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As Jesus makes the shift into teaching by way of parables, he lays a foundation for understanding the Kingdom principles for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. Several helpful factors stand out: The most powerful element of the Kingdom lifestyle exists in a seed, and a very small one at that. Therefore the power of the Kingdom is not what is readily seen. It’s invisible, imperceptible and yet indelible in its markings on those who follow after Jesus and those they touch.
The second most important element of this Kingdom lifestyle is that it requires each follower to prepare his or her heart to receive the seed in order to establish its root, develop a shoot and bear fruit. Even as I say that, I realize that preparation of the heart may be more what you don’t do, than what you do.
– That you don’t allow the trials and troubles, which come against you to distract you away from having a receptive heart-that is leaning into the ways of Jesus and the Kingdom.
– That you don’t get caught up in worrying about your life and your world.
– That you don’t allow the riches of this world to deceive you into thinking they are more important than walking in the ways of Jesus and the Kingdom lifestyle.
If you don’t do these things, you will be able to keep your soil good and receptive to the seed of the word of God-the message of the Kingdom.
He plants a seed in the soil of your heart. Then he waits. Knowing that in time the seed will germinate, take root, and eventually transform you. From the inside out! Note that every one of these soils heard the Good News message. What made the difference was what they did, once they heard this powerful message-the message that is in the seed.
What does it take to be fruitful? This is obviously the point of planting seeds in the first place. Maybe the clearest answer to this question is found in Jesus’ teaching that he is the vine and those who follow him are the branches that are connected to the vine. What does a branch have to do to be fruitful? Nothing! The branch must make like a branch and remain or abide or hang on to the vine and the vine will produce the fruit through the branches.
To me, this is absolutely amazing! How is it going with you?