The Marvelous Power Of A Seed
Once again this week gardening has supplied the idea for this weeks article. Last fall our children helped to carve pumpkins. When these pumpkins got old I threw them in a pile of compost. This year-long after the pile was gone I was mowing the spot and noticed a pumpkin vine growing green and healthy. I even accidentally stepped on it and yet it still continues to grow with no intervention from me. I was thinking about how the Gospel can work in the same way. The Word is of course often called a seed (Luke 8:11).
First of all, the power for the pumpkin to grow was inherent in the seed. I literally did nothing to make it happen; in fact my efforts were more hurtful than helpful to its growth (I stepped on it). I did no watering or fertilizing and I didn’t remove weeds. However God put the energy and ability into that seed to do what it does best. God did the same with His word. This is what Isaiah said about the Gospel, “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11). A case near to my heart is proof of this. My grandfather was an unbeliever living a very ungodly life. He decided one day that there must be more to life. He headed to the public library on his day off and read the Bible all day. He immediately went on a quest looking for someone to baptize him for the right reason and for a church that did things God’s way. Without a teacher and ever surrounded by bad influences the Word found a fertile heart, grew, and produced fruit. Praise God for putting the power in the seed.
The second main point I was thinking about with our volunteer pumpkin plant is that I need to realize the Gospel is bigger than me and what I do. I put a lot of work into my garden. I cultivate the soil, pull weeds, plant, water, fertilize. When I have a good productive garden I tend to think it is all because of my hard work. If something doesn’t go well I try to figure out a way I can fix it. I honestly don’t often enough give the credit to God. We can do the same thing with Spiritual matters! We can place too much importance on our own efforts and forget that God causes the growth. He is to be praised. Paul put it this way in his letter to the Corinthians. ”For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not mere men? What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” (1 Cor. 3:4-7). Let’s give credit where credit is due. Glory belongs to God and humble service belongs to us!