Do we realize the influence we have on those around us? Although we may think that no one pays attention to us, we influence more than we realize. Notice this parable of Jesus.
“The kingdom of God is like this,” he said. “A man scatters seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day; the seed sprouts and grows, although he doesn’t know how. The soil produces a crop by itself—first the blade, then the head, and then the full grain on the head. As soon as the crop is ready, he sends for the sickle, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29 CSV).
This is how it works in God’s kingdom. Seed is scattered. As the Parable of the Sower is in the same context (Mark 4:1-20), and it identified the seed as the word, the seed that is scattered would make sense to still be God’s word. We scatter seed by teaching people about Jesus.
Sometimes it may seem that nothing happens. If the day after we planted seed in our garden we went out to see if anything had come up, we would be sadly disappointed. We realize that as far as crops go, these things take time and patience.
But isn’t it the same when we are teaching people about Jesus? Some people may immediately respond to God’s word while for others it may take some time. There have been numerous times in my life when I have taught people or encouraged them in their walk with Jesus, but nothing seemed to happen. Sometimes it is years later that I discover that they have become Christians and have grown into strong, spiritual leaders. Sometimes they have told me that it was something I had said or taught them years earlier that helped them get on the right path.
We need to make sure that our lives are consistently being lived for Jesus and that what we teach is always from God’s word. People are watching us. People listen to us – even if we think they don’t. Jesus said that we need to make sure our lamp is being seen: “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn’t it to be put on a lampstand?” (Mark 4:21).
Who knows the influence we may have on someone, just because we took the time to encourage them and point them in the right way. When the planted seed grows, it will be ready for the harvest.
May we always take opportunities to speak a good word for Jesus.
Readings for next week:
9 October – Mark 3
10 October – Mark 4
11 October – Mark 5
12 October – Mark 6:1-29
13 October – Mark 6:30-56