Jesus spoke with His disciples about mustard seeds a couple of times. I used to have one in a glass globe on a bracelet as a reminder of the potential in the smallest of faith.
And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. (Luke 17:6 KJV)
I’ve been thinking about potential.
I was looking at apple seeds -- odd looking, elongated and varied in size. Their fruit is good to eat and nutritious, though eaten in large quantity, apple seeds themselves are poisonous. Yet singly, each seed has the potential to repopulate the species across our planet. That's what caught my attention -- potential.
Of course, that's true of any seed, but the apple reminds me more of humans than most others. Their fruit can be pleasantly sweet, or pungently sour; suitable for snacking or better for baking. Whole apples can be stored for months, dried sections keep for a year. Apples are nutritious; they can be eaten raw or cooked; baked whole or made into apple butter; juiced to drink or made into jellies.
We enjoy the trees for the beauty of their flowering, their fruit and for shade. We would miss them if they all suddenly vanished. If there was one remaining seed, it would have the potential to provide new trees, new fruit, then new seeds to plant even more. John Chapman took this to heart and became the American legend Johnny Appleseed.
But, most tree seeds do not produce a plant resembling the parent. Grafting is necessary. When you purchase an apple tree from a nursery, you'll find a grafting scar, Just as Romans 11 speaks of branches “graffed” onto the tree, necessary to provide the right fruit.
Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. (Romans 11:22-23 KJV)
These examples show us potential – the potential of providing a strong plant with good fruit and spreading it around the world.
We must look at our own potential. Are we capable of producing good fruit? Could we repopulate the gospel over the entire earth?
How prepared are we to fulfill this potential? If we had to, how much of the Bible could we reproduce? Can we name each of the books? How many verses are memorized? Do we know the Roman Road?
How many references do we know to support our doctrinal beliefs? Do we speak of these outside our church? Do we study to learn more? To share more?
Take a serious look at potential – of service to our Lord, of supporting salvation for others. Grow that potential, with the strength and support of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5 KJV)