United Church of God

Letter From Bart Bornhorst - May 10, 2019

Letter From Bart Bornhorst

May 10, 2019

As The Sabbath Nears

God's Precious Plants!

Greetings and happy Sabbath,

Well we are a very short 4 weeks away from the celebration of the feast of Pentecost. God also refers to this day as the Feast of Firstfruits, because it is this time of year that the first harvest is completed in the fields. In Israel they are beginning the wheat harvest and the early figs begin to ripen. God took what was happening around the people and taught us His plan of salvation.

God's work can be compared to a harvest. He has planted His spiritual seed on that ground that He chooses and He works with us and at times He prunes us so that stronger growth can occur. But God's entire focus is to bring us, His plants, to our time of harvest into His Kingdom.

Matthew 13:3-9  
3.  Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow. 
4.  And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 
5.  Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 
6.  But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 
7.  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 
8.  But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 
9.  He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" 

Of course Jesus is speaking of the work that He's doing in our lives, He is the sower. We are the seed that the sower hopes will grow into a spiritually mature plant and yet as the parable describes not all reach that point of harvest in this time.

Jesus tells us to have "ears to hear". Well, what is that message that we're to hear?
Verse 8 clearly tells us that we are to grow, to "yield a crop"!
When God places His precious spirit within a person he doesn't want it to sit dormant. He gives it with the full intent that it bears fruit in the one that receives it. So what is the fruit that we're to bear? We know that God's fruit from His Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
(Galatians 5:22-23)

When we plant a tomato plant we anxiously await for the plant to start bearing fruit. It's an exciting time when we see the first flowery blooms that eventually turn into small tomatoes.
God shares in that same excitement as He watches you and I bloom and blossom into a plant that resembles Him, by bearing fruit! Bearing fruit means sharing the fruit that God gives us with others. Giving it to others means; giving love, sharing joy, putting others at peace, showing patience, being kind, doing good things, being a faithful friend, being soft and gentle and controlling yourself which is putting others before you!

When we produce this fruit in our lives it is very exciting to our Father in Heaven! It is truly the definition of producing a crop of "a hundredfold, some sixty and some thirty".

This kind of growth within God's work is not easy and God's work is not without its own competition from an enemy that greatly desires to crush and defeat any growth that God starts in a person's life. The disciples found it hard to understand Jesus' comments in the Parable of the Sower, but on down in Matthew 13 Jesus expands His teaching on this parable and in His explanation He explains more about the difficulty on coming to God's spiritual harvest.

Matthew 13:18-23
18.  "Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 
19.  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 
20.  But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 
21.  yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 
22.  Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 
23.  But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." 

To summarize, Jesus is telling us what an incredible and rare opportunity it is for your seed to fall upon the "good ground", that good ground is not us! The "good ground" represents God's Holy Spirit, that's the good ground! That is what gives you the chance to "hear the word and understand" and it is God's good ground that initiates the growth and maturity towards a harvest into God's Kingdom!
All of this takes place despite Satan and the tares that surround God's plants that are trying to crush and destroy you spiritually. Be encouraged because God is always by your side protecting you, His plant and bring you to your date of harvest!
I hope your walk towards Pentecost is very meaningful as we consider God's work in our lives, you are God's firstfruit!

I hope you all have a very blessed Sabbath! With all my love!
Bart Bornhorst