Are you planting good seed in good soil through your words, your actions and your deeds, in order to reap a bountiful harvest?
Several years ago, I led a discussion on this topic with members of our Wingmen Men’s Ministry Group. For most of us, the past few years have been difficult, if not overwhelming at times. However, I think we can gain valuable insight from this experience by looking to the Scriptures for answers.
In essence, we reap what we sow. This may seem overly harsh with what we have had to ensure of late. However, as you read through this article, I hope you will find some things that connect with you in a positive way to build upon for the future.
“The seed never looks like the harvest it contains.” – Levi Lusko
Mark 4: 13-20 … The Parable of the Sower. After teaching to a crowd by the lake, Jesus later speaks to His disciples and admonishes them by saying, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?” Jesus goes on to further explain His message to them.
Likewise, it’s important for us to plant good seed in good soil in order to ensure a bright future.
Haggai and Zechariah were two of the prophets that God called upon to oversee the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. The passages below from their chapters of the Bible, in my opinion, speak volumes about where we are today as a society.
Haggai 1: 5-6 “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
These two verses from Haggai pretty much summarize the human condition. No matter how much we “plant”, eat, drink, etc. we never seem to be fulfilled. We are forever seeking, never satisfied. We often talk about gratitude and faith, but are these just empty words?
Are we truly grateful for all of God’s blessings? Are we living in faith and trusting in our Heavenly Father to guide us through the darkness in challenging times like these?
Zechariah 1: 3-4, 6 “Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty. Do not be like your ancestors, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the Lord.
But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors? “Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.’”
Can you see parallels in Biblical times to what we have globally encountered in recent years? COVID-19, the wildfires, floods, a record number of hurricanes and tropical storms, locust plagues in Africa, the Middle East and India. Not to mention the political unrest, ongoing wars, and rioting in our streets.
Whether we acknowledge this or not, I think there is a clear message here. We must change our ways.
Is this a season of planting or harvesting for you?
Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
“Little by little we make decisions, and our decisions make us.” I want to encourage each of us to take time during the 4th quarter to reflect on 2023, and to prayerfully consider ways we can be and do better in the year ahead. Both personally and professionally.
If we want to reap a bountiful harvest in this world and the next, draw closer to God. Recognize that the Lord has given us the ultimate gift, the gift of life. Let’s use our gifts wisely to mend our ways, to do good works, and to help make this a better world for all.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2020-23 John Carroll