Wednesday, October 9, 2013

If You Don't Plant Anything

If you don't plant anything, God won't give the increase.   
If you don't witness, you won't win souls. 
If you don't train your children, they won't grow in godliness. 
If you don't nurture your marriage, it won't please God. 
If you don't plant bean seeds, you won't grow beans. 
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. 1 Corinthians 3:6-8
My earthly abilities are so small. There are so many thing I can't do. I can't make my children grow up to serve Jesus. I can't force my husband to make right decisions every day. I can't be the type of woman that God outlines in the Scriptures.  Those are things that only God can do.

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But even with that, I have to do my part. God has given me a task to do in each of those endeavors. When you plant a flower seed, you can't make it grow. But God won't grow it if you leave the seeds laying on your kitchen counter. Only God can cause that seed to grow but I must go plant it.  

I can teach my children the Bible- line upon line, precept upon precept. I can teach them to shape their behavior according to Bible principles. 

I can pray for my husband. I can use my influence to help him choose right. 

I can yield myself to the Spirit's control. I can guard my heart and what I put into it. I can feed myself the Bible and allow God to grow me.  

Most people fall to an extreme in this like with everything. (Isn't balance really an elusive goal?)  We either believe we can do it all by ourselves if we just work hard enough or we think that God will do it all and we can just sit on the couch. God does the work but He uses people to do it. 

He outlined in the Bible the path to fulfilling the Great Commission. We are to go. We are to win. We are to baptize. We are to teach. But really, can we win? Only God can convict of sin. Can we baptize? Only God can place a desire to obey in a person's heart. Can we teach? Oh, we can say words but only God can shape a heart with those words. 

And yet, we must go. We must open our mouths and tell someone that Jesus died to save them or they will never hear.  We must explain the importance of baptism or they will never obey. We must use our hands, our feet, our mouths, our love or God's work won't be done.

I must have Jesus. On my own, I am not anything. But God can take my work and do something extraordinary when I give myself to Him. Not just give my work, but give myself. He wants me. He wants you. 

The last part of those verses says that "every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor."  I'm not going to be rewarded for the results. I can't "make" results; that's God's job. I'm going to be rewarded for my work. Did I obey? Did I do my part that God gave me? 

It's a miracle really. A miracle that God can take common ordinary things like dirt and water and make something grow- beautiful flowers, nutritious food.  And it's a miracle that God can take common actions- going, talking, teaching- and use them to win hearts for His kingdom. 

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