“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
2 Corinthians 9:6
For all those who have planted a vegetable garden, at least once, you know the excitement of seeing that first tiny green shoot push through the soil. You see the fruit of your labor: carefully planted seeds spaced exactly three inches apart, two inches into a pocket of dirt, then faithfully watered with an eye for weeds that could threaten the growth of your little seedlings. And then behold, a tiny leaf . . . ahhh the satisfaction.
As we approach 2022 the word I repeatedly hear is “Go.” Go where? To a particular state, to a different country, across the street, to a homeless shelter? Recently, when I asked a friend what God was saying to her last week, she said the same thing — “Go.” God isn’t designating “Go” as a place, it is a vision, a mindset He wants His children to adopt and faithfully walk out, a way of thinking that trumps any comfortable destination we could imagine. “Go plant seeds.” I do not believe anyone will argue the mindset of sharing Jesus with another person is unusual for a disciple of Christ. What is unusual is when the mindset overcomes the fear of rejection and the disciple follows through to plant a seed, a word of encouragement that moves the name of Jesus into the spotlight. More than a few times I’ve wondered about my lack of follow through. For example, when I’m standing in the grocery store line watching the cashier scan my groceries, and I’m in too unconcerned to ask how their day is going, or as I’m picking up my food order at a drive through, I refrain from anything other than a simple “thank you” rationalizing — “it’s a drive through.”
2022 is about sowing — intentionally planting seeds of faith wherever we go. “Go plant seeds!” Don’t overthink it, just do it! This is the instruction of Scripture. Believe me, I’m speaking every word to myself first and then to you. I need to get out of the “lone ranger” mentality and realize every connection that produces an encouraging conversation is authored by my God who goes before me; I’m simply the messenger. These thoughts hit me with a 2×4 when I read about John the Baptist in our online devotionals. John was bold and direct; his compassion was not modeled with a gentle delivery; his compassion was manifest in the urgency for people to turn to God. Who could possibly respond to such abruptness? For one, the crowds, secondly, tax collectors, thirdly, soldiers; they begged to know what they could do to be saved. Even King Herod’s attention was captured by John’s message as he prepared the way for his Lord Jesus Christ. John was not afraid of unfavorable reactions; he was afraid of what would happen to those who did not hear the message and deal with their sin.
I’m certainly not suggesting that we become just like John. There was, and forever will be, one anointed John the Baptist who prepared the way for the Lord Jesus Christ. But within you . . . lies a treasure, the treasure of your personal story. The story of God’s goodness to you. The treasure of God’s daily work in your life that He wants you to share and not lock away for safekeeping. Sometimes God will ask you to share a one-minute word of how Jesus has changed you from the inside out. Other times He will ask more of us. We must be “ready,” ready to pick up the cross of our Lord Jesus and carry it with honor and pride. Honor in our Savior who gave up His Kingly glory to come to earth as a helpless child — may I never take that sacrifice lightly or with even a hint of shame by holding back the message of His saving grace. May our love for people far outweigh the hesitancy of our overthinking minds. Engaging others in encouraging conversation invites the Holy Spirit to work beyond our human capacity. Our belief in the work of Jesus Christ within our own lives, compels our faith to step out, to do His good and perfect will.
Go and sow! Trust in Philippians 3:12, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” Plant those seeds!
Sowing seeds together,