The Seed that Can Produce 100%

by Pastor Edwin Lehmann on February 2, 2024 in

Sexagesima Sunday – Pre-Lent 2 (Sufficient Grace)      February 4, 2024

Text:  2 Corinthians 11:19-12:10   Historic Series                       24:2426

Theme:  The Seed Can Produce One Hundred Percent.

During the planting season, the farmer goes into the field to sow seed. The seed falls onto different types of soil. Sometimes the seed can’t germinate and grow because the ground is too hard, and the seed can’t get into it. At other times the seed germinates and begins to grow into a plant. But something stops it from developing and the plant withers away, producing nothing. But some of the seed does fall into good soil, germinates, and grows into a strong plant that produces much fruit, “one hundred times as much as was sown.”
That is what Jesus described in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed. Through the story He seeks to relate spiritual truths to us by comparing the growth of plants in a field to the hearing of God’s Word and its growth in our lives of faith.
That seed of God’s Word is falling into your heart today, even now as you hear it. Into what kind of soil is it falling within you? Hard soil, weedy soil, rocky soil, good soil? Is it able to produce anything in your life of faith? What percentage of growth might the Lord see in your life? One Hundred Percent growth?

I. Was there something about Paul that made it happen?)
In our text is one in whom we must say The Seed of God’s Word Produced 100% – the Apostle Paul. What he accomplished, what he did for the Kingdom of God in living and spreading the Gospel was remarkable. We would have to rate his strengths and abilities high, wouldn’t we? Was there something about Paul that made it happen? Something that we also need? Rate whatever it was in Paul as high as you please, because it was high, certainly much higher than that of the false apostles who infiltrated the church and were seeking to turn the congregation in Corinth away from Paul and the truth of the Gospel.
Earlier Paul had warned the believers in Corinth that these false apostles “preached a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached and a different gospel from the one you received” (11:4). But the people put up with the false teachers anyway and the bad seed that they were sowing. They didn’t stop, nor did the Corinthians stop them from preaching. In fact, the false teachers presented themselves as “super-apostles,” superior to Paul and the real apostles.
It makes one think of the mega-churches and leaders today who act
like “super-preachers,” yet do not proclaim the gospel in its truth and purity. They often distort Scripture’s teachings to their own liking, teachings on sin and grace, Baptism and Communion, heaven and hell, millennialism, the rapture, election, the crown not the cross, and other doctrines. At times some seem more bent on their own popularity and on calling attention to themselves rather than proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. Paul found it necessary to speak against such “super preachers” or “super apostles” as he called them, and the things that set him and the true apostles apart from them in ministry.
Those false “super-apostles” carried on a comfortable ministry, an extravagant ministry, a polished ministry, a ministry in which they boasted in all that they were and did, yet a ministry in which they really didn’t work for God’s Kingdom but for themselves and their comfort and popularity. They were “super-apostles.” Paul couldn’t understand how the people allowed themselves to be drawn into such things which were contrary to what they had learned from him. So, he began our text with a stinging, yet loving warning to the members at Corinth: “You gladly put up with fools, since you are just so wise. In fact, you put up with it if anyone makes you his slave, robs you, takes advantage of you, looks down on you, or strikes you.”
Truly wise people can put up with those who don’t know or understand something. But truly wise people cannot tolerate fools of any kind, especially not boasting and bragging fools. And the sting of Paul’s remark lies in the implication that such smart people, as the Corinthians were, are bigger fools than the fools they indulged. For they readily indulged the “super-apostles” and tolerated from them one spiritual abuse after another.
What a sad state of affairs it is when people, who ought to know better, deprive their souls of the truth of God’s Word and go on allowing others to deprive them and their children of the Gospel. Paul could hardly believe this was happening to his dear Corinthians. So, he decided to show them the difference between him and the false teachers. He said, “If it is necessary that I boast, I will boast.” But what a different type of boasting it was from that of the “false apostles”. “I will boast of the things that show my weakness,” Paul said.
Now, who boasts about their weaknesses? Do people who want to make an impression upon others go about bragging about those things they are lacking, that show how truly weak they are? Don’t people brag about what makes them great or what they accomplished and not about their losses or what overcomes them? Hmm. This is different – Paul’s weaknesses – not spoken in self-pity, not wanting people’s sympathy, not seeking glorification for all the troubles he endured.
He talks about his hard work in the Gospel, about the multiple whippings, frequent jailings, shipwrecks, hair-raising escapes he had to make, the dangers in travel and from people, all which he endured for the sake of the Gospel while the “super apostles” sat in luxury. He also told for the first time about his wondrous look into heaven that God gave him, but he couldn’t and wasn’t allowed to describe it. Remarkable what Paul endured and received!
We ought to stand astonished, mouths open, considering all these things which marked Paul’s life of faith. Was there something about Paul that made this happen? Something special that he had or developed within himself that other people didn’t have? No! In fact, Paul felt like a fool in “boasting” like this. His success had nothing to do with anything about him. A Hundred Percent rating in God’s Kingdom never lies in what man is or what man does or in what strengths and abilities a man has in himself.

II. It always lies in God’s grace and strength working through him.
All these things that happened in Paul’s life, the things that rate him high in our estimation as the example of one who bore One Hundred Percent fruit – all these hardships and things he endured that we somehow romanticize and make glorious for kingdom work – they really showed only one thing, not Paul’s personal greatness but his utter, humiliating weakness before God.
Escaping like a fugitive in a basket in fear under cover of darkness – that’s not glorious. Floundering in the sea, almost drowning – that’s not glorious. Whipped and beaten like a criminal, stoned and left for dead, in danger of robbers, wild animals, hungry, cold, lacking clothes – that’s not glorious. And the one thing that he might glory over, somehow being the only person living on earth who had been given a miraculous glimpse of heaven, he couldn’t and was forbidden to talk about. Instead, he was given a “thorn in the flesh,” something that hurt, hampered, and he felt held him back from ministry – “a messenger of Satan” he called it. There was nothing about Paul but weakness. And we must be as aware of our own total weakness in ourselves as he was.
If there is a Hundred Percent of ourselves in which we must be aware in our lives of faith it is this: we are One Hundred Percent weak. The rating of what the Seed of the Word Can Produce in us never lies in something about us or in us. It always lies in God’s grace and strength working through us. That understanding is one of the most blessed understandings that the Holy Spirit can give. Paul explains how that worked in his life this way.
Three times he begged God, earnestly pleaded that God would remove the burden from him. But the Lord replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, because my power is made perfect in weakness.” Ah, where one is weak and knows that he amounts to nothing before God, there God can step in and through such a person accomplish great things by His grace and power, not man’s. You can pour nothing into a container that appears to already be full. But into an empty container you can pour something of worth.
We are and must confess to being empty containers into which God can then pour His grace and power. He alone Can Produce One Hundred Percent growth in us and through us in His Kingdom as we humbly listen to His Word. For that is what grace is all about:
– our weakness, but Christ’s strength in us,
– our sin, but Christ’s righteousness for us,
– our guilt, but Christ’s innocence in our place,
– our hell, but Christ’s heaven that He prepares for all who believe,
– Christ, our all in all, our sufficiency in our weakness.
In looking and relying on Him, He will fill us with His grace and strength. Then The Seed Can Produce One Hundred Percent the fruit which God will use in us. Knowing that, we can say with Paul, “Therefore, I will be glad to boast all the more in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may shelter me” (literally, ‘spread His tent over me’). What a glorious and comforting picture that is – the almighty, gracious Christ spreading His saving tent over us to cover our sin and weakness, making us One Hundred Percent productive for Him. God grant it to us in faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

Zion Lutheran Church of Springfield

(A member congregation of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod)

4717 S Farm Rd 135 (Golden Avenue)

Church phone: 417.887.0886                 Pastor’s cell phone: 417.693.3244                       email:

You can also find us on Facebook

Sexagesima Sunday – Pre-Lent 2                 February 4, 2024

“Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!” Luke 8:8

Welcome: The family of Zion welcomes you as we worship the Lord today. We encourage children to worship with us. However, if you need to leave with your child, there is a nursery room to the right as you exit the sanctuary. The rest rooms are located in the hallway between the sanctuary and the fellowship hall. Visitors, please sign our guest book to the right, just outside the sanctuary. We’re glad that you are here and pray that through our worship the Lord grants you peace.

U p o n   E n t e r i n g    G o d’ s   H o u s e

“God, our ears have heard. Our fathers have told us the work You performed in days long ago. It was Your right hand and Your arm that saved them. Help us! Redeem us because of Your mercy” (Psalm 44).

W h a t   T h i s   S u n d a y   i s   A b o u t

God’s Strength Made Perfect in the Word. Last Sunday’s lessons began to turn our attention towards the Lenten Season. They impressed upon us the great fact that we are saved through God’s love and kindness by grace alone. All is undeserved. Life and salvation are gifts of His merciful generosity, for which we dare not bargain lest grace be lost.

Today’s lessons add the thought that we are saved by the Word alone and through faith in that Word, for in our weakness and sin we can do nothing without God’s strength behind us. The Word is the power that works faith and its fruit in our lives. It is important for our salvation, comfort, and encouragement to know that though we are weak in ourselves, God’s strength is made perfect in us through the Word. But the Word can only produce fruit within our hearts and lives if we listen to it and receive it with open hearts.

To that end we pray: O Lord, You are the strength of all who put their trust in You. Mercifully grant that in Your Word and power we may be defended against all adversity, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

– T h e  W o r d   o f   G o d  f o r   T o d a y –

(The Lessons of the Day are from the Historic Pericope Series of the Christian Church.)

The Old Testament Lesson: Amos 8:11-12

The Prophet Amos warns of God sending a terrible famine of the hearing of His Word. It is a result of the people’s complacency and rejection of the Word.

The Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9

Through hardships, persecutions, and a “thorn in the flesh” God enabled Paul to see God’s grace at work. His grace is sufficient. It taught Paul reliance on the Lord and enabled him to endure all things for Christ.

The Gospel Lesson: Luke 8:4-15

In the Parable of the Sower and the Seed Jesus pictures the power that is in the Word of God. When not rejected the seed of the Word is effective in bringing forth life and abundant fruit. However, the way the heart receives the Word produces different results.

O u r   P r a c t i c e   o f  H o l y   C o m m u n i o n

Out of deep love for the truth of God’s Word and precious souls, we follow the practice of Close Communion in our congregation. This has been the practice of Christians for centuries and reflects the Bible’s teaching on unity of faith in the reception of the Supper (1 Cor.10:17). It does not judge a person’s heart but anticipates agreement in that which God says. Since we do not wish to put anyone in the position of declaring such agreement with us before study in the Word is possible, we ask that only those who are communicant members of this or another Wisconsin Synod or ELS congregation come to receive the Sacrament.

The Organist: Jane Rips      

The Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Point to Ponder: “A great preacher was asked if he had grace enough to be a martyr. He replied, ‘No. What do I want with a martyr’s grace now? If I am ever called to be a martyr, then a martyr’s grace will be given to me. What I need now is grace for my present circumstances.’

“That is right. Whatever is allotted to us in the way of tribulation will find God’s grace allotted in sufficient abundance to meet it. Let us thus live on God’s strength, moment by moment, so that, ‘as our day is, so shall our strength be.’ He has promised, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee. For my power is made perfect in weakness.’”                   — author unknown

Outline of  Our Worship

The Preparation

Opening thoughts on the Service.

The Entrance Hymn: #633

Order of Worship:     The Service: Setting One with Holy Communion: page 154-160

Prayer of the Day

The Ministry of the Word

Amos 8:11-12

2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9

Gospel Acclamation: Epiphany     page 161

Luke 8:4-15

Sermon Hymn: #895

Sermon: 2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9     The Seed that Can Produce 100%

The Nicene Creed pg.162

Our Response to the Word

Prayer of the Church: pg.164

The Offering

The Lord Blesses Us

Preparation for Holy Communion   Hymnal page 165-169

(Visitors: Please read the box on  page 2 regarding Holy Communion)

Consecration and Distribution

Distribution Hymn: #663

Thanksgiving & Blessing   Hymnal page 170

Closing Hymn: #803+

Silent Prayer

Sexagesima Sunday – Pre-Lent 2   Historic Series

Old Testament Lesson: Amos 8:11-12 A Famine of the Lord’s Word

11 Look, the days are coming, declares the Lord God, when I will send a famine into the land—not a famine of bread nor a thirst for water, but rather a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. 12 People will stumble from sea to sea and from north to east. They will roam back and forth seeking the word of the Lord, but they will not find it.

Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 11:19-12:9 Boasting in Human Weakness

19 You gladly put up with fools, since you are just so wise! 20 In fact, you put up with it if anyone makes you his slave, robs you, takes advantage of you, looks down on you, or strikes you in the face! 21 I am ashamed to say that we were too weak for that!

However bold anyone might be (I am speaking in a foolish way), I am going to be bold too. 22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s seed? So am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I am speaking in a crazy way.) I am even more. I’ve done more hard work, been in prisons more often, been whipped far more, and I’ve been close to death many times. 24 Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. One time I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. I have spent a night and a day on the open sea. 26 I have often been on journeys, in danger from rivers, in danger from robbers, in danger from my own people, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the wilderness, in danger on the sea, in danger among false brothers. 27 I have worked hard and struggled. I’ve spent many sleepless nights. I’ve been hungry and thirsty. I’ve gone without food many times. I’ve been cold and lacked clothing.

28 Besides those external matters, there is the daily pressure on me of my concern for all the churches. 29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who falls into sin without my being distressed?

30 If it is necessary that I boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is eternally blessed, knows that I am not lying. 32 In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas kept the city of Damascus on alert to arrest me, 33 but I was lowered in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped from his hands.

12 I must go on boasting, although there is nothing to be gained. So I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ who, fourteen years ago, was carried up to the third heaven (whether in the body, I do not know, or out of the body, I do not know—God knows). And I know that such a man (whether in the body or out of the body, I do not know—God knows) was carried up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words that a man cannot possibly speak. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses. Indeed, if I wanted to boast, I would not be a fool, because I would be speaking the truth. But I refrain from doing this, so that no one will think more highly of me than what he sees in me or hears from me.

Therefore, to keep me from becoming arrogant due to the extraordinary nature of these revelations, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me, so that I would not become arrogant. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that he would take it away

from me. And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, because my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will be glad to boast all the more in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may shelter me.

Gospel Lesson: Luke 8:4-15 Parable of the Sower and the Seed

As a large crowd was gathering and people from one town after another were making their way to him, he spoke using a parable. “A sower went out to sow his seed. As he sowed, some fell along the path. It was trampled, and the birds of the sky devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground. As soon as it grew, it withered away, because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns. The thorns grew up with it and choked it. Other seed fell into good soil. It grew and produced fruit—one hundred times as much as was sown.” As he said these things, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!”

His disciples asked him, “What does this parable mean?”

10 He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest I speak in parables so that ‘even though they see, they may not see, and even though they hear, they may not understand. 11 This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the path are the ones who hear it, but then the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts to keep them from believing and being saved. 13 Those on the rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root. So they believe for a while, but then fall away in a time of testing. 14 The seeds that fell into the thorns are the ones who hear the word, but as they go on their way they are choked by the worries, riches, and pleasures of life, so they do not mature. 15 And the seeds in the good ground are the ones who hear the word with an honest and good heart, hold on to it tightly, and produce fruit as they patiently endure.

The Holy Bible, Evangelical Heritage Version® (EHV®) copyright © 2019

Calendar & Announcements for Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church















Next Sun.


9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

With Holy Communion

online -Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study



Pastor will attend the IA/MO pastors Southern Conference

Winter Study Institute…

at Grace LC. Columbia, MO from Monday through Tuesday 11 am Midweek Bible Class









9:00 am

Divine Worship Service

online – Facebook

10:15 am

Fellowship & Bible Study






A Brief Bible Study on God’s Word for Today

Preaching the message of God is not a popularity contest. The size of the crowd and the level of cheering is not what it is all about – being faithful in speaking God’s Word is. Sometimes that ruffles feathers. The response and the obstacles in life are humbling but should lead us to pay attention to the message and not the messenger.

The Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 (the answers are found on the back side)

  1. Does a greater level of faith guarantee God will grant your prayer request?
  2. For what reason did God not remove that specific struggle Paul was experiencing in his life?

Those We Remember In Our Prayers: Greg Miller; William & Laurie Moon; Pauline Jaeger; Kirsten Jaster (Laurie Moon’s sister); Greg Pierson (Long’s son-in-law); Libya, (Jodi Milam’s granddaughter); Barbara Long; Kathy Workentine; Robbie Woessner; Liz & Roger Lisenby; Lois Wiese; Kay Schmidt at Quail Creek Rehab after tumor removal; Liz Lisenby at home after heart valve replacement; Norine Richardson following pace-maker procedure.

Divine Call Sent At the joint call meeting of Zion and Peace two weeks ago this past Thursday, Pastor Jason Enderle was selected to whom our call for pastor will be sent. He is 38 years old and presently serves Cross of Glory Lutheran Church, Washington, MI. He and wife Hannah are blessed with 2 children, 2 years old and under. Please keep Pastor Enderle and family in your prayers over the next few weeks as he prayerfully considers where the Lord would have him serve in His Kingdom of Grace.

Forward in Christ’s next edition for February has arrived. There are copies for family and friends in the narthex. Also, the next edition of Meditations’ daily devotions, beginning the end of February, will be found there.

Upcoming Services and Events

Monday-Tuesday, February 5-6 – Pastors’ Winter Study Conference at Grace LC, Columbia, MO

Tuesday, February 13 – Monthly Church Council Meeting

Thursday, February 15 – First Midweek Lent Supper and Worship with Holy Communion

Friday-Saturday, March 15-16 – Youth Retreat at Christ Alone LC, Dardenne Prairie, MO – “Preparing to Give an Answer”

The Week in Review

Last Sunday Worship: 22; Bible Study: 15; Midweek Bible Class: 6; Offerings: $1,100.

 Next Sunday’s Lessons:               

Quinquagesima: Jeremiah 8:4-9; 1 Corinthians 13; Luke 18:31-43   (Historic Pericope Series)

Answers to Today’s Epistle Lesson Brief Study:

  1. Often well-intentioned Christians will say that someone’s situation didn’t get better because they didn’t have enough faith. Paul was surely a man of great faith. The Lord had revealed to him things others had never seen and heard. God is not a “genie in a bottle” to respond to our shortsighted requests in prayer. Ultimately God’s loving plans for us dictate His wise, caring response.
  2. The Lord knew how sinful nature can pull us away from Him (especially pride). The “thorn in the flesh” was God’s tool to keep Paul humble and to keep him connected to his real strength—the Lord. When we are “weak,” we despair of ourselves and finally give the task over to God. God’s power stands out more brilliantly with the “miracles” He accomplishes when we are “weak.”

This week I am praying for……     


Pastor Edwin Lehmann

Preacher: Pastor Edwin Lehmann