Harvest need #4 of 5 is “Rich Soil.”  Jesus’ parable of the sower in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8 makes clear that the message of Christ will bring about a variety of yields based on the hearts into which it is sown.  Not everyone will bear fruit and bring about a return. Out of the four soil/heart types mentioned in Jesus’ parable, only one brought about a mature crop. Yet that one out of four brought a return 30, 60, or 100 times what was sown.  So, we needn’t become discouraged when people reject the gospel or when after having received it they fall away.  Jesus knew this would happen.  We need rather to sow the seed of the gospel indiscriminately so that hearts will be revealed.  This kingdom principle sets us free from the urge to water down the gospel or diminish its demands.  Our presentation will not make a person good soil.  Only God can prepare a person’s heart.  Only the true gospel can bring the reign of Christ into a heart so prepared.

But how do we recognize rich soil?  Jesus paints a picture of it in parallel parables from Matthew 13:44-46:

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.” (NIV)

The person who joyfully surrenders all to gain Christ is rich soil.  These are the people we should invest in.  Attempts at persuading a person to piecemeal their heart to Christ defraud the kingdom of resources rightly spent on nurturing the already sold-out. We must tell everyone the great things God has done and help them count the cost of following. Those who consider giving up everything to gain Christ a ridiculous bargain, will be ready to obey him and experience his power in their lives.  Their radically changed lives become a witness before their whole web of relationships to the power of Christ.  These fruitful ones scatter seed throughout the entire field from which they have come and so bring in a mighty harvest for the King.

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