Friday, April 11, 2008

A time to plant

Ecc. 3:2b "A time to plant and I time to pluck up that which is planted;" May 16, 2007
I work at a feed and seed store, all year long we sell some kind of seasonal seeds, but during the springtime those sales really take a jump. Everyone is getting their gardens, lawns, and pastures planted, more than any other time of the year this is the time to plant. The ground is warm but not hot and cracked, the weather is conducive, both to the plants and to the planter. When I look at a garden I see much new life springing forth from tiny seeds, and with the right balance of light, water, weeding, and care, those plants will grow to bear much fruit and following the course of nature, reproduce themselves.
The bible speaks of planting in another place as well, in Matt. 3 Jesus tells the parable of the man who sowed all his seeds. The seeds fell in many places, some on the path, some on stony ground, others still among thorns, however a few seeds landed on fertile ground. Those that landed on the path, stayed on top of the packed ground and the birds ate them, the ones that landed on stony ground grew quickly but when it got hot their root system was not enough to support them and just as quickly as they had grown they withered away. The ones that fell among thorns quickly grew as well, but with the thorns already firmly established the plants were choked out. On the contrary all those that fell on fertile ground grew and produced fruit. Jesus' explanation of the parable was that we are the planters, the world is our field, the seeds that were eaten by birds are pictures of those who hear the gospel but Satan immediately takes it away before it can gain root. The seeds that grew on stony ground are those who hear the gospel and receive it for what it can give them in this world, as soon as persecution comes and they realize the gospel doesn't give them much physical gain, they fall away. The seeds thrown among thorns are those who hear and receive the gospel but are choked out by the cares of this world, and their love for it is greater than their love for God. The seeds thrown on fertile ground are those that truly receive the gospel for what it is and do that which nature demands, bear fruit, which holds the very thing necessary for it's reproduction.
There is a time to plant and it is now, while we are on this earth and have a chance to make a difference for eternity. The sower did not stop throwing seeds on the rocky and hard and thorny ground he gave the seed to all the ground that was available to him. Likewise we ought not refrain from witnessing strictly because we think the person is not receptive. We are to proclaim the gospel to all people, plant the seeds in all grounds, and let God grow the plants.

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