The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Jim Neal
First Southern Baptist Church 

Pastor's Corner - Jan. 24, 2019

Only God knows how many apples are in a seed


January 24, 2019 | View PDF

Anyone can know how many seeds are in an apple: Only God knows how many apples are in a seed.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” --Galatians 6:9.

I remember reading the first quote many years ago, and it has for some reason been on my mind all week this week. I have no idea what instigated its rising up, but it is there. Perhaps it is because we have just finished one of the most sacred seasons, the Christmas time. Or perhaps it is because we have just begun yet another year, and many are seeking a fresh touch from our Lord to make this year count. For sure, the Lord Jesus was and is still the most magnificent seed ever planted in time and eternity. His death, burial and resurrection remains the centerpiece of all humanity. And for sure, only God knows how many believers will come from the planting of His life.

Let’s think for a moment about that quote as it relates to your life and mine. A tiny seed such as an apple seed, when planted, nurtured and protected, will protect hundreds of thousands of apples over the life of the tree. As a lad picking apples in the rolling hills of Southern Illinois, I often thought there were thousands of apples on the tree I was assigned to pick -- but you catch my drift.

The time from the planting of the seed to the first harvest of said tree is well over five years. That is five years of hoeing weeds, fertilizing, pruning and the like before any measureable harvest is ever realized. The same can be said of a thought, an idea or of an investment. It often takes much time, sweat, tears and cultivation before we realize the fulfillment of a dream or a realization of an idea, placed within us by the Holy Spirit. (Proverbs 29:18)

A seed must fall in the ground and die to itself in order to germinate and produce new growth. So must we be willing to die to ourselves and be willing to struggle through the germination period of some new endeavor to be able to fully appreciate the rewards of victory. Therein lies the challenge for us all – patience. In our microwave society we want results [BEGIN ITAL]right now[END ITAL]. Often we pray, “Lord, grant me patience, and give it to me right now!”

Would you want a doctor to operate on you after two years of schooling? Of course not. A doctor is one in whom the seed of victory is planted early, and it is years before he picks up the scalpel to perform his first surgery. The seasoned athlete who strokes a 45-foot home run or hits the winning bucket didn’t do that the first time the seed was planted. No, it took years of practice and a willingness to die to self by giving up time at the malt shop or movie theater to hone his skills.

But there is a kicker about seeds. It isn’t the size of the seed that counts, it is the faith of the one planting it that reaps the reward. Remember, Jesus said, “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain be removed and it will move.”[END ITAL] (Matthew 17:20) Now the mountains are fine where they are; He speaks to the mountains of fear, of indecision, ill health and the like those are the mountains that need moved. Agreed?

Jim Neal is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church in Shafter.


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