Why is Christian growth such a slow process? Why can’t we just get saved, drink water, shake well, and WHAM! SUPER-CHRISTIAN emerges? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that way, but there’s a reason. In Matthew 13:3–8, Jesus gave the classic Parable of the Sower, providing invaluable insights into Christian growth.

Christ Himself represents the Sower. The seed is the gospel. The same seed is sown throughout, but notice the difference in seed development. Some seeds fell by the wayside, where they were consumed by birds. Others fell upon rocky ground. They sprouted up almost immediately, but shriveled up and died in the heat of the sun. Still others fell among thorns, which choked them and robbed them of their nourishment. But some seeds survived. These seeds fell on good soil and reaped a bountiful harvest.

In football training, players are instructed not to start running toward the goal until they first catch the ball thrown to them. Likewise, before we get up and running spiritually, determined to cast out demons and triumph over the devil, we must first “catch the ball” by understanding the Word of God. We need to let it sink in, applying it to our lives. Otherwise, we will sputter and falter at the first wave of resistance.

Growth will happen, but we must give it time. Don’t be dismayed if someone else appears to be growing faster than you. Don’t give up! Just remember, an oak tree is nothing but a nut that held its ground.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.