For Ladies - Sowing The Seed
When we hear the phrase “sowing the seed,” we most often think first about evangelism. However, as we look at scripture, we understand that the “seed” is the word of God (Luke 8:11) and, as such, there are many ways to sow the seed every day. Women have many wonderful opportunities to do so, and there are many examples in scripture of women who were actively involved in using their God-given abilities in many ways.
While the most pressing need all of us have is the salvation of our souls, other needs are also met through sharing the word. Very often, when physical needs or special needs are met with loving concern, people come to recognize their spiritual needs as well.
As we think about “Sowing the Seed,” I’ve chosen an Old Testament example for us to focus our thoughts on as we prepare our hearts and minds to be involved in seed sowing. Our thoughts in this lesson will be centered on Ezra 7:10: “Ezra prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.”
Ezra first purposed and determined within his heart to study the law of God and to live according to God’s instructions. He not only paid close attention to what he heard, but also to how he heard. Mark 4:24 and Luke 8:18 stress the importance of paying close attention to what and how we hear. Ezra prepared his heart to understand and act upon what he heard and, in doing so, was properly qualified to teach others. It became a part of who he was.
Ezra also had the right starting place for his actions and his life. He was concerned about seeking the will of the Lord first in his life. As a skilled scribe, he not only copied the law but also studied it and internalized the message. It has been said by some that Ezra could well have written Psalm 119. As we read that Psalm, we understand the importance of God’s word and the impact it has on our lives. We would do well to read it often.
Ezra’s life was one of dedication to God’s will, and he understood the importance of a proper example in leading others. We must never underestimate the power of a Godly example as we strive to communicate God’s word to others. Ezra was concerned not only with looking intently into God’s word but also applying it. Knowledge just for the sake of knowing puffs up. 1 Corinthians 8:1b. Knowledge, combined with love, wisdom, and application, humbles. Righteous living reinforces the message and makes it doubly appealing to those with whom we come in contact daily. God’s word, radiated through us, will have a positive impact on others. We are to let our light shine in such a way that others may see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven. Matthew 5:16. People in the world do notice and are often influenced by the difference they see in godly lives, attitudes, and behavior in ways that we often do not even realize.
Words are important as we communicate God’s will to others. How and what we communicate with our words influence others in a positive or negative way as we teach. We are instructed to “be ready always to give an answer to every man who asks a reason for the hope which lies within us.” 1 Peter 3:15. This includes a willingness on our part to study.
God’s word has the power to penetrate the heart! As Ezra opened the book of the Law and read from it, people responded to the message in a positive way. Before he did so, he was “grieved in his heart and wept” over the sins of the people and prayed that God would open their hearts to the message and forgive them. As you remember, Jeremiah, too, wept over the sins of these people before they were carried into Babylonian captivity. They did not respond to the message at that time in a positive way, but a different people returned from captivity and their hearts were open to God’s message.
A lesson for us to remember is that situations do often times make a difference in how people hear and respond and we should always keep doors open when sharing God’s word, remembering that, if a door closes for you, it may open for someone else. The harvest (according to the parable of the sower in Matthew 13) depends on both a sincere desire for and a willingness to receive the word on the part of the hearer, and a sincere willingness and desire to teach and encourage others in a study of God’s word on our part. -3903 Brewster Court, Waldorf, MD. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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