Based on Mark 4:26-5:20; Psalm 37:30-40; and Proverbs 10:6-7
We read in Mark chapter 4, two parables about the kingdom of God. Both parables talk about seeds. The farmer plants the seed and it grows. The scripture says that it happens at night and the farmer doesn’t understand how it happens. I recently planted flower bulbs in the front yard. It’s amazing how there seemed to be nothing there for the longest time, and then one day plants had zipped out of the ground a full 6 inches tall. And just as quickly, buds sprouted and color adorned the yard.
If you’ve ever seen a flower bulb, you know that it’s not much to look at. You can’t tell by looking at it what colors are hidden inside. And unless you’re a master gardener or botanist, you probably won’t know what kind of flower the bulb will be without looking at the package. It is truly miraculous and awe-inspiring.
What’s the spiritual application here? We go out, like the farmer, and plant seeds into the lives of others. We may share a truth with a coworker or witness to a neighbor. We live out our faith and others see and take note of it. We may even be more direct about seed planting by teaching a Sunday school class or leading a Bible study, but at any rate those that love the Lord, go about the business of seed planting. Some of those seeds sprout and grow. Verse 28 says, “The earth produces the crops on its own.” This tells us that the business of seed growing is not ours, but the Lord’s. God, through his Holy Spirit, causes the seeds to sprout and grow and what they turn into is His job. The seeds may be small like those of a mustard plant, but grow to be something really grand.
When I think about planting, growing, and harvesting a few things come to mind. Some plants need full sunlight, while others grow best in shady areas. Tulips need consistent watering, but too much water will kill an Aloe Vera plant. There is even an ideal pH balance that each plant prefers. People are the same way. What will draw one person to Christ may actually repel someone else. This is where we need the leading of the Holy Spirit as we work to reach others for Him
The coolest part of all of it is when God uses us to bring in the harvest. This is the part that we all long to take part in. How thrilling it is to lead someone in a sinner’s prayer of repentance! However, we need to remember that somewhere along the way someone planted a seed. Then the Holy Spirit placed it in soil with just the right amount of light and the perfect pH balance. And he called someone to water the seeds. We may be used to harvest the crops or we may be called to be a seed-planter, but it takes all of us walking in obedience to the Holy Spirit to bring others to Christ.
As we seek to be a seed-planter or harvester, we need to live godly lives. In today’s Psalm and Proverbs, we see the contrast between the godly and the wicked. Psalms 37:30-31 tell us that the godly “teach right from wrong” and “they have made God’s law their own.” They live according to his law and walk in his truth. In order to teach right from wrong and to never slip from God’s path, we need to know what His word says. We need to study to know his truth. As we live in truth and godliness, we have some guarantees from God.
First, when we face trials we will not be condemned. God promises to honor us by giving us the land. The land he gives us may be a victory in an area of struggle, a financial blessing, godly children, or any number of blessings from God. The Psalmist also says that the godly have a wonderful future awaiting them and that the Lord will be their fortress. He’s the one we can run to in times of trouble, and he will rescue us.
Contrast this with the lives of the wicked. They wait to ambush the godly, but they do not succeed. They may flourish for a time, but then we’ll turn to see them no more. They will be destroyed and they have no future. Their names will rot away.
I challenge you to allow God to examine you. Is the Holy Spirit leading you to plant a seed in someone’s life? Are you sensitive to His leading? Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you today and use you in the lives of others.