To Reap the Harvest First Plant the Seed

Plant the Seed Reap a Harvest

Our grandson came for a visit to sample the corn harvest from our little garden. He is old enough to know time between seeding and harvesting is lengthy. To reap the harvest we first plant the seed.

“Why can’t you plant a seed one day and eat corn the next,” he questioned as buttery juice oozed from the corners of his mouth.

As adults our queries are similar,

“Lord, how long…”
Why do clouds of promise evaporate before us…”
Where are You Lord now…”
When …”

Types of Seed

I have asked God for specific things on many occasions. Often what he offers looks quite different from my requests. I expect the finished product; He gives me the seed of a promise.

Seeds never look like the plant that brings the increase.

The Beginning

Here are some of the God seeds in my week:

  • a dream that became a  word of encouragement to someone needing it at that moment
  • four young girls who planted seeds of purpose and inspiration in me through a simple drawing that touched my heart powerfully
  • a prayer for a new acquaintance that turned into healing for her back injury
  • tears of joy and thankfulness with a young couple who have been on a trajectory of separation and divorce for several years … their marriage now being restored … this moment a valuable seed that will bring hope and courage to many
  • time invested in young women finish well a leg in their race God has marked out for them
  • an open door to a major conference for “Olivia & Me
  • increased opportunity to teach and minister to broader spectrum of people

Each is God’s seed of opportunity, ability or gifting; each must be planted into a bed of faith to produce.

Choice

 

Let it Grow

Seed reproduces when planted!

“The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.
Then Moses would return to the camp,
but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.”

Exodus 33:11

Joshua was given a seed of God’s presence. He stayed in it – resting and waiting there. Then later when it was his turn to lead, success was given to him. Success was the harvest of time in God’s presence. His success became the victory of an entire nation.

Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back.
Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live.
Your people will be my people,
and your God will be my God.”
Ruth 1:16

Ruth’s dedication to care for her vulnerable mother-in-law was a seed that wove through the genealogy of Jesus Christ. Through her the Saviour of the world would come. Her commitment to the God of Naomi became the forerunner of millions of others who would come to Christ.

Destroyers

 “…Simon Peter was standing by the fire warming himself,
they asked him again,
You’re not one of his disciples, are you?”
He denied it, saying,
“No, I am not.”
John 18:25

God’s grace is so incredible that even our greatest failures can become seed for propelling us into success! We know the end of the story. Peter became the apostle to the Jews, sharing the truth of gospel far and near. The seed of failure could have destroyed him! He chose to plant it deep in the soil of faith.

Stored Seed

There are many with great intelligence, talent and gifting, with overflowing resources and opportunities with ability to excel in many levels. Yet they have become shipwrecked or stalled out in their faith. Why?

Every one of these qualities is a gift, or seed, God bestows. Over the years, each of us are given many seeds. We might not even recognize them as God’s provision to the needs of ourselves or others.

 

“The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest…Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain…”But God said to him, ‘You fool!”
Luke 12: 13-21

How devastating to reach the end of our journey and discover we too have been foolish! This poor man already had barns filled. When more seed came, he continued to store it.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with abundance. Abundance is simply an overflow of God’s blessing. This poor man forgot the gift of seed was God’s.

 

Eat it Fresh

 

Like my grandson, savour the goodness of God’s blessing! At the same time be sure to plant the little seeds He gives. The harvest will be amazing!

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The Farmer Sows The Word – People Are Like Seed

The Word

Jesus sat in boat just offshore teaching; one parable tells about the farmer sowing the word – people are seeds. I have read this familiar parable often. “People are like seed,” is the phrase that caught my attention.

I see a parallel between my life and this parable in a new way this morning.

The Path

“As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.”
Mark 4:4

Jesus later explained that some people hear the word, but “Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.” (vs 15)

The Path

I grew up in a loving home; faith was not absent, but it was distant. We rarely attended church. A bible was present but rarely opened. I heard God existed, Christ came as baby and died as a man. There was no ability within me to connect the Word further. In my limited understanding God seemed distant and unrelational.

Like the parable, I could “hear” but I was robbed of deeper understanding!

The Rocks

“Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”
Mark 4:16-17

When I was 12, I went to a bible camp. What a great experience! It was here that I first “heard” the message of God’s love for me. God was no longer distant or distracted. His love and intention is for all to come into a personal relationship with Him. This is the reason He sent His Son Jesus,

born as baby,
holy and righteous in every way
to live pure
paying the price for my sin
on an agonizing cross
then rising to live again
exalted in heaven…

The truth of the Word hit my rocky heart breaking it! Such love beyond comprehension! Such a Saviour! Who could possibly reject such love?

Rocks

Just like the parable, “with joy” I received Jesus as my Saviour! But my life held no roots system – no one to support me in this new decision. My trouble and persecution was very minor, through parents who did not believe – prayer and consistent bible reading was not an acceptable practise in my home. It grieves me now to confess how quickly I fell away…..

The Thorns

It would take 10 years of painful wandering. At a point of utter desperation, I heard the Holy Spirit as He showed me He had never left me! I crumbled to my knees,

giving God back
every broken piece
of what remained
a fragile offering
insufficient
so little – so late…

“Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;
but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
Mark 4:19

To take a Christian from culture is one thing; to take culture from the Christian is another! Worries, wealth and desire have life gripping holds!

Thorns

God continues to deal with these, not because He is mean or demanding, but rather because they “choke the word, making it unfruitful” in my life.

There has been a long process of breaking these things in my life. I wish I could say it was quick and painless!

If I were totally honest, a large chunk of my praying has really been religious complaining about “worries, wealth and desire“. Only when I agree with God’s desire to see a fruitfulness in my life, will I be willing to leave these things behind.

Good Soil

“Others, like seed sown on good soil,
hear the word, accept it and produce a crop –
some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Mark 4:20

Hearing… accepting… producing! The quantity of production isn’t the most important! Producing is!

Fruitfulness

To reach our full potential of God’s purpose means

an intentional redirection in accepting God’s word
a deliberate move away from the things that would choke out life
a focused purposeful aim toward all that
He desires
leaving our own behind.

Consumer mentality never comes here! This is the place of actively

pursuing Holy Spirit
treasuring spiritual gifts
exercising legs of faith and
backbones of endurance.

Hearing is easy! Acceptance is a decision! Producing requires labour!

The Farmer Sows The Word – People Are Like Seed

So where am I now? Since accepting Christ and the finished work of the cross, I have left the hard path. I am intentionally walking in “good soil”. Thankfully, God continues exposing and dealing with rocks and thorns that effect my ability to root and grow completely.

More and more I see God’s potential and design for my life. Sometimes I even see a glimpse of “the crop” He is producing through me.

Refreshed, I move forward.

I see a moving forward in many people’s lives; a God positioning time!

The Word

God give us each the grace
to leave grumbling and complaining behind,
stretching forward to
hear and accept all you are saying
in my life and in the lives of others.
I desire to truly produce
a healthy and abundant crop
into your kingdom.