May 20, 2019
The graduating seniors at FCS are nearing their last activities in their high school careers. Today, many of them are in Europe enjoying one last trip together as classmates. Each of our seniors has been influenced by godly teachers and counselors who have offered words of encouragement, but also of warning as they step out into the next phase of their life. One of those things is simply being aware of what is going to be said to them by college professors, by new friends, and by the world in general. They have been specifically pointed out to them that in this information age, the input of information from the world that they are stepping into will come in an overwhelming flood of words.
In the lives of our seniors, and all of our students for that matter, we often compare the words used to instruct them to seeds. Remember the parable of the sower in the Bible? Matthew 13:3-9 “Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus disciples asked Him why did he tell them this story? I believe that Jesus response is an appropriate explanation for all of the words that teachers and parents use to train up their children, and which for our seniors will soon bear witness as to how they were received.
If you have studied this parable you understand that the types of soil represent responses to the Gospel. He shows us in this parable that there are two ways in which to listen to the preaching of the Gospel and that there are two kinds of listeners. First of all, there is the listener who rejects the preaching. He is not interested in it and therefore bears no fruit. For this listener there is no positive change in his life as a result of the preaching. In this parable this person is represented by the three kinds of bad soil. Then there is the good listener. This is the one who receives the Word and bears fruit or whose life is changed. You can say concerning him, “The preaching made a difference in his life.” Matthew 13:11-13, “He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.”
Parents and teachers have invested hours and hours of time and volumes of words with our students. As our graduates leave for new classrooms and spend less time at home the volume of words increases from a different direction. Soon it will become apparent just what kind of soil our words have fallen on. Just as one might hear the Gospel, it is the response of the heart which will determine whether or not it takes hold and makes a change in their life, and it is no different for all the lessons taught by parents and teachers in a student’s lifetime.
There is a positive message here for parents and for teachers. Our encouragement comes in the consideration of the power contained in just one seed. If our words are like seeds, then it is those words that potentially will bring results in the lives of our students. That should be exciting, because even if they have listened to only some of our words, they can still bring results. In the case of the Gospel, God has promised that His Word will not return void. “Psalms 126:5-6, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”
Yes, it is time for our seniors to take the next step, but they will take all of those seeds planted by loving parents and teachers with them. All of our students have received words of wisdom from loving parents and faithful teachers this year. We will continue to pray that God will help those words to become life changing seeds in each of their lives that will help develop them into mature members of God’s kingdom.