27 JUNE 365 Days with Calvin

Commending Fruit-Bearers

But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matthew 13:23

suggested further reading: Ephesians 1

Those whom Christ refers to as good and fertile soil for the Word of God are people in whom the Word not only deeply and solidly roots itself but who also overcome every obstacle that prevents the Word from bearing fruit.

Is it possible for anyone to be pure and free from thorns? To answer that, we must realize that Christ does not refer here to those who are perfect in faith but only to those in whom the Word of God bears fruit. Though the fruit may not be profuse, yet those who do not fall away from the sincere worship of God are reckoned as good and fertile soil.

No doubt we ought to work hard to pull out thorns of worldliness in our lives, but even our hardest efforts will never succeed in removing all of them. Some thorns will always be left behind. But let us at least try to deaden those thorns so they may not choke off the fruit of the Word. This is confirmed by Christ’s teaching that follows, informing us that everyone does not yield fruit in an equal degree.

The fertility of the soil that has a 30 percent yield is small compared with soil that yields 100 percent, yet our Lord classes together all soil that does not disappoint the work and expectations of the seed-sower. Hence we have no right to despise those who produce a lesser degree of excellence, for the master of the house, who gives preference to one above another because of more abundant produce, yet bestows the general designation of “good” even on inferior soils.

for meditation: Some people seem to be naturally gifted leaders in the church, raise children in the faith with seemingly little effort, and succeed in evangelizing others at every opportunity without any hesitation. They communicate well spiritually, live close to the Lord, and are filled with Christ and genuine joy in believing. These 100 percent yielders intimidate us who struggle at producing even 30 percent. But according to our Lord, all believers are reckoned as “good soil” if the Word of God flourishes in them. Take heart in our Savior’s encouragement to stand firm in the faith, and ask for grace to bear more fruit in days to come, to his praise.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 197). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

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