Matt 13:3-23; Mk 4:2-20; Lk 8:4-15
Mark 4:2-9 (New International Version)
(2) He (Jesus) taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: (3) “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.
(4) As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
(5) Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. (6) But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.
(7) Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.
(8) Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
(9) Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
It’s true, sometimes you say is it worth it? What is it all for? How come I can’t quit? Is there a reason to it all? Of course there is a reason!! Hold on; you’ll get a quarter and be happy with your quarter.
One of the greatest feelings as a Preacher is not the accolades, or the recognition (both of which are out of hand these days). It’s not the sound of the organ as you speak and spit the inspired, and in some cases the not so inspired word of God. It’s not even being involved in an emotionally charged, rejuvenating service. The greatest feeling for a minister of the Gospel, is the end of any service, (after looking over the crowd, preaching your heart out — proclaiming the good news, and wholeheartedly illuminating the path of righteousness,) witnessing a few hungry or maybe misguided souls offer their lives to God.
So you’ve been called for an assignment. You have contemplated and prepared, you pray then you feel confident, soon after, that confidence wanes. You pray some more, you question God…”Seriously God???” You wonder if you really heard Him. You pray more. God is silent. Now, in desperation you cry like David of the bible, and Jesus on the cross “My God, why have you forsaken me?” You shake yourself “Ok get yourself together” You wonder how effective you’ll be. You pray. You fast. You consecrate. You forsake everything from your friends, to your favorite TV shows, to your favorite foods, and maybe some family time gets sacrificed, all in hopes of changing lives.
You arrive and the venue is crowded. You pray for God’s help. Looking around, you see one or two approving faces and rotate between looking at them and the clock on the back wall. You share what God has given you to share. Your burden for the people is lifted, you’ve done your job and it’s in God’s hands now.
However, at the altar call you look around, and only a few seem receptive. Maybe even one, but you still can’t deny the joy and inspiration that ONE gives you. However, you can’t help but think, was it in vain? The prayers, the fasting, the consecration, the doubts, the missing out on dessert even… was it all worth it?
Well, I hope I can encourage you. All that is just the cost of a quarter (Twenty five percent ONE FOURTH). Jesus explains to us in this scripture that there will be some who will allow the word to be stolen from their hearts right away… hasn’t this happened to all of us? Maybe you heard something and said now that’s something that I can apply and change my life, then that little awful kid of yours has a fight in the church parking lot and your whole experience is ruined? Jesus then says some are too shallow to allow the word to take root. Yeah, been there! He next says some had it choked out of them so they could not produce — hey, there have been times when I was the choker! But then He explains that there is a QUARTER, a fraction, one fourth, go ahead and say it with me a QUARTER of the group that will receive the word on good soil, allow it to produce and multiply up to a hundred times.
Remember, with all the crowds Jesus was able to draw, he still knew that he would only get one-fourth (A QUARTER). Some were there for food, others were there for family, and many, I’m certain, showed up because of his reputation. There were many other variables that drew people, and still are. But don’t give up because of the Quarter. Sometimes that’s all we may see receive. But just as I was at one point or another in the non-receiving group, I had another chance. So will your “bad group” (The other seventy-five percent) because remember 1 Corinthians 3:6 (King James Version)
(6) I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
One hundred percent won’t come at the same time, so stay encouraged and be happy with your quarter, it costs a whole lot!