In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus describes four responses to God’s word—three lead to nothing, and the fourth to everything. People in this last category “hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown” (Mark 4:20).
Wow! That’s definitely something to shoot for!
But what does Jesus mean by producing a “crop”?
It means that your show evidence of God’s Spirit and love working through you. The seed of God’s word is planted in the receptive soil of your soul, and God’s goodness grows in and through you.
Another place that the word for “crop” in Mark 4:8 is used is in Galatians 5:22-23. There we’re told about the “fruit” (or crop) of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.”
It’s significant that love leads the list. It’s the governing or over-arching virtue. So producing a crop with your life has to do with leaving a legacy of love.
Sometimes it’s hard to see. There are frustrating days when you don’t feel very faithful to God’s word (the seed), or very successful in the love department. You don’t always see the results. But don’t despair. God can see them. It’s his crop.
That’s part of the amazing and encouraging thing. Your love outlasts you. Your love outlasts you because the Lord is doing it. (You are here for a short time; but he is here for a long time.)
Let God’s word and Spirit produce a crop through you, and leave a legacy of love. It’s a legacy because it will outlast you and be a source of nourishment for those yet to come.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Bibles quotes are from the NIV.