Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Seed to Sow
THE FRUIT OF THE HARVEST
Terry R. Baughman
“The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, …, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26–29).
The power is within the fruit of the harvest to reproduce a bountiful return. It is not only a consumable product, but it is also sustainable. There is sufficient increase in nature to provide for food and such an abundance to also lay aside a portion for the next harvest. Every farming family understands the importance of producing enough to provide food for the family, enough to sell or barter to provide for more immediate needs, and enough to lay in store to provide for the next planting season insuring a future harvest that will continue to sustain their livelihood.
We hear a lot about sustainability in current events. Sometimes it is reduced to media shaming for simply living in a consumer centric culture. We have enjoyed such abundance and prosperity in the west that we lose sight of the source of some of the things that we enjoy. Profit driven entrepreneurs are more inspired by the current bottomline of their business, rather than concern themselves whether there will be enough raw materials to sustain their growth and longevity.
The further removed we are from the facts of farming the more difficult it is to understand the economics of sustainability. In the past when everyone was nearer to the process of planting, growth cycles, harvesting, and laying aside seed for future planting there was an awareness of the simple science of sustainability. If there is no seed reserved to plant in the future field, there will be no future harvest. Saving seed alone is not enough, but it must be reinvested into the ground in the favorable season so that it may die, and sprout, and grow into another harvest.
Saving the seed is insufficient to guarantee abundance for the future. The purpose of the seed is not simply to be saved in the storehouse, but to be invested in the field when the season of planting has arrived. It is possible that we have become more obsessed with saving the seed than expanding the fields and increasing tomorrow’s yield. We cannot simply repeat our ritualistic performance as a religious routine; we must dilate our vision to see opportunities, broaden our outreach in casting the seed, and eagerly, “look on the fields” in anticipation of a bountiful harvest.
Jesus spoke of His burial and resurrection with the illustration of a seed dying in the ground. He said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (John 12:24). This is also a principle of harvest. When we sow the seed, we give up the control of the portion we have planted. It is buried, covered in dirt, out of sight. We must have faith in the process, faith in the power of the seed, and trust in the participation of God for the growth beyond our efforts and control. We plant and water, but God alone gives power to the seed to germinate into a plant of new growth. The results of the harvest are out of our hands when we yield the seed into God’s hands.
The harvest is assured. God is faithful. Invest with confidence trusting in the Lord of the Harvest. Simply sow the seed.
“So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).