Welcome to the Farm

Galatians 5:22–23 (NIV)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

CONSIDER THIS

I grew up on a farm. Though I left the farm many years ago, in much deeper ways I remain there. The farm is in me. I live in Texas now. Just the other day, on a trip from Texas to Tennessee, I drove across tens of thousands of acres of croplands as I passed through my homeland of Arkansas. It was harvest time. There is no better time than harvest time. Though it remains hard work, it is the easiest work in the world, because you are receiving the return and reward for all the labor expended through plowing, sowing, cultivating, irrigating, and waiting. The Bible speaks of sowing as a season of tears, while the harvest is a season of joy. 

The Bible is a decisively agrarian book. The culture of the Bible is agri-culture. Farming is not an ancient metaphor no longer relevant for an urban world. God is a farmer. God farms. We cannot understand God nor the ways of God nor even the will of God without understanding something of agriculture. The story of the Bible begins in a garden and it ends with trees by a riverbank who bear fruit year round and whose leaves are for the healing of the nations. 

But people who were born and reared in cities cannot relate, you say. I say they can. Why? Because they eat. No agriculture—no food. Even if people do not have a working knowledge of farming, they have a deeply intrinsic understanding of agriculture. How? Because we have all come from dust and to dust we are returning. Agriculture begins with creation and not only persists to the end, but beyond it as the culture of the new creation. If we are to understand the ways and will of God and his workings with, for, in, and through us who bear his image, we must ask the Holy Spirit to take us deep into the realities of earth and sky, soil and seed, of cultivation and irrigation, plowing and pruning, and yes of reaping and harvest. 

When the inspired writers of Scripture want us to understand the glorious revelries of the Spirit-filled life— of the abundant abiding life in the Vine who is Jesus Christ—they turn to the fruit of the field. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Eat your fruits and vegetables today. It just may be the most spiritual thing you do. 

THE PRAYER

Almighty God, Maker of heaven and earth, our Father, awaken us to the miracle of creation through which you reveal to us the greater miracle of the new creation. Lord Jesus, give us a vision of the harvest, and increase our appetite for its fruit to be cultivated and manifest through our very lives. Holy Spirit, bear the glorious fruit of the kingdom of heaven in our lives on earth that others might taste and see that the Lord is good. Praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Will you open yourselves to be taught the extraordinary things of Jesus and the kingdom of heaven through the ordinary things of the earth we have come to take for granted and hardly see or even consider?

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. JD. I too am very much involved in agriculture as a long time organic gardener, also a native Texan. As a resident of central Texas, I’m one of those gardeners who’s being adversely by our current drought. This experience has demonstrated the spiritual reality of how Jesus provides for us Living Waters through the importation of the Holy Spirit, so necessary for our new life in Christ.

  2. “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    If you British were like Christ, then – we would all be Christians. (Recalled from a biography of Gandhi.)

    ― Mahatma Gandhi
    Serving two masters does not work: hate replaces Good.
    Without the Fruit of the Spirit there is no Harvest because there is neither Light to Grow or Water to sustain that which forms the tie that binds – the Many Members of One Body whose job it is: not to abide with the poison of evil, who’s job it is to destroy and/or replace the soil’s nutrition for Life. (My winter crop seeds have yet to germinate.)

  3. One cannot plant apple seeds and expect to harvest peaches. Out belief and behavior are the fruit of the seeds planted in us.
    The genuine fruit we offer others is evident during our trials and tribulations, in crunch time. Is it joy, or is it…?
    The fruit we offer should be where others want the same seeds planted in them.
    Matthew 7:16-20
    16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.
    Learning to become.

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