Today’s Bible passage, Mark 4:26-29, gives us a succinct and powerful way of thinking of the gospel. It’s so quick you can read it in five seconds and so powerful it will affect you the rest of your life. First read the passage and then I’ll give you the five second version:
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” –Mark 4:26-29
Think of the expression, “You reap what you sow.” It means you’ll have to pay the consequences for the all the wrongs you’ve done. You can’t escape your past. The seeds of sin will become a harvest of punishment and destruction.
Now for the good news. Here’s the gospel in five seconds: You don’t reap what you sow, but God reaps what he sows.
At the beginning of chapter 4, verses 1-20, Jesus told another parable about a farmer. He clearly taught the farmer was God, the seed was the word of God, and the soil was people. We have no reason not to keep the same understanding of the components of the first parable in our passage today.
God plants his word into our lives, just as a seed is planted into the ground. God watches over the seed, day and night, protecting it and caring for it. He patiently waits for the kingdom of God to grow in our hearts. As soon as the kingdom of God has grown up fully in us, he harvests it.
The good news of the gospel is even though I’ve sown many seeds of sin into my life, I don’t reap the harvest of a life of sin. Instead, I get to keep the harvest of the seed that God has planted in my life. The fruit of sin is death, but the fruit of righteousness is life. The harvest of sin is destruction, but the harvest of Jesus is resurrection. Thank God he put the seed of his word into my life!
You don’t reap what you sow, but God reaps what he sows and gives it to you. God plants perfect seed in you and you get to have the harvest! If you have received the word of God as a seed in your heart, then you will not reap the harvest of your life of sin. Instead, you will reap the harvest of Jesus’s perfect life of faithfulness and love. You don’t reap what you sow, but God reaps what he sows in you and then he gives it to you for eternity.
- What are the “sin seeds” you sowed into your life that you are most concerned about? Confess them to God. If this honest confession doesn’t ease your conscience, then confess these sins to a trusted person in your life.
- Have you received the word of grace into your life? Do this by trusting God’s love for you in Jesus Christ. Rely on the life and death of Jesus to deal with your sin and make you whole and acceptable.
- If God has sowed his word into your life, what will he reap? What is the harvest he will get for himself from the ground of your life? Do you accept yourself as much as God accepts you? Why or why not?