Summary: The more seed that is cast in the park, the greater the number of pigeons that will come. The same holds true if we want to see a harvest in the souls of men. There has to be a lot of bread cast upon the waters.
By Pastor Jim May
Some time ago I walking in one of the parks around town and I saw an old man sitting on a bench feeding the pigeons. It seemed that the more seed he cast out, the more pigeons would appear. There were only a few to begin with but it wasn’t long until the sky will filled with birds coming to get their share of the seeds. As long as there was a seed upon the ground the pigeons would stay, but soon the seed ran out so most of them left.
This morning, as I began to ask the Lord what message He would have for the church, I was reminded of that scene in the park when I read a passage of scripture found in the book of Ecclesiastes. The Book of Ecclesiastes is also called the book of “the Teacher” or “the Preacher”. It’s not hard to find messages all through the book because everything that you read can be easily related to where we live right now even though it was written several thousands of years ago. And why shouldn’t it relate to us? The whole of the Word of God relates to us, right where we are, because it is a “Living Word”, and not just ink on paper. Every Word of God is alive with the Spirit and Power of God to change us if we will only hear what He has to say to us with the “ears of the Spirit”.
Now I’m not necessarily going to talk about pigeons this morning, but I do want to talk to you a little while about “casting your seed”. You see, if we don’t cast our seed, give into the lives of others, and plant seeds of service into the lives of other people, then we will never receive a harvest.
If you are into agriculture you will know that we are in the time of the Harvest Moon right now. Some of you may have noticed how big the moon is and how bright it is. I awoke this morning about 4:30 and thought that I had overslept because the room was so bright. The harvest moon is called that because it gives out a brighter light than usual at this time of year and that helps northern farmers to hasten the harvesting of their crops before the harsh winter sets in. It also signals the beginning of the Fall Season of the year.
I believe that not only are we facing the time of the harvest in the fields of agriculture, but we are also getting ready for the greatest harvest of souls before the coming of the Lord.
But we will only see a harvest if we have planted the seed. That’s really what this message is all about – Planting seed and gathering the harvest.
Ecclesiastes 11:1-6, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good."
Sometimes the harvest for our work just doesn’t seem like it will come at all and we wonder what happened?
Robert Moffat was a Scottish missionary to South Africa. After many months of hard work among the African tribes he came home to recruit others to join him on the mission field. When he arrived in Scotland, from the sweltering heat of the jungle, he was greeted by the fury of the cold British winter. When he arrived at the church where he was to speak, he noted that only a small group had braved the elements to hear his appeal. What disturbed him even more was that there were only ladies in attendance that night, and he wondered whether he had really heard from the Lord because he had chosen to preach from Proverbs 8:4 that says, "Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man."
When he gave his final appeal that night, nobody answered the call and came forward to volunteer for missionary service and Moffat wondered if his message had been given in vain. But what Moffat didn’t see was there was a small boy in the loft of the church who had come to work the bellows of the church organ. The message had really stirred the heart of this boy.