softer God can then allow his word to plow you up. His word will teach you how to love again. How to care again. How to receive correction. How to be patient. How to live. How to talk. How to walk! This is internal work church. God can’t work on you until you let him in. When your soil is rocky that means you have some hidden stuff in your heart. You look churchy. You act churchy. You smell churchy. You sound churchy, but you are unfruitful because you never get rooted deep enough to withstand anything. You have to allow the Holy Spirit to come on the inside and get down into that deep stuff that no one can see. Sometimes we get fooled by what we look like on the outside, but God knows where the stones are. Stones of racism. Stones of bigotry. Stones of hate. Stones of sexism. Stones of selfishness. Stones of pride. Stones of sin. But I thank God that his Holy Spirit is a revealer and can help us identify the stones is us, so that we can break them up or dig them out to become good ground. These first two or internal issues of our own hearts. These are things we have to allow God to work on in us in order for us to become good ground. Then there are the thorns. Church the ground is ok and there is nothing wrong with the seed, but sometimes outside influences called thorns can choke out our yield. That friendship, that relationship, that boss, that career, that church, that pastor, that deacon, that influence, that out side thing that is holding you back is keeping you from being Good ground. Sometimes we have to allow our relationship with Jesus to teach us what’s good and acceptable in our lives. Some people, some places, and some things will have to go in order for us to be fruitful. Some family you got to cut off, because they never add they only take. Some friendships need to be cut off, because they never add good they only dump their bad stuff on you and weigh you down. Some relationships need to go. They only want something. Don’t make me have grown folks conversation in here. Their phone call comes either at the first of the month when bills are due, or after 10PM when well you know what I am talking about! This is external stuff that keep us from being good ground, and I want you to know that when you Jesus shows you a genuine relationship it will prompt you to cut off and cut out these thorny issues in your heart! Can I be plain honest sometimes getting to a place of being good ground hurts! It hurts to get broken up, it’s painful to dig up deep stones, and it is hard to let go of and cut down thorns in our lives, because the truth be told they wouldn’t be there if we didn’t like them. Church God knows what’s best for us, and if we trust God we can go from whatever ground we are to becoming good ground!
As I close church I just want to leave this last point with you. Notice in the text that Jesus says yield. Yield in the Greek is the word didomi. This Greek word has many meanings, but one of the main essences of the word is to give. Yield can be tied to the fruit or produce from the seed right. Ok now what messed me up is that Jesus said some 30 some 60 some 100 fold. Now before we try to argue how much either of these are let us remember that each one represent multiplying! This means if you become good ground that God will multiply what you have! Some of yall missed a quick shout on that one. What God has planted in you if you will allow yourself to be good round then God will multiply or grow what is already planted in you. Watch this now. Then Jesus says he that has ears let him hear! This hear is the Greek word Akouo which means to hearken. Hearken means to listen with your heart. So in order for you to become good ground you have to be in a position to listen with your heart, and receive God’s word with you heart! If you can receive it with your heart then God will give you didomi or a yield. Another definition for didomi is to give what is due or obligatory. This means that if we allow God to break up our ground, dig up our stones, and cut down our thorns He is obligated to give us a harvest in HIM! I don’t know about you church, but I am ready to productive ground for God. When he plants in me I want to be fruitful. When he sows in me I want to give Him a return.
Do you really think that God has allowed this pandemic season for no reason? Do you think God allowed everything to stop for no reason. No God was showing us our hard places, our stony places, and the thorns in our lives so that we can become productive ground and good ground. Notice in the parable the first two soils where internal. This is your stuff. These are your issues. Then he deals with the external issues the thorns. The blessing is this church it is not our job as pastors and teachers to break up anything our job is to just sow. If you are not growing if I am not growing or producing then I need to check my own soil. Somebody look at your neighbor and say neighbor check your own soil.