Waste and Extravagence in the Kingdom of God

As I've been teaching a class called Evangelism for the Rest of Us, I've been reflecting on one of Jesus' parables. I hope it will release you from the pressure we sometimes feel to "see results" in our relationships with seekers. In Matthew 13, Jesus talks about God as a Sower of seeds, some of which land in thorny soil, some on the road, some in rocky soil, and some on fertile soil. As you know, most of the seed doesn't do too well. The question has sometimes crossed my mind, "Just what kind of sower is dull enough to waste seed by throwing it on the road, in thorns and on rocky soil?" And then I remember, that the Sower is God, and the seed is the gospel, and that this testifies to God's extravagant generosity in showering his grace and gospel even on those not ready to receive it. We get to join in God's extravagant work, loving unlovable seekers and sharing truth graciously with hard hearts. When we do this we are co-laborers with God -- and even when we don't see results, love is never wasted. (Incidentally, this truth contradicts the impulse behind Calvin's doctrine of Limited Atonement which states that Jesus died only for the elect, thus ensuring that none of God's grace was wasted on the ungrateful.)

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