|Volume 18 Number 7 July 2016||
Mark N. Posey
I love planting season! The joy of putting seed in the ground, watching it grow and gathering a harvest – it’s wondrous! In a spiritual context, it’s always planting season (2 Timothy 4:2); however, seeds don’t plant themselves! Our duty is clear: plant and water, and then, God will give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6). Read the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23). Notice: (1) Wayside Soil, which equals the Hard Heart! (2) Stony Soil, equivalent to the Shallow Heart! (3) Thorny Soil, the Crowded Heart! (4) Good Soil, which represents the Good Heart! The Seed is the Word of God (Luke 8:11).
We must sow the seeds of faith (Matthew 17:20). It is necessary to walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), to live by faith (Galatians 2:20), to sow the seeds of hope (1 Peter 3:15) and to work by faith (James 2:18).
We must sow the seeds of hope (1 Peter 3:15). Hope is defined as confident expectation, firm assurance! Hope stabilizes the Christian (Hebrews 6:19), and hope fortifies endurance (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
We must sow the seeds of love (John 13:34-35). Love is a command (v. 34a)! Furthermore, love is a result of following Jesus’ example (v. 34b)! Love is a demonstration of discipleship (v. 35)!
Each of us needs to ask himself or herself, “Am I a spiritual seed sower? What kind of seed am I sowing? Am I satisfied with the harvest? If not, what should I do?” The more seed we sow, the greater the harvest will be! The harvest of tomorrow depends on the seed we sow today!
How many of us are enjoying something we recently received as a gift? While it is new, we are enamored with it. However, as adults, we know the routine all too well. The new thing is pleasing at first, but gradually our interest wanes. New things so quickly become old things. Eventually, they are cast aside.
This is not said to suggest that we abandon all of our things. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with enjoying legitimate possessions. Nevertheless, we are calling for a bit of perspective – a perspective that can bring more meaning to our lives. Paul would have us “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
This terra firma, along with all of its physical contents, will one day be destroyed by its Creator. At the Lord’s return, the “heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Now consider carefully Peter’s concluding point. “Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness?” (2 Peter 3:11). Since these “things” are one day to pass away, what really matters in this life is holy living.
The story is told of two builders. One was a little boy playing on the beach. He was building a sand castle. The other was a businessman who owned a large company. He was building a business empire. The difference between them is that the boy realized that his project was temporary.
What time, effort, attention, money, and planning are we investing in things? Now change perspective and consider another question. What time and attention are we investing in people?
Some parents have tried to “make up” for overtime spent away from children by offering lavish gifts. Spouses will attempt to offset time away from their mates by splurging on one short-lived get-away (read Mark 4:3-9, 14-20).
Many who face a cancer fight turn their attention away from things and toward people. What once seemed important becomes trivial. What color a wall is painted no longer matters much. If the dishes don’t match, they really don’t care (See Luke 12:15). Could it be that Peter’s 2,000-year-old challenge about proper perspective is just what we need (2 Peter 3:11)?