The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 3:5-6, “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
Early last summer, my wife planted; I watered and God gave us the increase. This is how it all started.
One day, my wife had the greatest idea and decided we try our hands at backyard gardening. It just so happened that we had spotted and raised a flower bed in our front yard that was just sitting there unused. So, one early morning, we went to our local nursery in paradise area (Amish Greenhouse – in beautiful Lancaster, Pennsylvania) and bought some tomato seedlings, peppers, and eggplants – in my part of the world – Ghana West Africa they are known as garden eggs). The first few days, we poured so much love into our small garden. Rich soil and natural plant food were purchased along with matching gardening tools to boot the equation. Guess what?
In the early stages of this journey, when we had not even held a fruit, or started discussing what we would be planting next summer, we giggled expectantly about our first dreamed bountiful harvest of fresh tomatoes on a vine with some hot peppers for our local African Ghanaian cuisine (already daydreaming…Hahaha.
Eventually, we bought and planted a few seedlings. Every morning and evening, we tended to those baby plants. We watered them, uprooted bad weeds and discussed what we would do to protect them from the squirrels and bunnies in our area.
After a few weeks of labouring in this journey, we finally saw some fruits of “our labor” – actually not us but God. Our tomato plants started to bud, the pepper plants were spreading, and the eggplants were thriving. Praise the Lord! We were so happy and couldn’t wait to harvest this fresh produce from our small garden.
On the flip side of this journey, our two little humorous men (Eugene & Jayden) one day suggested that since we want to literally plant everything from the Amish Greenhouse, then we might as well consider planting some crayons, Tootsie sweets, logos, Paul & Silas, Jack and the Beanstalk plus adventures of Cailou…hhaha (sense of humour and wild imagination from kids world). However, on a more serious note, we were in awe at the miracle of plant life and how God intricately orchestrates every minute aspect of this life.
Theologian Albert Barnes once asserted, “God gave the increase – God caused the seed sown to take root and spring up, and God blessed the irrigation of the tender plants as they sprung up, and caused them to grow.
It would be vain for the farmer to sow his seed unless God would give it life. There is no life in the seed, nor is there any inherent power in the earth to make it grow. Only God, the Giver of all life, can quicken the germ in the seed, and make it live. So it would be in vain for the farmer to water his plant unless God would bless it” (Barnes’ Notes on the Old and New Testaments).
This clearly shows that the end product of our plants was divinely determined and altered by God. In fact, the seeds would not have germinated if it was not planted in the right soil, nor grow if it was not watered properly; but the bottom line is that the life process that our plants went through and came with a great increase (harvest) was embedded in the womb of God’s sovereignty. He arranged it all right from the beginning, from start to finish, from the conception of thought to the actualization of the fruits of our dream harvest.
No wonder the prophet Isaiah said, God declares the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, He says, it is His counsel alone that shall stand, and He will do all that He pleases (Isaiah 46:10).
LESSON: Yes, as Christians we may labour in planting (preaching the Word) and watering (teaching the Word), but God says the increase (Harvest of souls) is predicated upon His sovereignty.
LET GOD BE GOD AND LET THE CHURCH SAY AMEN!!!!