Preparing to Sow

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Healthy Soil

If I were a farmer, I would need to learn from another the proper way to plant my crops. Thankfully, my mom grew a garden each year and taught us how to look for good soil and to grow healthy crops.
In the planting of these crops, we were fortunate to live right along the Ohio river. Each winter, the water would rise and leave a fresh layer of silt on a flat below our house. This produces a prime location for planting a garden.
Some indications to look for in healthy soil are the following according to White and Krstic.
1. infiltration and water storage
2. porosity and aeration
3. retention and cycling of nutrients
4. pest and weed suppression
5. detoxification of harmful chemicals
6. storage of carbon
7. promoting plant growth and harvestable yield.
White, Robert E., and Mark P. Krstic. Healthy Soils for Healthy Vines : Soil Management for Productive Vineyards, CSIRO Publishing, 2019. ProQuest Ebook Central, Created from liberty on 2022-07-10 11:00:53.
As I look over this list from professional agriculturalists, I notice that my mother had a really good eye for noticing healthy soil that was able to retain water, porous enough to plant seeds, deep enough to sustain roots, recycling each year with fresh nutrients, not using pesticides and other harmful chemicals, tending to the garden and always producing a yield each year that fed our family.

Our Produce is Spoiled

We live in a society now much different than those who were so reliant upon the good harvest each year. We take for granted the abundance of the farmer’s markets, grocery stores and readily available yield that surrounds us.
During difficult times, however, it is recognized that we must always be prepared to understand the simplistic rules in life in order to sustain ourselves and help others.
Therefore, I would say that our production is spoiled in many ways.
We are too easily given sustenance that we take for granted in how it is grown.
We pay no attention to how it may be necessary to learn these things in order to understand more about the kingdom of God.
Studying the methods God uses to speak to people is imperative to understanding the spiritual nature of the kingdom of God.
During our country’s times of war, drought, and hardship, people once again returned to an understanding of how to grow their own produce, plant in good soil, and yield a harvest for their sustenance.
John 3:12 NASB95
“If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
Listen to God in all the manners in which He speaks with us and remember that He is the creator of all. Therefore, the learning of the simple things will lead to the understanding of greater things.
This is the nature of the parables which Jesus uses for illustration of the kingdom of God.

God Speaks both Plainly and Mysteriously

Matthew 13:1 NASB95
That day Jesus went out of the house and was sitting by the sea.
Matthew 13:2 NASB95
And large crowds gathered to Him, so He got into a boat and sat down, and the whole crowd was standing on the beach.
Matthew 13:3 NASB95
And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow;
Matthew 13:4 NASB95
and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up.
Matthew 13:5 NASB95
“Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil.
Matthew 13:6 NASB95
“But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
Matthew 13:7 NASB95
“Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out.
Matthew 13:8 NASB95
“And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
Matthew 13:9 NASB95
“He who has ears, let him hear.”
Matthew 13:10 NASB95
And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Matthew 13:11 NASB95
Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
Matthew 13:12 NASB95
“For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
Matthew 13:13 NASB95
“Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Matthew 13:14 NASB95
“In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, You will keep on hearing, but will not understand; You will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
Matthew 13:15 NASB95
For the heart of this people has become dull, With their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes, Otherwise they would see with their eyes, Hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I would heal them.’
Matthew 13:16 NASB95
“But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
Matthew 13:17 NASB95
“For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Who is the Sower?

During difficult times, it becomes necessary to help stave off famine, drought, and dark times ahead.
Jesus pointed out the spiritual drought by introducing the parables with well known earthly messages. These cultures during the first century depended on feeding their people just as we do.
No matter the technology, advancement of the civilization, reliance upon daily sustenance is critical for survival.
Spiritually, you are required to daily seek the sustenance of Christ to maintain a spiritually healthy body as well.
Those of you who have said they are responding to the word of God by believing in His Son, Jesus Christ, have a responsibility to work with the Gardener.
How do you do this? How is your garden growing?
Let’s look again at the 7 ways to enable a healthy place for planting seeds.
1. infiltration and water storage
Is the soil you are trying to plant in too hard? Is there a source for water?
Jesus is the living water (John 4). The Holy Spirit is the one who turns the hard soil into one that will yield to the words being planted (Ezek 36:26-27).
2. porosity and aeration
How deep is the soil? Has the soil been allowed to have breath?
If the heart remains hard, the soil will never grow. God’s breath, the living word He has breathed into each one of us must be allowed to maintain our spiritual walk and growth.
3. retention and cycling of nutrients
Have you retained the word of God (Psalm 119:11)? Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:35).
4. pest and weed suppression
1 Pet. 5:8. Be reminded there is an enemy out there seeking to destroy what you are growing.
5. detoxification of harmful chemicals
Remove the evil from your life which causes you to sin. This causes your garden to whither and not grow (Matt. 18:9).
6. storage of carbon
Hebrews 10:23-25.
Carbon is found in all life forms. The ability to store carbon is foundational to growth. We hold onto God’s word and store it up like treasure.
7. promoting plant growth and harvestable yield.
Matt. 9:37, Luke 10:2.

Gardens must be Grown

During times of war, food crisis is often witnessed.
People flee their homes, create abandoned farms and fields that cannot be tended.
We are witness still to this today where there are refugees fleeing war in their countries. Those who are capable of helping should help those who are in need and there are many ways to do so.
“War Gardens” provided a way for people to gather together and help aid a growing food crises that loomed over the world during times of war.
What we fail to see is that the spiritual battle still rages on today and we are failing to grow our war gardens to provide for those who need spiritual food.
Instead of helping those out who are spiritually dying of hunger, there are those who are only maintaining their own health.
What we fail to realize is that by having the bread of life, Jesus, we are erternally blessed to live with Him.
Last week we celebrated the Independence of our Country which was won with a battle.
It was because of many farmers and common people coming together wanting to be free from poverty and a sense of independence from relying on the elite.
The crowds gathering to hear Jesus speak were often those deprived of owning their own land and they were seeking independence from their Roman occupiers. However, Jesus was using these earthly examples to provide spiritual truths.

We must work alongside the Gardener

Churches must enable a place where the hardened heart is enabled to receive the seed of the kingdom of God.
1. infiltration and water storage
We must pray that the soil is softened.
We must aid the people in storing the living water.
2. porosity and aeration
We must work alongside God to enable those to be receptive of the word.
We must encourage those to allow the breath of God into their lives.
3. retention and cycling of nutrients
We must encourage those to share their nutrition with others. People retain >90% of what they teach others.
4. pest and weed suppression
We must not fail to repent of our sins and encourage others to notice there is the work of sanctification along with salvation.
5. detoxification of harmful chemicals
6. storage of carbon
7. promoting plant growth and harvestable yield.
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