Mark 4:26-29 (NIV)
26 He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. 27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
As a scarecrow standing out her for weeks I have seen many exciting things. Today has had to be the most exciting. Today vegetables were taken from the garden. Red tomatoes, leafy lettuce and crowns of broccoli all on the first day of harvest.
It is one of God’s greatest wonders to watch a garden grow. After preparing the soil, planting the seed, watering, and fertilizing, all a person can do is watch the plants grow. If the conditions are not right, the plants won’t grow to maturity. So it is with our walk with God. We have the responsibility of preparing our hearts, and planting the word of God in our hearts. We have to water our hearts with prayer. But only GOD can truly cause the growth. He provides the right spiritual conditions for us to grow in Him.
The type of seed that we sow into the soil of our hearts determines what kind of crop we’ll get. There have been times when a seed manufacturer slipped seed into packets I bought that contained weeds and weed grass. Of course, this means more weeding once the bad seed grew up out of the soil. This is what it is like when we sow bad things in our lives.
There are a variety of bad seeds, which represent the desires of the “flesh.” The seeds of the “flesh” are those things which are opposite of God’s will, and His desire for our growth. Some examples of bad seed are:
Excessive television, Obsession with things, Pornography of any type, Aimless thought life, Gossiping, Slander, Exaggerating, Bragging, Unforgiveness, Bitterness, Hatred, Greed the list seems to be endless.
Of course, we can sow things that will build up our spirit, and this is like sowing good seed into the soil of our hearts. Sometimes thinking of what we can plant as good seed is so simple; it merely takes a friendly reminder to start doing it:
Daily reading and meditation upon the scriptures, Prayer, and fellowship with God the Father, and with His son Jesus, Reaching out to help others, sharing our faith, resources, time, and money to be a blessing wherever there are needs, Praising and thanking God for who He is, and all He has done for us, Thanking others for their kindness to us, Listening to uplifting music about the Lord, Reading books about God, and other people’s experiences with the Lord, Taking time to pray for others, including when you assemble together anywhere, Meeting with other believers regularly for fellowship, edification and encouragement, Sending a card, a note, or as letter to someone who needs our love, Making a phone call to a friend, Loving those who are your enemy, or who demonstrate hatred towards you, Forgiving others when they wrong you; never holding a grudge against someone, Leaning on God during the hard times. This list is endless also
The things we do indicate that the amount of time and energy that we invest in seeking God will be the measure of what we harvest. It is not necessarily just a matter of doing more things for God, but of surrendering our whole person and life to His will. Jesus is the supreme example of being wholly given to God’s will. He is our example. He is the Master. We are his servants.
Many Christians are lukewarm without even knowing it! They have become satisfied with status quo Christianity. To them, going to church, putting some money in the offering basket, and reading a few scripture verses are enough. Some don’t even do that. These kinds of believers will harvest very little of that which is of eternal value. It takes discipline, and a continued seeking of God to harvest plentifully. It is allot of work at times to serve the Lord, but it always a joy.
It is crucial that a person harvest their fruit when it is ready, or it can become rotten, or the insects and birds of the air can eat it. There are always many hurting souls that need our love. There are always people that need Jesus. Many Christians make excuses for why they won’t reach out to the lost. They say, “I’m not ready yet; I need to know more first.” While it is true that knowledge is helpful, love is the greatest gift God gave us.
There is no greater reward to a gardener than to pluck fresh, ripe, healthy vegetables from the garden. Nothing tastes as good as homegrown veggies. It is the reason the gardener invested so much time and effort. God has invested much time and effort into us, that He too, might have a harvest of souls. God planted His own son Jesus as the most precious seed in the soil of humanity. Now the Father waits on us to be His harvesters. The crops are ready...will we go pick them? Will we step outside of ourselves, and reach out to others?
Sometimes we have the opportunity to become partakers of another person’s labors for the Lord: “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
If you have prayed for a loved one who doesn't know Jesus, but have been unable to reach them with your own words, wouldn't you want some other Christian to be obedient to God’s voice, and harvest their soul? You see how personal this harvest of God’s has become? We are fellow workers together with God and each other. Each one, then, must take responsibility for the harvest of souls as we see from Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9: I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
May we all work for the harvest that is out there and ready for us.
Dear Lord we thank You for the harvest that is ready for each of us. Help us be willing to do our part to bring in the harvest of souls for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.