Archives For Seed

By Charles Cook [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There always seems to be a million things going on in our lives. We are always being pulled in so many directions with so many distractions. It simply becomes hard to maintain focus. And worse yet, when we feel the call to take a step of action or step of faith, it seems that all logic and reason comes against our plan. Take a look at Ecclesiastes 11:4:

He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.

The Bible spends a lot of time discussing the idea of sowing and reaping. You definitely do not need to be a farmer to understand the analogy and the foundational truth that if you never plant anything, you will never receive anything.

With that in mind, I think this verse speaks to the idea that there will always be an excuse of “why not” to do something – they are countless. If God is calling you to action, I guarantee you will suddenly be flooded with a dozen reasons why you should not proceed. Even to the point of doubting God’s call itself!

Sure, you can accept Jesus as your savior and go on to live the “safe life” but I would encourage you to fight the safe life and chose instead to make a stand for Him!

If you look to the surrounding circumstances, you will always have at least one reason not to proceed. Yes, we are to use wisdom and take all things into account – but, if God has called you and placed the burden in you, then today is the day.

Stop letting the wind and clouds get in the way of your harvest! Take charge over the circumstance and speak to the giant that is getting in the way!

Question: How do you quiet the many distractions coming against your calling?

 

Garden Picture

We have a garden in our yard, however, there is one big problem with this garden: I do not have a green thumb.  Maybe it’s lack of knowledge on how to care for it, my lack of attention to it, or maybe I can blame it on the desert heat…but one thing I know is true, untended seeds do not grow.  That is simple enough.  When it comes to growing anything in my garden, it requires time and attention. You must apply the right amount of nutrients, water, and effort otherwise all you will end up with is empty fruitless dirt.

God has provided each and every one of us with seed.  He has entrusted us with talents and gifts that we are supposed to use for the purpose of advancing His Kingdom.  So how exactly do we “tend” to those seeds?

In John 15, I feel that Jesus outlines a very simple 1-step plan for this: Abide in Him.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4 NKJV)

I am convinced that we make this too difficult.  We expect growth simply by being a good person or showing up to church a few times a month – but if we desire true growth it is going to require a true pursuit of Him.  The word “abide” simply means to “dwell” – we are to “dwell in Him”.  Daily.  Always.

How do you do this?  Read His word (daily), talk with Him (daily), serve His people (daily).  It is not about you, it is all about Him!  When you focus on the vine (Him) versus the branch (you) things begin to change.

When you pursue Him with a relentless passion, the seeds that you have been entrusted with and the seeds that you are sowing will have no choice but to bear great and prosperous fruit.

Don’t let your seeds return as fruitless dirt, but abide in Him and see the great return.

Question: What practical steps do you take to walk out John 15:4

Dying to live

I have been thinking about seeds a lot lately.  All kinds of seed.  Seed to produce crops, babies – you name it – seed.  I know that might sound odd, but truly, they are amazing things.  The fact that something could grow from seed form just takes my breath away.

In John 12:24, we see Jesus speak to the amazingness of seeds.

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.  (John 12:24 AMP)

Jesus had a way of making it simple.  But did you catch it?  Don’t read it too fast.  Read it again.  If a grain does not die, it will not produce a harvest.  That marvels me a bit.  It seems contradictory to what one would expect.  In order to grow, multiply, produce – it must die.

But, let’s face it, Jesus wasn’t speaking to just farmers here – He was not giving advice on how to produce a good wheat crop.  He was speaking directly to us.  This is a hard word to digest.  But it all goes back to the simple truth that this is not our story, but His story.

We all wonder through life searching for meaning, purpose, definition.  We seem to always focus on the next “big thing”.  That could be a job, a vacation, a purchase – we think that it is that “thing” which will give us meaning.  But in an almost strange twist, it is not more stuff that will provide us purpose but rather, dying to those things – dying to self.

This is heard more than once from Jesus:

He who finds life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.  (Matthew 10:39 NKJV)

I read this, and at first glance, this can be somewhat discouraging.  Truly though, it is through this that you can find freedom.  It is not the work you do, the things you accomplish that will provide you with Life.  It is when you acknowledge that He is the sole reason for living, and you surrender to Him that Life begins.

Just like the grain of wheat that must die to produce a rich harvest, we too must die to produce a rich harvest in our lives.

Do you want to leave a legacy?  You must die to self.  Do you want to make an impact for your family?  You must die to self.  Do you want help the hurting, give joy to those that are mourning, provide hope to the hopeless?  You must die to self.

How do we do that?  We surrender.  We focus on Him.  We ask for His guidance, help and direction.

This is a daily action.  We must do this every day.  When I wake up, I need to surrender to Him and put aside my own ambitions and desires – and focus on Him.  I don’t believe I am alone in the desire to produce a rich harvest for Him in my life.  And in order to do so, I am prepared to put aside everything for Him.

Question: What does it mean to you when Jesus says we must lose our life to find it?