More than just planting…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans

Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome.

Amos 4:7- end and Matthew 13

 

“I withheld rain…I struck your crops…I sent a plague…I overthrew some of you…This is why…

 

There was an outward show of religious activity but no heart in it for the poor were oppressed and the needy were ground into the dirt.

 

” I will deal with you this way, prepare to meet your God…”

 

The parable of the seed on good ground, rocky soil, among thorns and exposed to the birds is found in Matthew. There seems to be a tenuous connection…

 

Religious activity alone is not enough. The heart of God is toward the oppressed and needy. These were the ones Jesus surrounded himself with and ministered to. We minister to God when we minister to the oppressed. It must come from the heart, not just be a show to brag, as is said in Amos 4, …brag in public about your voluntary offerings because that’s what you love to do…” We love to brag about what we have done for others. Better that they praise the Lord for what is done!

 

It isn’t enough to just plant the seed; gardens must be tended. Now we turn to Matthew and the seed that is sown on various soils. We plant the seed then it must be fed, watered, weeds pulled, given adequate Son-light and Holy Spirit rain; but…before all this the ground must be prepared. It must be broken, amended, exposed to the air. We cannot be satisfied to just plant the seed and walk away. The work of the kingdom involves preparation, under the Holy Spirit’s guidance and by the Lord’s power. Then comes the planting of the seed. We cannot make it grow, the Lord gives the increase, but we can tend it. We can provide Son-light through our own lives shining the love of God toward others in our actions and words, we can water with the Holy Spirit by taking it to them, we can pull the weeds that would choke and fend off the birds who would snatch it away. We can ask the right questions of them leading them to what is given to us as righteous living in the Word; not demanding it of them and imposing it upon them. We are co-workers with God, he provides the means; we listen and obey His command.

 

We are restored to Him through Christ and have an obligation to offer that same to others. It is more than handing out a tract, standing on a street corner, praying with someone in or out of church. Too often we do those activities and then walk away from those who need us to follow-up, build relationships and guide…equipping them to the same work in the Spirit. Let us return to the Lord, let us hear the words of Jesus, let us become more engaged with others, not sitting exclusionary in our comfortable buildings, meeting once a week to feel good.

 

We can remove the rocks from the soil, we can pull the thorns and weeds, we can drive away the birds and allow the young plant to grow stronger, put down deeper roots, become stabilized in the Lord and His word. We can feed the Word, bring to an experience of and knowledge of the Holy Spirit, shine His light through our own lives and bring to the Lord fruit the Word produces. The harvest is great, the workers are few.- Jesus Many are satisfied to throw out the seed of the Word then walk away. No true gardener would do that. Praise be to God for those who grow through His provision. The question remains; are we doing the work we are called to do? Or, are we guilty of that statement in Hosea; my people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge. That lack came from the top down. Let us be found faithful to nurture those we come into contact with who need tending. May the crop grow and bear fruit as we turn to him.

 

Minister to the Lord; feed His people.

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