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...as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside, and the birds of the air came and devoured it.
What a strange sight greeted my gaze as I looked out over the bay. There was old Pete the pelican bobbing around on the waves, and perched right over him was a sea gull. Looking more closely, I discovered that Pete had caught a fish, but the fish's tail was sticking out one side of his huge beak. What a dilemma the old pelican was in. He got his fish, but now to eat it he would have to open his mouth, and sitting right there ready to snatch it as soon as he did so was Mr. Sea Gull. He knew he had Pete right where he wanted him.
As I saw the wise old sea gull ready to grab the goods from the pelican's mouth, I was reminded of Jesus' parable about the sower and the fact that as some seed fell by the wayside, "the birds of the air came and devoured it." Jesus explained that this was a picture of Satan's antics in taking the Word from the hearts of those who, although receiving the message of grace, fail to understand and believe it.
How important it is that we not only receive the Word, but also that we study it, meditate and take it inside of us. Unless we do so, we are the losers. It is possible for the seed to be sown in our hearts and not really take root. How many there are, whom having been really blessed by a message, come out of a church service only to be met by friends who begin at once to talk about the weather, the ball game, business, world conditions or anything and everything but the Word of God that they just heard. And the first thing you know, that Word that had been received by them is snatched away, and the precious seed fails to bear fruit. The Psalmist declared, "Your Word I have hidden in my heart..." (Psalm 119:11). Remember, when the Word is sown, receive it gladly, meditate upon it intently, talk about it to others, memorize it and then allow it to bring fruit in your life.
Louis Abel is pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.