Dear brothers and sisters in Christ
Have you ever considered yourself to be a farmer? Well in the Christian walk we are just that. Some of us are seed planters and some of us are the ones that come along and water the seed that has been planted.
1 Corinthians 3: 5-15
5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.
6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.
7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.
8The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.
9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.
10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.
11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.
14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
As I have been thinking of this whole concept of us being farmers in the kingdom of God I was considering the kind of seed that I am actually sowing. Am I sowing seed that is going to bring forth a harvest of good fruit which brings life into my life or am I sowing seeds that will reap a harvest of death?
As a mother and a wife the first place that I get to have hands on practice in sowing seeds are at home with my family. I hate to admit that a lot of the seed that I have sown into my children’s lives have been less than stellar and have brought forth a harvest that I was not really wanting.
What do I mean by that, well children are like sponges and they absorb everything that you say and do and because they recognize that you are in authority over them your actions and words become their plumb line. In the past I often did not model the things that I always wanted them to be.
I was motivated out of inner pride when parenting my children. (They had to be perfect or it was a reflection on me and my parenting style)
I had a short temper when they did not perform the way that I wanted them to, I often used sarcasm as a come back to their actions. The list is endless on all of the bad seed that I planted into their very impressionable lives.
(I want to let you know that once God brought to my attention what my attitude and actions were doing to my children, I repented and asked him to cover over my sin and help me to instead plant better fruit into my children. This he has done in abundance and here are some of the things I have learnt about sowing better seeds since then.)
I would like to draw your attention away from the bad for a moment and take you on a different journey and that is about the good seed that I did sow and try to consistently sow into my children now.
The good seeds of teaching them about forgiveness, whenever I mess up I always go to them and ask them to forgive me, (this is a hard thing to do as you have to humble yourself before them, but well worth the exercise).
Another seed that I have diligently planted into their lives is love. I have tried to model to them what it means to be loved and then in turn love others deeply from the heart. I have also sown the seed of loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
This is a challenge in any household but they have learnt to truly love their siblings deeply from the heart. They laugh and cry and play together all of the time. I greatly admire and even envy this relationship that they have with one another as I long for that same ease with my own siblings.
I have also sown the seed of Jesus Christ into their lives, my husband and I have diligently had family alter times, what do I mean by that, well we have set aside time every day where we get together and as a family read the word of God. We discuss what we have learnt, how it affects us and how to put it into practice into our lives. Then we pray as a family and ask God to take the word that we have learnt and help us to live it out in our lives.
This practice alone has yielded more good fruit than anything else that I could have done with my children. I am so glad that I listened to God years ago about implementing this into our family life.
I have also deliberately sown many other seeds in my children’s lives like, hope for the future, a good moral base by which to live their lives, teaching them right from wrong.
I have shown them that it is important to exercise self control in their lives. The apostle Paul says that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial for us. That is so true, as too much food and a lack of exercise will make you fat, but food is good and is needed if we are to live long. So teaching children how to exercise self control is essential to living a life that would be ultimately pleasing to God.
Another seed that I have deliberately sown in my life is the seed of words. Watching their words and how they use them is essential. In proverbs it says that words have the power of life and death and that is the absolute truth.
(Proverbs 18:21, The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 21:21 & 23, He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.
He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity)
Think about it, if we are using our words to speak life into the people around us, it promotes an atmosphere of life and love and encouragement, but if our words are constantly tearing people apart and tearing them down then that is also the atmosphere that we create around us.
My kids are always hearing me say to them, “So did you just speak life or death into the life of your sister or brother”.
This particular seed has brought a huge and bountiful harvest into our home, as the words that we speak to one another are words that bring life and love and respect into the home.
I have never heard my kids tell each other or their dad or myself that they hate us, as they have been trained to plant the good seed instead of the bad.
I would like to encourage each of you to think about the seed that you are planting in the field of your life, are the seeds bring a bountiful harvest of good fruit or are you seeing some bad fruit coming from your crops.
Bad fruit can be things like, lying, stealing, cheating, excessive selfishness, idolatry, lust for more stuff, treating others and yourself with disrespect; Ignoring God and his efforts to teach you a better way of living.
If bad fruit is being harvested I want to encourage you to repent to God for planting and cultivating bad fruit in your life as well as those around you.
Galatians 6 :7-10
7Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature£ will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
The bible is full of ways that we as Christians can learn to sow better seed into our lives, and into the lives of others around us. It is never to late to start again, it is never to late to plant better seeds in your life as God is the God of do over’s!
I pray that each of you today will be encouraged to continue to plant seeds in your life and in those around you that will bring a harvest of righteousness. God forgives us for the bad and then he mercifully teaches us to live differently in order to plant better seeds.