In last week’s post, I shared the first moment I experienced the growth of lasting fruit in my life.
As I look back on that miracle, I realize that I would have never experienced God’s power at work in my life if I had not planted the words of Matthew 5:43 in my heart many months before.
We’ve established that we can only experience growth by God’s power, but it’s important for us to understand that we do contribute to the process.
If a farmer wants to produce an apple tree, he must plant the seed of an apple. In the same way, if we want to produce everlasting fruit, then we must plant everlasting seed.
The quality of the seed we plant determines the quality of the fruit we bear.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever (1 Peter 1:23-25).
The seed of the Word of God is imperishable: incorruptible, immortal, and everlasting. Incorruptible fruit, fruit that is pure and lasts long past the confines of time and space, can only grow if we have planted incorruptible seed, the seed of the enduring Word of God.
We have been born again, replanted and re-established in God’s family, by the imperishable seed of the Word of God. Because of it, we will live forever. And through it, we can bear lasting fruit in our lives.
Although the Word has already been planted in us, there’s a continuing role we must play if we want to bear lasting fruit.
James 1:21 says, Humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
The original Greek word for “accept” means to welcome and receive. The Word has already been planted in us at salvation, but we must welcome and receive it over and into each situation in our lives.
When we welcome a guest, we embrace and usher them in to share the sacred space we call home. It’s the same with welcoming the Word into our circumstances; we embrace the truth of God and usher it into the sacred space of our hearts. Our responsibility is to receive the Word, agreeing with it by believing it as true, while trusting God to give the growth at the appointed time.
Humbly accepting does not mean that we merely shout an amen of agreement as as a pastor speaks. James continues in verses 22-25,
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Planting is more than simply hearing or reading; planting is a believing hope that shapes our actions.
When a farmer plants a seed, there is nothing magical about his actions in that moment; he is merely placing a seed in the soil. What is beautiful about the planting is his hope for a miraculous return on the investment of his time, money, and effort. Each seed he plants holds massive potential for abundant, ripened fruit, and that is why he plants.
In the same way, the moments we commit to reading God’s Word may seem insignificant in and of themselves. But like a farmer, our planting must be accompanied by a holy hope for a supernatural return on the investment of our time and energy. We must plant with the hope that God will give growth because He has promised that He will.
Keep planting the Word.
Hold onto the hope that every time you accept the living Word, there is massive potential for abundant, ripened fruit to be produced in your life. On His timing, by His power, and for His glory.
Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You that You have not hidden Your truth, but instead you have revealed it so generously in the Holy Scriptures. Help me to plant Your truth, consistently and with hopeful expectation that You will give a miraculous return for the moments I invest in planting. Because Your Word endures forever, help me to humbly accept the Word You have planted in me at salvation. Help me to see who I am in the Word and then be who I am in the world. Amen.