Give me a word, Lord: PLANTING, WATERING, & GROWING

I Corinthians 3:5-9 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Yesterday, we were talking about what we would like to plant in our fall garden. We always plant a garden in spring, and every once in a while we plant for fall. We almost always plant mustard greens for fall, but this year, we want to change it up a bit. We are thinking about planting pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, and mustard greens. I’ve always want to plant pumpkins. We unintentionally grow some every year. We usually buy a half a dozen or so pumpkins for fall decorations, and when they began to rot, we throw them over the fence to the cows or donkeys or goats. The seeds that are left behind stay buried in that rich soil full of nourishing natural fertilizer, germinate, and pop up in the early summer. Of course, that’s too early for fall pumpkins. They always ripen in early August, and they won’t last in the Mississippi heat until October or November. But I will admit that I have placed about six or eight of our volunteer pumpkins on either side of my front door the first week of August. Hey, if God is going to give me pumpkins, I’m either going to cook with them or decorate with them!

I love gardening, planting seeds, watering them, and watching them grow. I love seeing the fruit or vegetable that is produced. It takes a lot of effort in some cases to produce fruit, but it is always worth it. Paul is speaking to the Corinthian church in I Corinthians chapter 3. He explains here using the analogy of planting and growing seeds to demonstrate how we as Christians can bring others to Christ. We are all servants of God, and each of us has a different talent or ability, and when we bring these talents to the table in conjunction with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we can accomplish much. However, we can’t do anything on our own.

The pastor may preach a sermon or a Christian may speak of the gospel, and those words plant a tiny seed in the heart of a non-believer. That person will carry that seed around for a period of time, and it may just sit there in the heart of that person for a great length of time. But then, one day, someone will come along and speak to that person, and something that is said will water that seed. It may be a Sunday School teacher, another pastor, or even a Christian co-worker, but whoever it is, the conversation of that day waters that seed that was planted a little while back. That seed then starts to germinate in the heart of that non-believer. They may start asking questions, researching God’s Word, looking for more answers, and then the Holy Spirit starts working on that little watered seed as it begins to germinate. Suddenly, that seed grows within that lost person, and they realize that they are lost and ask Christ into their heart. Soon, we see that new believer bearing the beautiful, sweet fruit of Christ. Isn’t that amazing?

We can not in and of ourselves bring others to Christ. Only Christ can do that, but we are to do the planting. We are to do the watering. We are the servants of Christ and our job is to work together. We can’t expect the pastors of our churches to plant all of the seeds and water them. It would be impossible for all of the lost to be reached because a lot of lost people aren’t going to causally walk through the door of a church on Sunday morning looking for a seed, because they don’t even know that the need it yet. All Christians are tasked with being gardeners for Christ. We have to plant seeds on a daily basis, water seeds, and pray and wait and watch the seeds grow. It’s a tough job. Sometimes we plant seeds, and we feel like we are watering those seeds, but we never see the fruit produced. Don’t worry about that my friend. It’s not our job to change a person. We aren’t that good. That’s God’s job. Our job is to plant and water and pray.

Are you planting and watering seeds for Christ? You may see some volunteer seed planting occasionally like those pumpkins that pop up every summer, but most people will never come to Christ if someone doesn’t first plant a seed. Get out there and get busy. The time is right for planting and watering. “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Luke 10:2. Now lets get to work! The time for planting is NOW!

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