Daily Devotional

"Almighty God, Your Word Is Cast"


 

"Almighty God, Your Word is cast like seed into the ground; Now let the dew of heav'n descend and righteous fruits abound.

"So when the precious seed is sown, life-giving grace bestow That all whose souls the truth receive its saving pow'r may know."

After the disciples were ordered to stop preaching about Jesus and His resurrection, they prayed for boldness in speaking the Word. We may not always feel so bold in our witness. Will we say the wrong thing? Will the Good News be rejected because of something we said? The apostle Paul told the Christians in Corinth that he proclaimed Christ crucified among them "in weakness and in fear and much trembling" (1 Corinthians 2:3b). Paul's enemies agreed, commenting that the apostle's "bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account" (2 Corinthians 10:10b). We may relate to those unflattering descriptions when we feel weak or fearful in our witness and worry that our speech is "of no account." Weakness did not stop the apostle. In the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul continued to preach the Good News of Jesus.

Our hymn describes the way in which the message is proclaimed: "Your Word is cast like seed into the ground." In Jesus' parable, a sower scatters the seed of the Word. Sometimes the Good News is rejected immediately and never takes root in those who hear it. Others who hear may accept the Gospel, only to fall away later. Some people become distracted by earthly worries, and the seed does not grow. Some of that life-giving seed falls on good soil and through the power of the Holy Spirit, like a refreshing "dew of heav'n," the seed of the Word takes root and grows, producing the fruit of love and good works.

Jesus commanded His disciples to proclaim the Gospel, to scatter the precious seed, among all nations. We are witnesses for Jesus. We know the truth and its "saving pow'r," and we want others to know it, too. We are prepared to defend our hope in Christ whenever anyone asks about it, but we are to do so "with gentleness and respect" (1 Peter 3:15b). It is not our task to convince anyone of the truth of the Gospel. That is the work of the Holy Spirit. We are witnesses and we speak of what we know—Jesus' love, His death, and resurrection, and the peace that we have through the forgiveness of our sins. We pray that the Spirit would bestow "life-giving grace" on those who hear the precious Gospel. Because "neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth" (1 Corinthians 3:7).

WE PRAY: Almighty God, cause the seed of the Word to take root and grow in the lives of those who hear it. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Almighty God, Your Word is Cast," which is number 577 in the Lutheran Service Book.

Reflection Questions:

1. Do you like to garden? If so, what's your favorite plant to grow?

2. What kind of dangers might Paul face in proclaiming Jesus as God?

3. Do you take heart in knowing that it is God who gives growth to the Gospel message we proclaim? Does it take some of the pressure off?