The following is a devotional meditation I wrote for my children’s school. They meet once a week (homeschool fine arts co-op), and each week a different father is asked to provide the devotional meditation for grades K-8 (lower/upper grammar and dialectic). Here goes:
Have you ever done work in a garden; or have you ever seen a farmer work in a field? There are two big events that take place when farming: one in the springtime and the other in the fall.
The big activity in the springtime, when the farmer scatters the seed is called “sowing. Then, in the fall, the farmer needs to gather his crops; that is called reaping (or harvesting).
Just like a farmer sows seed in the ground to reap fruit later, we must sow seed in our hearts to reap good later. Following are some observations about sowing and reaping.
One (a): Do it. If I wanted to gather corn in the fall, what would I need to do in the springtime? The answer: plant corn. In order to reap later (in the fall), I must sow earlier (in the spring). Likewise, what do I need to sow into my heart if I want reap good words? [Good words]. The Bible says in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” REAPING RULE #1a: TO REAP GOOD FRUIT, SOW GOOD SEED.
One (b): Don’t not do it. What would happen if I did not sow anything in the springtime? The answer: I would get nothing in the fall (except weeds); I would not reap anything. Do not be deceived: one can’t-not sow. The Bible says in Hosea 8:7a, “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” REAPING RULE #1b: SOW NOTHING GOOD, REAP ONLY BAD.
Two: Do it right. What can I do to ensure that I get the fruit I want? Can I sow pumpkins and hope to get corn? [NO]. What will I get if I sow zucchini? Or tomatos? Or squash? Or watermelons? What do I need to sow in my heart if I want to reap kindness? Or joy? Or love? REAPING RULE #2: TO REAP FRUIT, SOW THAT FRUIT’S SEED.
Three: Do enough. If I want to reap a harvest to feed my entire family of six people for the entire winter, should I sow a little seed or alot of seed? Will one seed be enough? Ten? One-thousand? No, I need to sow alot, not a little. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” REAPING RULE #3: TO REAP ENOUGH FRUIT, SOW ENOUGH SEED.
Four: Protect your investment. Because of man’s sin, the ground is cursed (Gen 3:17-19). Weeds, thorns, pests, and enemies all work against a good and fruitful, bountiful harvest. These bad things will ruin the fruit of the seeds sown earlier if left unchecked. The farmer must actively protect the crops for the duration of the growing season: first by keeping bad things out, and second by removing bad things that have made their way in. [Read Matthew 13:24-30]. REAPING RULE #4: TO REAP GOOD FRUIT, ACTIVELY PROTECT SEED FROM RUIN.
Bearing good fruit is important, for that is how one proves one’s salvation (James 2:14-19, 24), but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). We need to have good fruit (Galatians 5:22-24), but in order to have good fruit, we need to have a pure heart. Just like a farmer needs good soil to reap a good crop, we need to sow good seed in a pure heart to produce good fruit. We cannot control the heart, nor the fruit, but only what we put in to our hearts.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life,” Proverbs 4:23 warns.
We need to diligently guard our hearts from “bad” (impure) things while at the same time sowing “good” (pure) things into our heart. What does “diligence” mean? Diligence means extreme, focused attention to a persevering application; think of a World Cup Soccer goalie: there is no way, on their watch, they are going to let the opponent’s ball into the net.
Because we can neither change our heart or reap what has not been sown, we need to diligently guard our heart from evil.
Good Seed: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
God’s work for a good heart (soil): “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Good Fruit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22, 23)