Within our Wisdom Note this week, we continue with part two of a three-part series on how life is like a seed. There are so many lessons that we can learn from farming. It is rich in its analogies of life. Growing up on a farm, more specifically an apple orchard, we learned firsthand the struggles and hardships of farming. So it is with life at times, but unless we plant good seeds continually, we will never reap a good harvest.
God instructs us to learn spiritual principles from creation. Have you considered the example of the seed?
This week we will investigate the five basic conditions that all seeds need to germinate and for the plant to grow. Similarly, Christians need these five spiritual conditions to grow. Let’s look at how and why a seed needs each of these conditions and how they spiritually apply to a Christian’s life.
Sunlight, which changes in length and intensity throughout the year, is a plant’s signal to start germinating at the right time. It also helps show the plant which way is up and where to send its leaves to receive light so that it can produce its own food.
Notice what Psalm 119:105 states, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” God, in His Word, shows us through daily Bible study which way to go.
Alone, man does not know how to plan his own course as mentioned in Jeremiah 10:23, “I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.”
As a result, he gropes in the darkness of this world, ignorant of the only way that produces true and lasting peace, happiness, and prosperity. The light of God’s Word reveals the path that leads to the kingdom of God and eternal life.
Water is also a vital key in the life of every plant. As mentioned last week, some seeds need to be immersed in water to germinate. All seeds need to absorb and fill up with water, which is the first step in germination. This happens by either a chemical trigger or a change in the seed coat.
When we accept Christ as our substitution or sacrifice for our sins so that we become holy in God’s sight, we are washed clean. A comparison to how husbands are to love their wives is how Christ loved the church which is described in Ephesians 5:25-27, “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.”
A parallel can also be considered with baptism and the story of the Samaritan woman at the well when Christ told her in John 4:13-14, “Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.'”
The soil will determine the health and strength of a plant. The better the soil, the healthier and stronger the plant. The soil should not be too sandy or too hard, and it must supply the right nutrients for the plant to grow strong.
Soil nutrients provide the proper building blocks for a plant to build its cells. For example, it must have a good source of calcium to have strong stems and branches. Soil also needs magnesium to make its leaves green, which enables it to harness the power of the sun.
Jesus told the parable of building a good foundation in Luke 6:48-49, “It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”
Although this passage is referring to building on a solid foundation, our “soil”—our spiritual foundation—must contain the right “nutrients.” Christians must build their Spirit-led lives upon the doctrines and traditions of God’s true apostles and prophets, whom He has used to instruct and lead His people.
Ephesians 2:19-20 explains it in this manner, “So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.” Also in John 13:34-35 Jesus tells us, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Time is crucial in the germination process. As in life and business, it is usually better to get things done sooner rather than later—yet, some things cannot be hurried because they need to be done right.
In our Christian lives, we need to remember that it takes time to grow, change, and overcome. This means that we should strive to be patient with our spiritual development. James 5:7 uses this analogy, “Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.”
In addition, the temperature is important in the germination process. If a seed is in an environment lacking the right temperature, its chance of success is severely limited, even if all the other elements are present.
Many Christians today have a “temperature” problem. In Revelation 3:15-16, Christ warns His people, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!” None of us can afford to let our zeal for brotherly love and doctrinal truth wane. Therefore, we must be diligent to have and maintain the right temperature to survive this lukewarm age!
In our Wisdom Note this week, we had our second of three lessons on how life is like a seed, we considered the example of the seed, what the seed is made of, and that to produce fruit the seed must die to itself. Next week we will explore planting seeds that grow. Encourage your friends and family to join us each day to listen to our Podcast: Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.