We Focus on the Gospel Seed Because We Care About A Good Yield

“Other seed fell on good soil and produced grain, some hundredfold, some sixty, some thrity.  He who has ears, let him hear.”
                    Jesus Christ, Matt. 13:8-9

I grew up in a small farming community in North Dakota.  Each spring all the farmers were busy getting their machines and equipment geared up for planting.  There was a buzz in the air as the farmers talked about what to plant and what kind of seeds they were going to purchase.  It seemed as if the whole farming community could be found having informal planning meetings and discussion groups held at the local Cenex and Bakery.  Though there was one exception, there was a farmer that I knew that wasn’t really into the whole seeding and planting thing.  Rather, he was more about harvesting.  It seemed to me that the majority of farmers had their equipment ready to go with quality seed by May, but not this farmer.  He wasn’t really concerned about planting.  He wasn’t worried about good seed.  Rather, he was focused on a good yield and a good harvest. 
Often times in the Christian life we can fall into the trap of believing that the study of the Word and the study of the doctrine of Justification by Grace through Faith are impractical.  We come to believe that what counts and what is important is how we live and how to lead a pure life.  We want what’s practical, we want to focus on the fully grown crops, we want to focus on the visible results and we want to harvest.  We say to ourselves, “let us not get bothered by doctrine, beliefs and study; let’s keep it practical and applicable.”  C.F.W. Walther, an old conservative Lutheran Pastor and Theologian, comments on this rationale saying, “That is exactly like saying to a farmer, ‘do not worry forever about good seed; worry about good fruits.’” 
One of my friends, who is an agronomist, has shared with me that one of the most important things for a farmer is that he finds and selects a good quality seed.  He shared with me that a farmer not only wants to find a genetically good seed but also seed that is pure, without weeds.  The very reason for a farmer focusing on finding a genetically good and pure seed is due to the fact that he does care about the end result, he does care about the yield of the seed and he does care about a good harvest.  The farmer doesn’t want to sow weeds or genetically dysfunctional seeds because that would affect the yield and harvest.  C.F.W. Walter goes on to say, “Is not the farmer properly concerned about good fruit when he is solicitous (i.e. concerned) about getting good seed?”    
The same is true for our Christian life.  If we want to foster the ‘living out of the Christian life’ we don’t focus on ‘right living’ rather we focus on ‘the message of the cross.’  The only way to encourage right living is to promote faith, faith that has an object… the object of Jesus and His forgiveness of sins.   Just as the farmer who wants a good harvest plants pure seeds, so the same is in the Christian life.  We continually focus on the pure Gospel seed which automatically bears the fruit of love and the desire to serve God.  We love because he first loved us.  (1 John 4:19)  In theological language:  sanctification flows out of justification; sanctification is a fruit of the seed of the gospel.   Simply put, we focus on the study of the Word and the study of the doctrine of Justification by Grace through Faith because we do care about Christian living.   
Therefore, let us all the more simply hear, feed upon and rest in the precious Gospel seed; the story of the cross.  May God continually scatter the Gospel seed upon us and may we simply receive it by faith.  May God, through the power of the Gospel, continually sanctify us through and through for His glory!