Why did the scarecrow win the Nobel Prize? He was outstanding in his field.
When Ben was younger, his favorite joke was:
Why do cows have bells? Their horns don’t work.
Why don’t you tell a secret on a farm? The potatoes have eyes & the corn has ears.
The seed has been planted. The rains are on their way. The warm days are here. What are we to do now that we are waiting? I don’t have to tell farmers what to do with their farms. There is always something to do. A fence will need mending. An animal will need to see the vet. The tractor will need fixing. The storage facilities will have to be maintained. All summer long there can even be hay that needs put up.
We have talked about Jesus. We know a friend or coworker heard us. They are still thinking about faith in Jesus. What are we to do now that we are waiting? I hope to remind Jesus’ disciples what we do as part of the church. There is always something to do. A fence will need mending. A loved one will need to see the doctor. The operation of the church will need fixing. The sanctuary and classrooms will need attention. All summer long there can even be Christians who mature in the faith.
That’s right. We Christians can become mature in our faith. How we talk with each other shows our maturing faith. How we listen to each other shows our maturing faith. How often we forgive each other is a mark of our Christian faith. These ways of maturing mean we are living the law of Christ. What can we do to mature in our faith as we wait for the harvest?
A. Fix any fences (6:1-2)
1. When the neighbor repeatedly crashes the fence, we are gentle with them
2. Yet, we make sure we keep from crashing their life in the process
3. It has been good to hear of people rallying around a family when their hay needs cut and put up – love our neighbors
4. Since we have received the Spirit of Christ, we restore one another when we know we have transgressions. But we do so gently so we keep ourselves from doing some other transgression. We end up loving anyone who is beat down by the world. This sounds like it only happens on occasion. How are we to mature when this sort of stuff is not happening?
B. We keep an eye on our own work (6:3-5)
1. Our work doesn’t make us better than anyone else
2. We could become full of pride – which might be our downfall
3. Are we doing what God wants us to do? Or are we making other people do what we want them to do? As we are waiting for the harvest to come in, we look after our own lives. For when we get so busy we are telling others how to live like Jesus, we may stray from Jesus ourselves! Yes, we do help each other. But if we don’t maintain our own fields, how could we possibly tell someone else how to maintain their fields? Yet, there are some among us who are teachers.
C. Invest in the teacher (6:6)
1. Teachers have taught us some things
2. We let the teachers know of the good we have learned
3. As we are growing mature in our faith, we recognize the teachers/pastors who have helped us. We make sure they are taken care of. We each figure out how to do that. Sometimes, it is how we sow that accomplishes this task.
D. Sow to the Spirit (7-8)
1. If we sow to satisfy religious laws, then we reap from the flesh
2. If we sow to satisfy God’s Spirit, then we reap from the Spirit
3. Making sure we satisfy our own desires is something we know how to do. Paul is encouraging us to satisfy the desires of the Holy Spirit. For when we are living the law of Christ, loving one another as he has loved us, then we reap eternal life. For our faith in Jesus is worked out as we love one another. We can receive eternal life, it might not happen right now. So, what happens if the harvest seems delayed?
E. Don’t give up (9-10)
1. Don’t get tired of sowing seeds – the harvest will come
2. If we haven’t seen a harvest in a while, then maybe we need to start sowing again
3. Part of sowing seeds is working for the good of all
4. When Christians take care of each other, then we are not giving up on the harvest
5. We learned last week the kingdom of God is all about the harvest. We cannot give up on the harvest. Our work, our lives together sets the table for a bountiful harvest. Our love of God is not based only on the harvest. Our obedience to the Law of Christ is lived everyday – as our faith is working through love to all.
My parents had to feed us five kids. The garden was a good way to make sure we had vegetables. Mom & Dad would mark the rows. My older brother or sister may lay out the plants in the prepared row. I or my younger brothers would cover up the plants. Then someone would water the plants. Planting the seeds for the garden took all of us. We did this work together so we would all enjoy the harvest. Along the way we would have to set each other right, but not without losing sight of our own job.
This sounds like the church. Someone will give us an idea where seeds need planted. Someone will make sure seeds are sown. Someone else will pray for the planted seeds. Someone else will water the growing garden. It takes all of us in the church to enjoy the harvest. Along the way we set each other right, but not without losing sight of our own jobs. We get to live the Law of Christ. We get to sow to the Spirit so many can enjoy eternal life.