187 Crucifers – God’s Back Crossing Jun
From an email to my pastor: more verses that make connection with his seed planting sermon:
22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
mmm…. yeah perfect… totally goes with the winnowing concept of seed and chaff separation – from yesterday’s sermon –
and also Mark 4, the four soils… God grows the crops of the seeds we plant and sometimes the harvest is 30-fold, 100-fold etc – sometimes we see the harvest and often we won’t be around for the ongoing harvests.
Mark 4: 20 Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—some thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times what was sown.”
Back crossing… So God has been winnowing us and the church for years and years – this is nothing new – and God can take all the time He wants… Perhaps (like in your sermon) our global church enrollment decline is one of the natural progressions of winnowing the chaff away. Perhaps the desired results are to GO OUT (and also to GO INTO our churches) and remove the chaff part and just plant the highest percentage of seeds… be a good sower – but also prepare the soils – and prepare the fields for God’s rain – and the rest will follow… Just like you said “do the best you can for God and He will take care of the rest”… yup…
I myself had to separate seed from the chaff many times in school… and I had friends who spent hours and hours of doing that – tiniest Arabidopsis thaliana seeds, the smallest of crucifers (this type with white 4-petal cross flowers – the crucifer name standing for crucifixion) in the Brassicacea-family of plants – an ideal 5-chromosome model plant system for all types of genetic and molecular work). Well, one friend found a very unusual mutant back in school – and couple of days ago I chatted with him and he is upset that ten years later he didn’t keep re-planting those seeds and harvesting to keep the strain alive – because seeds do dry up and lose viability… you have to continually plant and “back cross” plants to get the desired traits – you have to breed what you want into the strains…
That speaks to me as God’s mission – God has to back cross us with HIS Word and the LOVE of Jesus to produce the best from us with the best attributes He wants… and we can’t let our gifted seeds rot in our pockets – we have to actively plant and harvest – and plant and harvest – so that we don’t lose God’s growth of that lineage of good people – I mean seeds 😉
God is “back-crossing” us – with the Cross – Jesus’ cross – it’s not just a play on words – it’s really God’s way to increase the yield – the harvest to heaven…