Why does Jesus use the example of farmers and planting seeds so much in describing working for the Kingdom? Among connections to all the seeds, the growth, the fruit of the spirit spreading, I’m sure it also is because FARMERS WORK VERY HARD, long hours, and farmers won’t know what their crop yields will be year to year. Farmers depend on the Lord to send the rain and warmth and change the seasons just so… Sometimes they also pray for the Lord to stop the rain.
Why are we to be like farmers when we work for the Lord? Because we MUST depend upon Him – especially put in the hours, tend the growth, work alone or alongside a crew. We must wait for the harvest and sometimes we are told to walk away from unproductive fields. We must allow others to harvest what we planted just as we harvest what others have sowed. AND – we can not take credit for the yield – but we can take joy in any and all harvest whether it is small or large.
Farmers of Faith. Harvests of Joy.
We have to condition the soil for next year too. Each year we have to pay attention to the best time for planting, the best time for reaping and the best time to let the soil lie fallow (shhh… sleeping).
I went to a farm that was not yet planted. There the farmer clearly had much work to do but was planning to get to it and thus have a yield.
Today, I went to 3 grocery stores, two farm stands and the regional market which is filled with basic farmers and wholesalers and some niche boutique farmers too. (interesting that people are selling “anti-oxident skin creams when all the kale, blueberries, and natural antioxidents are a fraction of the cost and so much yummier.)
The price differential is real – it is MUCH cheaper to buy the best stuff at the market than buy processed and take out food. Specifically I was looking for seasonal shelling peas – not going to be found in any supermarket – I found the peas in 3 places, and bought at all three, now I have over 3 lbs of peas to shell and eat – probably would eat them all myself, but peas will go less sweet over time – so I think it would be nice to share some of these peas now so that more could enjoy. I lost a pea on the floor of my care, oops, it still looks good to eat, but it’s the floor so I will share it with God’s creatures outside. One pea to one mouse may be the dream catch.
SHARING: we should also share in the church – share resources and hope before it goes stale in our storehouses. Let excess be gleaned by others too. Don’t hoard but herd.
I also bought a whole dozen of sweet corn buy 6 get 6 free, and will give some to my neighbor – treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated – especially getting free sweet corn! My neighbors share friendship and companionship and joy in gatherings as well as keeping an eye on my house – trust me, it is better to have a compassionate nosey neighbor than an ignorant one. Isn’t that type of neighbor we also should be? Anyway, I certainly can not eat a whole dozen before it goes less sweet anyway. Share.
SHARING: we need not delay in sharing faith – because at one point, the fruit of the seasons will be harvested away up into the clouds… Time will end for the earth – Time will start again for the Heavens – but in God’s timing, not ours. Time is precious and there is no time like the present to be PRESENT in our faith. Until that giant harvest, we must tend our fields – whether wholesale or niche – old fashioned crops or new cultivars. Teaching gardens are better than displays you can’t touch. Sharing over storing.
In all, we must work without grumbling and put in farmer’s hours. We must sow and be a cheerful giver. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
Our hands and feet work for the Lord’s feast. Our feast is in His Joy.
Farm the faith, fan the flame, follow the fruit.
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:34-38
“Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”…”the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” Matthew 13:8-9, 23
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! James 5:7-9
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2nd Corinthians 9:6-15