Saturday, March 31, 2012
My friend Jilly has worked hard in her vegetable garden, and has reaped, too. She has shared photos with us and I hope someday to share a bit of her harvest (always good to have a dream!!) Spring brings beautiful blooms in orchards, too. The result of year round work by lots of people.
Jesus’ parables contained sowing and harvesting and Paul used the same concept in one of his lessons:
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 KJV)
It takes a lot more than planting seeds. Take a look at Jesus’ parable of the sower beginning in Matthew 13:3, Mark 4:3 and Luke 8:5. Then spend time with His explanation beginning with Matthew 13:18
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23 KJV)
When there are preparations – keeping the birds away, preparing the stony ground, removing the choking thorns – the seed falls on good ground. We can all fulfill a part in the preparation by showing our love for God and for our neighbors. We can remove stones that are in our own hearts. We can remove “the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches” that would choke the seed, not only in ourselves, but in others.
We don’t remove that from the whole world – we make the change in our own lives. That not only provides fruit in our lives, but provides a positive example for others, helping prepare their own ground.
It takes a lot of work to reach any harvest time. No matter what the fruit it takes God’s provision of soil, sun and soakings to provide the harvest. Texans who made it through last year’s drought can attest to that. Paul knew that, too, when he made reference to his planting the seed that Apollos watered. Neither one of them saw all of the harvest their work provided – it is ongoing today.
Paul’s writing of God’s inspiration continues to provide the seeds that have people seeking to learn more. Pastors today water those seeds, helping them bloom. God provides sustenance as we turn to Him in worship and prayer.
Paul , in a parenthetical, quotes Psalms 112:9 as he speaks to God’s provision of the seed, the bread, the sower and the fruit:
(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) (2 Corinthians 9:9-10 KJV)
Think of the process -- where do you fit before the harvest?