The Kingdom of God and The FarmWhen Jesus taught about the kingdom of God, He often used parables that were based on farming. He didn't just do it because He was talking with people who were farmers, and using farming illustrations would make more sense to them. He did it because they accurately describe how God's kingdom works.
In our fast-food society, it's easy to forget that all the ingredients that go into our Big Mac didn't just magically appear out of thin air. A farmer planted seeds and worked patiently to protect them and help them grow until it was time to harvest them. The beef on our hamburger didn't drop out of the sky; it was born and grew up in a field.
And because we don't live on farms, we have lost touch with the reality of the seasons, sowing seeds, tending fields, and harvesting crops. But when it comes to faith, we need to get back in touch with them, because our thoughts and prayers are the seeds that we are sowing and that we will reap in our lives.
The book of Romans also talks about the fact that God's wrath will be revealed against all wickedness, because people don't have any excuses. Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
Everything we want to learn about God we can learn from looking at His creation. We still need the Bible because it is a lot easier to read about God than to try and figure Him out, but we have to realize that the way in which things work in nature are just reflections of how they work in God's kingdom. Just like there are seeds, fruits, and harvests in nature, there are spiritual equivalents.
When it comes to sowing seeds in our lives, there are a few things that I learned from working on my lawn. The first problem is that don't like gardening, and I usually don't know what I want. And if I don't know what I want, and I just let things grow, I'll get weeds, and that definitely isn't the best thing. But this is how most people live their lives. They are ignorant of the law of sowing and reaping, they believe that life happens to them, and their yards, or their fields, are full of thorns and thistles.
As part of the curse that God pronounced on man after Adam sinned, He said, "Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field." Because of man's sin, we no longer have the benefit of being able to simply tend a lush garden that brings forth its fruit for us to enjoy, we must now work for it. And not only that, but we have to work against what naturally grows, thorns and thistles.
But God hasn't made it impossible for us to have what we want in our lives. We just need to be clear about the results we want, and then work in faith towards those results. Nature teaches us that weeds will grow if we do nothing, but that we can create a bountiful harvest if that is what we want, and we sow the right kinds of seeds.
A friend of mine was a landscaper, and he taught me a valuable lesson about having a lush lawn, I just didn't pay much attention to it :-) His philosophy was, "If you want a nice thick lawn, keep sowing grass seed. Eventually, the grass will be so thick that nothing else will be able to grow." That is a good philosophy, and Ecclesiastes 11:6 agrees with him. It says, "Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well."
My friend also gave me a new definition for weeds. He said that a weed is any plant growing where we don't want it. All of us may have things in our lives that are weeds. It's not that they are bad things in and of themselves, but they aren't what we want. In order to fix that, to overcome the weeds and have the kind of life we desire, we will have to sow a lot of good seed.
The good news is that it doesn't matter where we are, what our lawns currently look like, because all we have to do is to start sowing good seed. The harvest that we will reap in our lives from the seeds of faith that we sow will require us to focus on what we want. We will need to sow our seeds in the morning and the evening.
We will need to keep sowing good seeds, the thoughts, words, and actions, based on our faith in God and the expectation that He will give us a wonderful harvest. The harvest is guaranteed, and what makes the difference is the kind of seeds we sow.
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