“Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop...” Mark 4:20
After spending six months with a jungle tribe, a missionary in the last century had led only one man to Christ. The man wanted to be baptized, but because of the difficulties in communicating the full message of the gospel, the discouraged missionary had doubts about the man’s sincerity. So he told him, “I’m going away for a year. When I come back, if you are still following Christ, I will baptize you.” True to his word, the missionary returned a year later. Waiting on the banks of the river to welcome him stood the entire village! “We have all trusted Christ and we now want you to baptize us!” his old friend exclaimed. The seed that had been sown in one man’s life had fallen upon good soil and the harvest was plentiful.
Soil type matters if seeds are to flourish. Heart-type matters if God’s word is to flourish. When His word is sown into a heart ready to hear, it takes root and produces a crop. That crop is soon evident to everyone else. Attitudes change. Interests change. Perspectives change. Sins that were once acceptable are seen as disgusting. A life once focused upon self-interest is now consumed with God-interests, or what the Bible calls “fruit.” This “fruit” is described in Galatians 5:19-23 and has eternal significance. It won’t vanish when this world does. Spiritual fruit results in God-honoring relationships, pure conduct, and new believers being added to God’s kingdom. One way to identify followers of Christ is to inspect the fruit of their lives (Matt. 7:16-22).
Identify some of the fruit that the word of God has produced in your life. Where could there be more?