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Reckless and Generous

Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, … Some fell on rocky places, … Other seed fell among thorns, … Still other seed fell on good soil.
- from Mark 4:3-8

Jesus taught this parable to an eager and attentive crowd. As people jostled to hear him, he told them this story about a reckless and generous farmer.

In the right season, farmers prepared fields and scattered seed. Preparing fields could be back-breaking work: removing rocks, yanking out weeds, and plowing the earth. Seeds from the previous year’s harvest would be scattered on the prepared soil with the hopes that they would take root, grow, and provide life.

But something is a little bit off in Jesus’ parable. His original hearers could spot it immediately. Who scatters seed along the path or on rocky places or among thorns? How wasteful!

Imagine driving to your grocery store in the middle of the day and seeing a sprinkler running in the center of the parking lot. Imagine a basketball player taking a half-court shot with 25 seconds on the shot clock. Imagine watching someone wad up and throw $100 bills into a fountain over and over again. Why would you do that?!?

Jesus later says that “the farmer sows the word” and that the different soils represent different ways we receive a word from the Lord (more on that throughout the week). Today, we want to focus on the farmer’s reckless generosity. He is willing to scatter seed everywhere.

This reckless generosity reveals something to us about the character of God. He doesn’t hoard his word; he broadcasts it widely. He gives us countless opportunities to hear. He gives even the most hard-hearted among us opportunities to hear the good news about Jesus.

God’s kingdom is marked by the reckless generosity of the king. God’s desire is that everyone would hear the news about Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection … that everyone would hear that they can receive life from Jesus if they will believe in him.

Take some time today to thank God for his reckless generosity. Ask him to show you where you need to follow his example and scatter his word with a similar reckless generosity

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