North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    From the beginning of time up to this modern day, there are some who choose to make a living off the land. These fine people call themselves farmers. They are a risk-taking kind of folk, because they plant seeds and find themselves trusting the Good Lord will send an abundance of rain and sunshine to help grow the crop. If you have spent any length of time studying the Bible; you find a myriad of Scriptures throughout the Old and New Testament highlighting the tasks of farmers and seed sowers.    One such passage is found in Psalm 126:5-6 where it says, “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.”  

    The words of this text can provide inspiration to the lives of those who live for God. It helps us understand our mission in terms of sowing the good seed of the Word of God in the hearts of people. I happen to believe this passage from Psalm 126 is an Old Testament commission to personal witnessing. There is also a promise of fruitfulness to those who give themselves to the task of sowing the seed of divine truth in people’s hearts. This is echoed in the verse of John 15:8, “When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”

    Sadly, personal witnessing is one of the most neglected forms of Christian service. This could be due to timidity, lack of self-esteem, a feeling of spiritual unworthiness, the fear of saying the wrong thing, or lack of training. It could be due to spiritual laziness, unconcern, or a preoccupation with other things. We can be certain the devil will do all in his power to keep us from the task of sowing the seed of the gospel in the world.

    On one of my trips to the North American Mission Board Chaplaincy Conference at Ridgecrest in North Carolina, I met a humble man and his wife. During the conference we were assigned to a group for a team-building exercise. He commenced to tell me how he had recently retired from farming. He had spent his whole adult life, almost 40 years, raising kids and providing for his family. He went on to say, “God has been awfully good to me and I feel He has called me to be a disaster relief chaplain at this point in my life. But I’m just a farmer. That’s all I know how to do.”

    I sensed his lack of self-confidence for chaplaincy and saw it even more in his demeanor. He did not think he had what it took to be successful. The Spirit told me to encourage this man, so I said, “A farmer is one of the greatest callings in life. Do you realize how many people you have provided for in your career as a hard-working farmer? More than just your family. You’ve helped hundreds, even thousands. And on top of that, the Bible is full of farming lessons for all Christians.”

    I told him to read Isaiah 28:23-29 where it says: “Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting? Does he not finally plant his seeds—black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat—each in its proper way, and each in its proper place? The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding. Grain for bread is easily crushed, so he doesn’t keep on pounding it. He threshes it under the wheels of a cart, but he doesn’t pulverize it. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom”.

    I asked him, “How many times have you had to replant a crop, fix a tractor, lack adequate subsidies to finish your work, dealt with soil-exhaustion, soil-erosion, pestilence, weeds, and droughts? You’ve had to discern the quality of seeds you used and struggled with storage and transport. You’ve no doubt dealt with some, if not all these things in some way or another. And now you are here making yourself available to share the Good News of God’s love with people who are having to endure tough times. You’ve been in training all your life in how to sow the seeds of righteousness”.

    He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “God meant for us to meet. I’ve made a new friend that has encouraged me.”

    We prayed for one another and parted ways.

    Psalm 126:5-6 says, “Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.” This text contains a clear promise of fruitfulness for the farmer and spiritual seed sower.

    Encourage one another with these words: 1) The seed sower places themselves in proper position to receive the fulfillment of God’s promise, 2) The seed sower can be assured of the presence of the living Christ, 3) The seed sower can enjoy the peace of being in harmony with God’s will, 4) The seed sower experiences the thrill of rendering life’s greatest possible service, 5) The seed sower can be assured of eternal rewards.

    Not everyone can be farmers by trade, but we can all be seed sowers of the Good News. Happy New Year!

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a health educator for the State of Florida, U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Jan 5 2020. Filed under Church News, Churches, Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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