Summary: Farming is no game. Understanding life on the farm is necessary for survival. Learn the laws and learn the lessons in order to live successfully in Farmville.
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Life on the Farm – Part 3
I told you last week that I never really spent that much time on a farm. Isn’t it interesting that farming has invaded the lives of urban folks through the internet. However, truth be told, we have been saturated with farm life long before Farmville came on the scene. As kids we learned about farm life. Old McDonald taught us what was on a farm. The Farmer in the Dell taught us the circle of life … farmer takes a wife, wife takes a child, child takes a nurse, etc. Farm life has been teaching us for decades.
I don’t know if the people in Jesus’ day had songs about farm life, but I do know that they were, and probably much more than we are, familiar with farming! So, I told you because Jesus was conscious of being relevant He developed much of the content of His teachings around agriculture themes! Perhaps the most famous and well known farm teaching that Jesus used is the parable of the “Sower.”
Text: Matthew 13:1-8; 18-23
1-3 At about that same time Jesus left the house and sat on the beach. In no time at all a crowd gathered along the shoreline, forcing him to get into a boat. Using the boat as a pulpit, he addressed his congregation, telling stories.
3-8"What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.
18-19"Study this story of the farmer planting seed. When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn’t take it in, it just remains on the surface, and so the Evil One comes along and plucks it right out of that person’s heart. This is the seed the farmer scatters on the road.
20-21"The seed cast in the gravel—this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.
22"The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it.
23"The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams."
II. Harvest Lessons
Out of this Farmville backdrop I told you that you cannot escape the laws of the farm. Your seed limits, limit harvest! Your harvest is your fault – you get what you sow. Your harvest won’t change until your seed does. And I told you not to fight the fertilizer. Then last week I told you to learn seedy math. Seeds multiply so you must sow the right things. Seeds produce after like kind so we must give our seed assignments! Don’t just sow randomly sow on purpose! We must protect our seed from the enemy and from ourselves. Too many of us eat our seed because we are short sighted and desire instant gratification so much that we fail to look towards or plan for long term harvest.
I want us to continue our discussion today, I purposely spent two weeks on seed laws/lessons because I believe most of us become manic or obsessed with harvest. Our job is to sow – our sowing determines harvest – so harvest will come. We will reap! We don’t escape the reaping!
One of my best friend’s brothers would go on harvest every year up in Colorado. He actually lost one of his brothers to an accident while on harvest and the other brother lost his thumb on his right hand due to a harvest accident. So I do want to caution you this morning:
We like to think that harvest season is the party time and it is always easy but harvesting can be dangerous if we don’t follow the rules! So let’s look at some harvest principles that we need to know!
a. Plow for your harvest!
We all want a harvest. We all want reward. We all want favor and blessings. However, few of us are willing to plow for the harvest! Hear an incredibly important truth this morning! You can’t have a harvest without plowing. We want to skip this part because it is hard work. We don’t like the idea of toiling, sweating, creating blisters and sore backs, but harvest requires hard work!