Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Shepastor: "Faithful to Your Part in the Process..."

6I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. I Corinthians 3: 6-7, KJV

Planting gardens can be therapeutic, fun and energizing. In general, you know what to expect. The seeds that you plant determine the color and type of flower, fruit, bush, etc., that will spring forth. In general, you can expect when the plants will spring forth…annuals, semi-annuals, year round (such as evergreen trees, pine trees etc.) But planting and sowing in “God’s vineyard” is not so simple.

In truth, we hope that the good seeds of God’s Word, love, encouragement, teachings etc., will blossom in a certain way. But we never know for sure where we are in the process. We never can be sure exactly what will spring forth. We can’t even know when it will spring forth! We may think that we are “planting,” but actually we are watering that which has already been planted by other faithful Christian soldiers. It can be frustrating not to know where we are in the process. We want to see results!

We may think it’s time to “water,” but God instead is using us to break up fallow ground…in other words, the hearts and minds where God has placed us to labor are not ready or mature enough to receive the “meat” of His Word. Their hearts may still be dry and hard. They may even be covered over with a layer of rock or cement. In those instances, our job may be to “break up” some things with loving truth, compassionate discipline, words of correction…words of challenge. This can be a difficult place. It is often a painful and sometimes lonely place…but it is a necessary place for the success of the process.

After all of that, how wonderful it would be to have the opportunity to then plant the seeds and experience the beauty of their growth. But sometimes God says, “No…I have selected another to do that part.” To our frail, finite minds it somehow feels unfair. “You mean after all of that I will not be the one to enjoy the beautiful blossoms?” “Oh yes my child, I have some blossoms for you in another garden…someone else has broken up the ground for you there.”

We are interconnected. Someone came before us. Someone will come after us. We follow someone. It is therefore important for us to be faithful to our part in the process. Each part plays a critical role. We become fainthearted and discouraged when we forget this principle. God has chosen to use us in a variety of ways in various seasons. Our role is not to covet the responsibility of another. Our role is to be faithful to that which we have been assigned.
Some plant, some water, but God gives the increase.

May we be faithful to our roles in every season that the process may be complete.
May you and yours have a blessed and gratitude filled Thanksgiving Day!

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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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