Tag Archives: harvest

Plant The Right Seeds

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

My son and I planted a small vegetable garden in our yard. It continues to be a source of lessons to me and him. As we were eating dinner out recently, he pulled the lemon off my drink, pulled out the seeds and said, “Here you go, Dada. We can plant these and get lemons from our garden.” At first I was impressed that he made the correlation that seeds inside of fruits and vegetables are what grow and make the plants. Then, as I thought more about it, there was a deeper truth. Only lemon seeds can produce lemons.

That’s knowledge that you and I don’t think often about. We know it as a law of nature, but not as a spiritual law. We know that if we plant watermelon seeds, we’ll grow watermelons every time. But somewhere along the line, we think we can break that law with spiritual seeds. We think we can plant seeds of discontentment and somehow reap peace. Worse yet, we think we can skip out on paying tithes and reap the benefits of giving.

The same law that causes a physical seed to reproduce itself works in the spirit realm as well. What you sow, that shall you also reap. If you want more peace in your life, sow peace into the lives of others. If you want joy, put the work in to make it happen. The great thing about seeds is that when one is planted, several are reproduced. You rarely get a one to one ratio. One kernel of corn can produce a stalk that has several ears containing hundreds of kernels each. You won’t get the benefit of multiplication until you plant the seed where no one sees it.

In Luke 6:38 Jesus said, “Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back” (NLT). He talks of giving just like a harvest from planting seeds. Whatever you plant, it’s going to be multiplied and given back to you. Make sure you plant the right seeds, cultivate the soil they’re in and your harvest will come guaranteed

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Our Harvest

I read a quote that I found interesting by Randy Hurst, the Assemblies of God World Missions Director of Advancement. He said, “We can’t call them our enemy when God has called them our harvest.” As a Christian, anyone who isn’t a Christian is a person God loves as much as you. What right do we have to hold hate in our heart against any people group if they are the very ones we are supposed to be winning for the kingdom?

We have to lose the mentality that it’s us against them so we can love them enough to lead them to Christ. Jesus was always moved by compassion and it resonated with the people He was trying to reach. If He could be compassionate while speaking the truth in love, so can we. It starts with us seeing God’s image in others. If we are looking for sin in sinners, we’ll surely find it. If we are looking for God’s fingerprints, we’ll find that too. When we see His handiwork, we’ll see them as His harvest and start working to reap the harvest.

Here are some Bible verses on harvesting people.

1. The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:8-9 NLT

2. When He saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.
Matthew 9:36-38 AMPC

3. But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.
Mark 4:20 MSG

4. You have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest.’ But I tell you, take a good look at the fields; the crops are now ripe and ready to be harvested! The one who reaps the harvest is being paid and gathers the crops for eternal life; so the one who plants and the one who reaps will be glad together.
John 4:35-36 GNT

5. If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life.
Galatians 6:8 GNT

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Potential Harvest


A year ago, I bought several bags of seeds so I could teach my son the importance of sowing and reaping. Our garden is small and I could only plant a portion of the seeds. From the ones we planted, we got cucumbers, jalapeños, tomatoes, and a watermelon. From the ones we didn’t plant, we didn’t get anything. In fact, they’re still in their bag and haven’t produced anything. The potential is there to grow, but until they’re taken out of the bag, planted, and watered, they will only be seeds with great potential.

You and I are like those bags of seeds. As long as the seeds are in us, they only have the potential to do great things. Jesus called you and I to be sowers. We are to broadcast the seeds that are in us. They will never grow unless we disperse them and water them. We weren’t meant to just have potential. We were created to meet it and even exceed it. God can’t bless a seed that hasn’t been sown, and He can’t force us to plant. If we are willing to, He’s promised to bless it.

In Haggai 2:18-19, God said, “I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you” (NLT). God wants you to know that before you ever sow one seed, He has already blessed it. Before there is a harvest, God guarantees a blessing if we will simply do the work of a sower. He has placed potential in each one of us, but we have to be willing to let go.

People often ask me how much they should give and what they should tithe on. I offer the same response in the form of a question every time: How much do you want God to bless you? If you only want a little blessing, then give only a little. If you want a big blessing, then give a lot. “Little” and “big” are relative to each person. The widow gave two mites, but Jesus said she gave more than anyone else. God blessed the seeds she planted and we recognize her gift over 2,000 years later.

What seeds are laying dormant with potential in you? Where do you need to plant them? How much do you want God to bless you?

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Produce And Reproduce

I’ve been growing a garden since spring. My cucumbers were the first to become ripe. They were small, but delicious. After I picked them, the vines produced more flowers, but no more food. About that time, my tomato plants started blooming. They produced more than my cucumbers plants did. After several weeks of tomatoes, my jalapeño plants began to get buds on them. Each of them produced for a short period and then quit producing. During each plant’s harvest time, I was so excited to go check them. It left me wanting the plants to produce all year round.

I wonder if Paul felt the same way about the churches he planted. He would stay with them and cultivate them to make sure they were firmly planted. When he would leave to travel to other places to spread the Gospel, he would write to those churches to keep the weeds out so they could grow and reproduce. Some of his letters were reprimands (pulling weeds) and others were encouraging growth (cultivating).

As he was writing to the church at Phillipi to cultivate them, he wrote something that caught my attention. In Philippians 1:11, he says, “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ —for this will bring much glory and praise to God” (NLT). Paul felt the same way about the church there as I did about my garden. He wished they would produce fruit year round instead of just for a short while. He wanted long term production.

It’s the same production God wants from us. We were not meant to be seasonal in our fruit. God expects us to produce the fruit of our salvation at all times. He doesn’t want us to be like my cucumbers where we produce a little bit and then fizzle out. He expects us to keep growing, to keep producing, and even to reproduce. We should be planting seeds in the lives of others, helping them to pull the weeds out, and cultivating their relationship with God so that they can produce and reproduce.

I heard a preacher once say that Christianity is only one generation away from extinction. If all we do is produce fruit in our own lives and never reproduce, Christianity will become extinct. Each of us should have a burning desire to reproduce through others because of what God has done for us. If we keep silent about what God has done and is doing in our lives, then the seeds we have will never be planted or be given the opportunity to reproduce, and Christianity will be no more. It’s up to you and me to produce and reproduce in order to have a continuos harvest. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Love The Sinner.

One of the questions I’m often asked is, “How can I love the sinner and hate the sin?” I’m not sure where this saying originated or how it became the theme among so many Christians. When sin is a part of how a person defines themselves, how can you separate the two? I don’t think you can. The easiest and best thing you can do is to drop the “hate the sin” part and focus on loving the sinner. Before you get all crazy, I didn’t say we don’t call sin “sin”. I said we need to quit focusing on the hate of it so much when it’s attached to a person’s identity.

We have examples of Jesus and Paul who spent their lives ministering to the people who were unworthy of God’s love in the eyes of the religious leaders. People said to Jesus, “If you knew what manner of person she was, you wouldn’t let her touch you.” They also said, “If you were really a prophet, you would know how bad of a sinner that is that you’re talking to.” Jesus didn’t spend nearly as much time hating the sin as He did on loving the sinner. He got up close and personal with those who needed Him most. His response was, “It’s not the healthy who need a doctor. It’s the sick.” If the sick wouldn’t come to the hospital, He went to them.

In I Corinthians 9:19-22 Paul spoke of how he loved the sinner in order to bring them to salvation. He wrote, “Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. (MSG)” In his love for them, he entered their world. He didn’t force them to come to his. I think that’s key for us. Harvesters don’t sit in the farm house waiting for the harvest to bring itself to them. They have to go into the field if they want to reap. 

The most important thing he said was, “I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings on Christ.” If we are going to go into their world, it’s not to camp out and stay. Jesus always went back to the disciples and also to the mountains to pray. When you give yourself away, as love requires, you’ll need to get refilled from other believers and the Father. You’ll need to keep your bearings on Christ so that He remains your moral compass instead of political correctness. If we lose our way, how will they ever find theirs? We must remain grounded in prayer and God’s Word while we serve those involved in sins that are attached to their identities.

In my conversations with people involved in sins like this, they’re turned off by the “Love the sinner, hate the sin” moniker. They just want to be loved and accepted as a person instead of labeled and separated. The only way you can love someone is to get to know them. You can’t know someone if you’re constantly put off by their sin. You can’t know someone if you don’t spend time getting to know them as a human or a person. If you’re going to truly love the sinner, go to them, befriend them, live like Christ in front of them and don’t compromise the truth of God’s Word. When we do that, our churches will start growing and will become the hospital for the spiritually wounded.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Wake Up!

I use a white noise app to help me sleep, especially when I’m at a hotel. It makes the noise of a constant waterfall to bleed out all other noises around. With it, I don’t hear people in the hall or in the room next to me. I become oblivious to just about everything going on around me and I can sleep. It’s very handy to have.

In a spiritual sense, there is a lot of white noise all around us. It is designed to keep us from hearing God speak to us and to help us fall asleep. It is a tactic used by our enemy to keep us from doing what we’re supposed to do. We don’t hear or notice things going on in the spirit realm because we’ve been lulled to sleep.

I Thessalonians 5:6 says, “So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.” Paul was telling us to be awake spiritually. Others have allowed the white noise of this world to put them to sleep spiritually. They aren’t paying attention to the signs of the times or to what is happening all around them because their eyes are closed. They wander through their spiritual life sleepwalking.

It’s time we wake up as the body of Christ. It’s time we quit sleeping and realize that it is still day and we must work while it is day. Jesus said, “The night is coming when no man can work.” We have a brief window to wake up and do real work for the Kingdom of God, yet most of us are sleeping because there is no urgency. We have no real desire to see others come to Christ or we’d be working like their lives depended on it.

When tragedy strikes, everyone has a sense of urgency and they rush to the scene to help others as quickly as possible. Adrenaline takes over and their bodies work through the pain and the weariness. That’s where we need to be right now. Our world is filled with orphans, widows, the poor, the needy and countless lost people. The harvest is ready, but there are only a few laborers working such a large field.

I pray that The Lord of the Harvest would send laborers to work. I pray that He wakes us up from our slumber and ignites a passion in each one of us to go out and share His love with the lost and the hurting. There are people all around each one of us each day who need us to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus, but our eyes are closed to it. We are asleep and are taking it easy.

I think of the Titanic when it was sinking. If you watched the movie, the lifeboats were only half full. They reserved them for a select few while others drowned. They could have put more in those boats, but they didn’t. Instead, they floated to safety while thousands died a few feet away. We are no better than them when we sit comfortably in our lifeboats of salvation and do nothing to save those who are drowning. We need to wake up, hear their cries and lift them into the boats.

We have the answer. We have the ability. We are asleep though and aren’t doing much about it. What is the white noise in your life that is keeping you from hearing the cries of the lost? What is it that has lulled you to sleep spiritually so that you don’t hear those around you? What do you need to do today to wake up? What can you do to bring more into the lifeboats? It’s time we woke up and started working like there is no tomorrow.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Pray Like Rain

Last night I got to hear Doug Stringer from “Somebody Cares International” preach. One of the things he said really stood out to me. He said, “Prayer is the rain in our lives.” It’s what waters the seeds we’ve planted. It’s what makes things grow. I loved this analogy because so many of us plant seeds in our lives or into the lives of others and wonder why they don’t grow.

To me, he answered the question. We don’t water them enough with prayer. Planting a seed is not enough. If it is not watered by you or someone else, how can it grow? I Corinthians 3:7 says, “It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” It’s our prayers that water it and move God to grow it.

In my personal life, I’m not a big fan of rain. When I wake up in the morning and hear rain, I know immediately that 30 minutes just got added to my commute. Rain creates traffic. It also creates the beautiful flowers we see each Spring. We have a saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” We endure the rainy season to enjoy the beauty of Spring. So it is in the spiritual realm.

The rain from our prayers create traffic. I don’t mind spiritual traffic though. Traffic is a sign that things are moving. Things are happening. That kind of thing gets me excited. Spiritual rain also causes the seeds in our lives to grow and produce fragrant flowers in our lives or in the lives of others. The difference is we create the rainy season. If we aren’t experiencing many flowers or growth, chances are we haven’t been creating rain through prayer.

Things don’t just happen because we were faithful to plant seeds. We must pray through that season to make things grow. We read in Daniel 10 where Daniel needed an answer from God. When things didn’t happen, he didn’t quit praying. Instead, he prayed more. He prayed for 3 weeks for this one answer. Finally an angel showed up in verse 12 and said, “Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in Heaven. I have come to answer your prayer.”

Just like if you were planting a garden, you can’t plant the seeds and water it once. You have to keep watering them daily, even when you see the sprouts come up. You keep watering until you receive the harvest. If you stop any time before then, you run the risk of no harvest or a small harvest. Seeing growth should encourage us to pray even more, but for some reason it has the opposite effect. We see growth and think we can stop praying, but we can’t.

Today, I want to encourage you to keep praying even if you haven’t seen growth yet. Who knows what battles in the spiritual realm that God is fighting just to get that seed to sprout. Just because it hasn’t broken the surface yet doesn’t mean it isn’t growing or God isn’t moving. Keep watering it with prayer. And when you start to see the results of your prayer, keep watering until you get your harvest. Then, start the cycle again. May you never leave a rainy season in your life and always see your seeds grow!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized