The more I grow in my faith, the more I learn. Well, the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. With that mindset you don’t have time to boast and bask in how much knowledge you have, you really are humbled by how little you knew just a few seconds before you learned that last lesson or before you received that most recent revelation.
One thing I have learned and keep being reminded of is that I must always be sowing seeds in order to produce fruit that brings honor to God in my life. We all recite the popular verse “a man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7), otherwise quoted as “you reap what you sow.” Not to mention that how often and how generous you sow seeds (whatever those ‘seeds’ may be), you will reap just as often and to the same degree as your sowing. 2 Corinthians 9:6 says, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
As a Christian I need to take this to heart. I’m learning to be a “farmer,” metaphorically speaking. If I want to enjoy the fruit of what it means to be in relationship with Jesus as the Bible describes, then I need to sow seeds frequently. If I want family and friends in my life to both see the fruit of my relationship with Jesus and also enjoy that fruit with me, then I need to be sowing seeds generously.
The question is, “WHAT SEEDS DO I SOW as a Christian to produce the fruit in my life that will definitely glorify God, remove any doubt of whether my witness is sincere, and remove any doubt as to whether God is a keeper of his promises?” This list isn’t exhaustive, but what’s in this list is critical.
1. Sow seeds of PRAISE. Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. Again I say rejoice.” Paul goes on to say in verses 6 and 7, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Take God at his word and always be ready and willing to rejoice in him in any season. Paul says this while he writes in prison. When I pray to God with a joyful attitude, he responds. That’s the part we forget sometimes, that he actually responds to our praise. He responds with his peace. God’s peace is something that money, popularity, “Likes” on Facebook, Retweets on Twitter, cars, houses, etc., can never buy nor be a substitute for. If you want God’s peace, begin to practice genuinely praising him first for who he is, then for what he has already done. By the way, he already sent his son to die in our place for the forgiveness of our sins. That deserves some sowing of praise everyday!
2. Sow seeds of PRAYER. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to the church instructing them “pray without ceasing.” Now that doesn’t mean that we are to be perpetually on our knees all day, everyday praying with our heads bowed and hands together in the traditional Christian pose. What it does mean is to “set your mind on the things above (of God)” (Colossians 3:2). It means being in a place where God is on the front of our minds and we are ready and willing to speak with and listen to him at any given time. It means to always be sowing seeds of prayer on behalf of others as they are placed on your heart and mind.
In other words, Christians should always be available for God to not just use them, but to speak to their hearts and hear from theirs in order to move on their behalf. It breaks my heart as a pastor when I ask the question, “how is your prayer life?” And the response is way too often, “Not the way it should be.” Or, “Not good.” Meanwhile, folks are frustrated that they don’t hear God, see God moving in their lives, or can’t seem to break free from some sin struggle. The most powerful tool in our tool belt as Christians is prayer! The most powerful tool in our tool belt as Christians is prayer! Click To Tweet
3. Sow seeds of The WORD/GOSPEL. Paul told Timothy in his last letter written to him to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with complete patience and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). Oh, you thought this was only for the preacher? All of us ought to be ready to share the truth of the Gospel, our testimony or, if equipped, teach the whole counsel of the word of God. There is no freedom without the truth. Jesus said that! Well, kinda sorta. He was much more eloquent that I am in this blog. See John 8:31,32. Be careful in replacing the simple but profound truth inherent to God’s word with empty philosophies and catchy phrases that sound good but have no real power. At times we can taste what sounds like just enough of the truth to feel free, but not knowing when there’s just enough of a lie attached to enslave. At times we can taste what sounds like just enough of the truth to feel free, but not knowing when there's… Click To Tweet
Here’s the thing, as ambassadors of the Gospel, you literally always have “good news.” as ambassadors of the Gospel, you literally always have “good news.” Click To Tweet
4. Sow seeds of LOVE. For the sake of time and space, for my thoughts on “love,” check out my blog 5 Essentials to Healing: Pt. 1 “Real Love Heals”, and then go practice love!
5. Sow seeds of SERVICE. Jesus said these powerful words in Matthew 20:28 that Christians are expected to model, “the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” He would wash his disciples feet as their great Rabbi and Lord and then instructed them to do the same to each other. In other words, he commanded them to let their lives be characterized by service to others.
God used serving as the means by which he began to take selfishness out of my heart. I remember having no real desire to serve the poor when it was an inconvenience to me. After spending one Saturday in 2006 on Skid Row serving the poor, my heart was radically changed and infused with a passion for giving of myself, my time and my resources to bless others. Life began to take on new meaning. Many people can’t get out of the victim mentality or the enslavement of their own selfish desires because they have never really tasted the fruit of service. I believe that purpose is inextricably woven into the fabric of service to others. I believe that purpose is inextricably woven into the fabric of service to others. Click To Tweet
Pretend you have this “spiritual garden” and you want to see tangible fruit in your life borne from your relationship with Jesus. You want others to have an appetite for the fruit they see in your life? Then sow these seeds, and sow them frequently until they become second nature to you. The interesting thing is that the seeds of praise, prayer, the word, love and service are not based on how we feel, but based on who we are as followers of Jesus.
If we want to reap the rewards of prayer in our lives and our circles of influence we must build our prayer lives. To experience the peace of God, we ought to be committed to praising God in any season. The same goes for reaping the rewards of the word (truth) of God and experiencing freedom, we must sow seeds of truth in our lives and the lives of others.
One thing I’m certain of, farmers eat well!