Posts Tagged ‘Seed’

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Conversation © Created by Ross Cochrane

Psalm 1:1-6 – THE STORY OF CHAFF – A Conversation

A conversation between the Chaff, the Tree, the Seed and the Gardener.

CHAFF: I care for no purpose but the flight. I care for no worth other than to rise high above the trees and there to roll and ride the breeze with all usefulness abandoned for a brief instant before the scattering. I am the chaff that separates until nothing is left or useful. I am untouched by the gardener’s hand, transient and far from His voice. I am separated from the life of the seed to ride on the wind with the illusion that I am free. I care not to think that I am unsustained by the dryness of a parched husk, storm battered and unsubstantial, fruitless and rootless, disconnected from Christ and hope, scattered, even in myself, and in the end useful for nothing but to feed a fire (Matthew 3:12).

TREE: I too love the wind that blows through my being, the heady heights from which sunlit vistas and scenic horizons are seen. But I am not scattered but resilient, not useless but resourceful and timeless in my adventures. My windswept branches are within the boundaries of my belonging. There is an integrity of being that means I am free to be who I am within the borders of my abiding in Him. I am sustained by the gardeners care and connected to the life He gives, fruitful and fit for service to be all I was created to be.

There is worthlessness and scattering that comes from not knowing Christ. A uselessness of one’s being. A transience. Life that blows away. There is no sustaining, or fruitfulness or prosperity. Worthless, lifeless, windswept, scattered, insecure, separated from the seed-life, there is no reality for life’s capacity, no integral existence or fruit or purpose by the riverbank, just a scattering in the storm. Even in the earth, chaff will not grow.

CHAFF: Am I to be judged because I have no roots? Am I to be condemned because I do not respond to the Gardener’s touch? I do not belong to those who sprout their platitudes and delight in belonging to their stand. Yes, I am lost and yes, I want to be. No responsibilities. Free.

SEED: Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to each one, but in the end it leads to death.” We two were so near once, and we look so much alike, yet in the end, we are separated as you disappear in the wind. Such is the judgment you have chosen. “For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction” (Psalm 1:6 NLT).  

CHAFF: You who love the Gardener, you talk like Him, act like Him, stand with Him, listen to Him, delight in every interaction with Him, even bear fruit that tastes like Him. The Gardener watches over the path of your life. In some ways, I envy you.

TREE: Then listen! …Today the Gardener is giving you the choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster, … between blessings and curses, Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! (Deuteronomy 30:15-19 NLT).

Seek Him and you will grow roots instead of rebellious sails. Know Him intimately and you will grow to great heights. Trust Him implicitly and the miracle of life will take place. Then when the storm comes you will not simply be dismembered and scattered. Proverbs 10:24-25 (NLT) says “The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted. When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation”.

He is calling you to come to Him. He will give you right standing with Himself. If God is for you, who can ever be against you? He did not spare even His own Son but gave Him up for you. Can anything ever separate you from Christ’s love?

CHAFF: But you too experience the storms of life. Where is the Gardener’s love then?

TREE: Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loves us.

CHAFF: What is love? It is as meaningless as life.

TREE: I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—and if you believe in Christ not even the powers of hell can separate you from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate you from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:30-39). Come chaff and experience the miracle of the seed.

THE GARDENER: “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. They will be condemned at the time of judgment. Sinners will have no place among the godly. For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction” (Psalms 1 NLT).

Without delighting in the purposes of God, whatever other purposes we may have are inevitably lifeless and worthless, fruitless and rootless. Chaff blowing in the wind may look good for a moment but it decries a life of barrenness. The flight may seem exciting, rising to great heights at times and rolling and visiting places that are always new, but it will scatter and divide and not equal the heights reached of a growing tree nor find the fulfillment of a fruit-filled branch or the integrity of abiding in Christ. The journey of chaff is transient.

The miracle is that there is a choice. The Gardener invites you to choose life.

Pastor Ross

Matthew 13:1-17 – A BACKHOE WOULDN’T GO ASTRAY! – Part 2

A Backhoe wouldn't go astray!

Just as well He didn’t come to HOLLYWOOD. I can see some of his key people pushing back the fans who crowd in and just want to get close enough to touch the edge of his coat or get His AUTOGRAPH. The PAPARAZZI are out in force and the CRITICS are out to get Him. TV channels want exclusive INTERVIEWS. He is on the cover of TIME magazine. There’s a wax statue of Him in Madame Tussauds and He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. OPRAH wants Him on her show and little ACTION FIGURES of Him are already appearing in the shops. He has big business SPONSORS with a shoe company that makes sandals and there’s a clothing line. Eastern style is in. A BIOGRAPHY of His life and miracles is being written by 4 different authors and He has a MOVIE CONTRACT. There’s even a PERFUME brand called Nard which costs the earth with His picture on the bottle.

Wait a minute! No, this is not about “15 minutes of fame”. It’s about “sowing and reaping” longterm. It’s not “The Farmer wants a wife”. It’s the FARMER WANTS A CROP. Jesus may have achieved CELEBRITY STATUS but He is not interested in walking out on the water to IMPRESS the crowd! He is here to stir them to LISTEN to a simple message that will IMPACT their lives.

He goes and sits by the lake as people gather. How big is the crowd? I don’t know but soon it is so big that He decides to teach them from a boat. It’s no auditorium with special lighting effects, fancy sound system and huge screens to display His Bible references, but it will do.

He has already had a busy day, but now the master story teller begins and the crowd get’s quiet. The first story is pretty basic, nothing particularly riveting here. He weaves the facets of His story around a farmer who sows a crop on four different soil types with limited success. In our day it translates to a businessman who makes some bad investments and one good investment.

You know the story – a “farmer” scatters his seed in his field. Some seed falls on the HARD GROUND and birds eat it. Other seed grows in ROCKY soil, and it wilts because it doesn’t have deep roots. Some seed grows in a THORN infested area and the thorns choke the tender plants (Matthew 13:3-8). And some grows in “FERTILE SOIL” and produces a crop.

Is it only me or does anybody else in this crowd think that this farmer is fairly IRRESPONSIBLE with the way he goes about sowing his crop? I mean he hasn’t PREPARED his field very well. There’s still rocks, shallow soil and thorns, as well as some good soil. You’d think he’d clear the weeds and remove the rocks and plow the field before he sows the seed. What kind of farmer does this?

This farmer doesn’t seem all that concerned about getting rid of the OBSTACLES TO GROWTH first. He just absently scatters the seed on an UNPREPARED field. Seems like a weird thing to do. He needs to have a methodical plan if he wants to get a return. A wheelbarrow, a shovel and a pickaxe, and a backhoe wouldn’t go astray of course, but all he is interested in is scattering seed. How irresponsible and WASTEFUL is this?

Someone said “The QUALITY OF THE FIELD – determines the QUALITY OF THE YIELD.” Is he looking to sowing a crop for a harvest or feeding the birds?

The fact is that this farmer isn’t about to FORCE the soil types to do anything. He accepts me as I am but He doesn’t want me to stay that way. It seems this is a co-operative farm and by the time He sows He has already allowed ample opportunity for me to respond to the backhoe, crowbar and pickaxe. John the Baptist puts it this ways “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” … ‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!’”   (Matthew 3:2-3 NLT)

Let’s face it – unless I change, then I’m not going to be able to RECEIVE what He is offering. It’s pretty obvious that the dirt He is talking about is me, and this is about as down to earth as you can get when it comes to describing my spiritual state. The question is have I already responded to the REPENTANCE SHOVEL until the ROCKS are removed, some HEALING SOIL SOFTENER to aerate the HARDNESS of my heart, to the pulling out of the WEEDS of bitterness until I have a receptive attitude. Jesus says in effect “I’ll do the sowing and the growing. You do the believing and receiving.”

God bless you as you allow repentance to turn the hardened, shallow and distracted parts of your heart in order to receive all that God intends for you and make your life fruitful. For me, a spiritual backhoe and crowbar wouldn’t go astray at times!

Pastor Ross

Matthew 13:1-17 – MAYBE IF I ACTUALLY LISTENED FOR A CHANGE! – Part 1

Ears to hear?

In the middle of an argument, my Mum would say something like this – “Maybe if you LISTENED for a change, you would understand what I am trying to tell you!” So often I am not so much LISTENING but simply waiting for the other person to finish so that I can get across my point of view. Not really a very teachable position to be in. Ears to hear but unwilling to listen.

Joan is 99 years old and she feels that her world is so isolated. Even with hearing aids, she has to listen carefully to pick up anything I am saying. Ears that don’t hear well but more than willing to listen.

In Matthew 13 Jesus says “LISTEN!” with even greater authority than my Mum and with a voice that even Joan can understand. He addresses this problem of how different people are responding to Him. I can get caught up in all the arguments, but the real issue is to do with LISTENING. MAYBE IF I LISTENED…

Just a simple story. Jesus is obviously speaking about something important, but as I read, it doesn’t seem all that significant. The question is “Am I going to miss what He is trying to tell me because of my preconceived ideas about Him or because I insist on my own points of view?” Maybe if I listened….

It’s been a BUSY DAY for Jesus. He has been doing some amazing miracles and teaching with incredible authority. He has been bombarded with a steady barrage of artillery from the Pharisees by way of insults and challenges. It’s usually the religious people who criticize Jesus the most. He does not allow this to distract Him and encourages others to stay on track and LISTEN. Ears to hear.

He says in effect that listening is like a “farmer” who has seeds to plant and he goes into the field and scatters them. The seed that falls on the “FOOTPATH” is eaten by the “birds”. Other seed grows in “SHALLOW SOIL” with “UNDERLYING ROCK” and it wilts because it doesn’t have deep roots. Other seeds grew too, but they grew in a THORN infested area. They grew up and the thorns choked the tender plants (Matthew 13:3-8). We’ve got some thorny weeds in our garden like that.

It seems that this farmer does have some “FERTILE SOIL” in his field and it is the only ground that produces a crop worth harvesting. Even then he doesn’t get a very good crop in terms of his overall investment in seed. The crop he does receive from the fertile soil doesn’t all give him a 100% return. Some of it only yields 30%, and some 60%.

Just a simple story without explanation. In fact Jesus doesn’t seem as if He is going to give me an explanation at first.

But He goes on to tell me that anyone with EARS TO HEAR should listen and understand (Matthew 13:9). So this is not meant to be just a nice story. It has significant meaning and implications that are worthwhile for me to understand and apply. Is that the FIRST CLUE to being FERTILE SOIL – having EARS TO HEAR?

Is He talking about faith when He says “He who has ears to hear”? I don’t know yet. One thing is clear. There are those who don’t hear and don’t understand (Matthew 13:11-17). Apparently it takes an INTENTIONAL HEARING if I am to understand anything Jesus says. Or, like the Pharisees, I can remain far too intentional about not listening to anything He says.

So the invitation Jesus gives me is “Listen!” God bless you today as you respond to Jesus by saying “What would my world look like if I listened to what Jesus is saying here and spent time intentionally seeking to understand how it applies to my life today.”

Jesus looks to me as He speaks to the crowd in Matthew 13:9 (NLT) and says “Anyone with ears to hear should LISTEN AND UNDERSTAND.” “OK Lord, You’ve got my attention. I’m listening?”

Pastor Ross