From the Preacher’s Pen…
Have you noticed farmers? Hopefully we recognize that they provide not only food for our bodies, but lessons for our souls.
The Bible has a lot of illustrations of spiritual lessons from farming and Jesus added a lot more. After the flood Noah began farming (Genesis 9:20), a good thing to do if you want to eat.
The prophets found many lessons in farming for a nation that was so often unfaithful to the Lord. Isaiah (28:23-29) would remind them that the Lord knows how to get on with the job and not just keep doing the same thing over and over again.
In the New Testament James (5:7) reminds us of our need to be patient like a farmer while waiting for the Lord to complete His work. And it’s that thought that leads us to the lesson of…
The Source of Spiritual Growth
Some years ago an American agricultural school reported the results of a study into what it takes to produce a hundred bushels of corn from one acre of land. It requires 4,000,000 pounds of water; 6,800 pounds of oxygen; 5,200 pounds of carbon; 160 pounds of nitrogen; 125 pounds of potassium; 75 pounds of yellow sulfur and other elements too numerous to list. In addition, rain and sunshine are also required at just the correct times and in the correct amounts. While many hours of the farmer’s labor are also needed, it was estimated that only 5 percent of the produce of a farm can be attributed to the efforts of man.
In spite of our own views as to our importance sometimes, those proportions seem similar in the spiritual realm. While we may plant, water and harvest (and be terribly impressed with our labors), it is God who causes the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6–7). His work is the one that really counts, that really brings worth to our efforts!
Now does that mean our efforts, our 5 percent, is really worthless? Ask a farmer. That seed won’t plant itself and his job is certainly vital to success of the crop… it’s just NOT the whole story.
So, is it important that WE plant the seed? That WE take the responsibility for fulfilling the Great Commission?
How about we give it a try. Plant the seed this week. Talk to someone about the Savior. Invite them to worship and study God’s word with you. Be a farmer for the Lord. Be a Christian!
— Lester P. Bagley