Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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The Seed of the Word
Steps of Spiritual Growth
Terry R. Baughman
“Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).
The potential of the seed is never realized until it is planted in the soil and allowed to grow. As long as the seed is stored in the barn there will be no germination or growth. For the seed to reproduce its kind it must be sown in the ground, watered appropriately, and warmed by the sun. It is no surprise when the fresh shoots of a new plant emerge from the ground and reach for the sunlight. The power is in the seed and it is manifested when someone takes the seed and begins to broadcast it into the prepared soil.
Likewise, the implanted word will bring life into the dormant soil of our spiritual beings. James said it will save your souls. The power of the Word should never be underestimated. Anything is possible with God and His Word will produce faith in the hearts of every believer. As Paul said, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). The Word of God is effective to produce results as it is faithfully shared and consistently received.
Jesus explained that the seed is the Word of God in the parable of the sower. In the parable He spoke of various types of soils. The seed fell on good soil, but also on rocks, along the wayside, and among thorns. The seed was the same for all. There was nothing wrong with the seed, but at issue was the soil. The wayside soil was ready for birds and prey to find and feast on the bounty of good seed. The soil was hardened and would not allow the seed into its covering where it might take root, grow and provide something of value for those who come later.
The rocky soil was a ready place for plants to find root and grow, but because of the shallow soil hidden in crevasses of the rocks, the growth would be short lived and the certain death would result. Finally, the thorny soil represented those who where choked by the undergrowth and never allowed to develop. Jesus said, “The cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word” (Matthew 13:22).
Concerning the good soil, Jesus said, “He who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit” (Matthew 13:23). The criterion for being good soil is those who hear it, understand it, and bring forth fruit!
Everyone starts as an infant. It is always the babies who demonstrate the rapid growth of our children. Peter concluded, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious” (1 Peter 2:2–3). He saw nothing wrong with feeding milk to a new baby. Actually, that is entirely appropriate and necessary. However, there will come a time when the diet needs to be changed to continue providing necessary nutrition for continual growth. The writer of Hebrews said, “Solid food belongs to those who are of full age” (Hebrews 5:14). The milk of the Word will produce growth to the point where meat is required in the diet.
It is the seed is the word of God that will produce the germination of new life and spiritual development leading into Christian growth. Share the Word!
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food” (Romans 5:12).