Dear Oakland Family,

     In Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8, Jesus taught about the Parable of the Sower (some Bible versions call it the Parable of the Soils).  Here’s a quick summary:  A sower (you or me, for example) indiscriminately sows seed (which is the Word of God) upon four types of soils (which are four types of people and their responses to the Word of God).  Jesus then tells His disciples what all the elements of the parable mean.  If you want to know “the rest of the story”, then I highly encourage you to study this powerful parabolic lesson.  It is worthy to note here, though, that the first three soils represent forms of rejection while the last one represents acceptance and the extent of multiplying that growth 30, 60, 100 times over!
Both biblically and mathematically, reaching others for Christ is not an “addition” process, but rather a “multiplication” process.  Jesus did not call us to invite people to “Come and see” as to add to what we already have.  Rather, He commanded us to “Go and tell” (Matt. 28:1-20) in order to multiply that which He has given us with the understanding that the others themselves will also multiply the same.  Still not convinced? How about this: What fruit does an apple tree produce?  Apples, correct?  Now, what is inside an apple?  Apple seeds? Yes, but don’t look at them as apple seeds.  Instead, look at them as future apple trees producing more apples.
Here is your challenge:  The next time you pray, ask God not to simply “add to our numbers”, but instead to use you to spread the fruitful seeds of His Word and the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ.

Stephen Littleton, Minister of Education & Counseling