Sowing and reaping is an agricultural principle. It’s also an axiom of life that we reap what we sow; (Gal. 6:7). The more seed planted, the more fruit harvested. 2nd Corinthians 9:6 tells us, if we sow generously, we will reap generously. Therefore, I ask, “What kind of fruit are you reaping from the seeds that you’ve sown?”
Let’s establish a few Scriptural facts. The Word of God is seed. Man’s heart is the ground (or soil). Man’s perception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of his heart. (Matt. 13)
The seed sown is planted into 4 different types of soil. Soil or ground represents man’s heart.
- The hard ground sown “by the wayside” prevents the seed from sprouting, and the seed becomes bird food.
- The stony ground provides enough soil for the seeds to germinate and begin to grow, but because there is no dept, the plants never root therefore, they wither from the sun.
- The thorny ground allows the seed to grow, but the competing thorns choke the plants.
- The good ground receives the seed and produces much fruit.
In “The Parable to the Sower” Jesus describes the condition of man’s heart depending on the type of soil the seeds fall upon.
- The hard heart represents someone who is hardened by sin. This person hears the Word but does not understand it. satan takes the message away, keeping the heart dull, and preventing the Word from making an impression.
- The stony heart represents someone who professes delight with the Word; however, his heart is not changed, and when trouble arises, his faith quickly disappears.
- The thorny heart represents someone who seems to receive the Word, but this persons’ heart is full of worldly desires. His lusts for riches and pleasures, which draws him away from the Word.
- The good heart represents someone who hears the Word, and receives it, and produces fruit some hundredfold, sixtyfold, thirtyfold. This person is the only one of the four who is truly saved because salvation’s proof is fruit; (Matt. 3:7-8; 15-20).
ABIDE IN ME
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” – (John 15:4 KJV).
JESUS CHRIST is the TRUE VINE. Believers are the branches. There are many branches, but one Vine. The branches on the True Vine are made fruitful by the moisture from the richness of the soil. The root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and those in Christ are supported and supplied.
GOD is the GARDENER, who cares for the branches to make them FRUITFUL. Those who don’t bear fruit are cut off from the Vine and tossed aside. This tells us that there is a process of development for those abiding on the Vine.
One of the main purposes of the Christian life is to progressively allow the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in our lives. After committing ourselves to Christ, we are apt to live fruitful lives that are pleasing unto God. True followers of Christ are recognized by their fruit. Spiritually we start to resemble Christ in likeness. We want to be characterized by good actions exhibited by the humbleness of heart.
Another purpose of the Christian’s life is to progressively allow the Holy Spirit to produce more and more of His fruit. The goal is to produce much fruit. This gradually happens as we stay connected to the True Vine. God’s desire is that His children exhibit the fruit of the Spirit; (Gal. 5:22-23). The ultimate result of spiritual fruitfulness is that God is glorified as we grow, and others come to know Christ.
SEASONAL CHANGES / Natural and Spiritual
Whenever I’m shopping at the market the produce section is my favorite place to be. I get so excited just seeing fresh quality produce. The smell of fresh fruit, the vibrant colors of the greens and berries overwhelms me. Everything appears to be ripe and palette pleasing. Some fruits are readily available, while others are not. There are different varieties of fruits that are seasonal. For example, watermelon, strawberries, cherries, and plums, are available during the summer. While apples, oranges, lemons, and bananas seem to be available throughout the year, (in most markets.) Timing is everything regarding seasonal changes. The farmer must make sure that his harvest is just right for the picking. Quality control guarantees the quality and freshness of the harvest before shipping.
This is true for the development of spirit fruit because it also takes time to develop. Nothing good grows overnight. Just as a farmer has to be patient in order to reap the rewards of his labor, Christians have to exercise patience during the development of the Holy Spirit’s fruit. With the practice of patience, the spiritual fruit of patience develops. Continue to page 2