December 2010


Workers In God’s Growing Field ~ 1 Cor 3:5-9  

What a great time of year to internalize this rich passage.  The holiday ministries are upon us, and a New Year dawns.  From this dynamic text, all of us should find great encouragement for service as opportunities for ministry will abound.

We know that our Country has suffered through times of severe drought.  Just one example took place in the early 20th century when people left their farms in the “heartland”.  Many Mid-westerners moved west because their farms had become “dust bowls”.  Today, droughts cause famine all over the world.

For growth in the field, the farmer must have both seeding and water, and unless the seeds germinate and grow in the sun, there will not be a harvest.  Likewise, God must be at work for spiritual new life and growth to occur within the field of the body of Christ.

Paul planted.  Apollos watered.  Paul was there at the beginning laboring within the “Corinthian field”.  He saw people brought by God to salvation.  Paul then discipled the “first fruits”, and God produced growth in these believers.  Apollos later came and “watered” what Paul had “planted”.

Paul states here that Apollos and he were humble servants, waiters, [‘bus boys”].  Like these mighty men of God, we too are lowly workers in the field of God.  God is the dynamic. He is the One who causes the growth in His field.  We must depend upon His supernatural power.  Otherwise, our efforts will not be fruitful and lasting.

In this text, many truths can be gleaned.  Here are a few:

  •  We must depend upon God for anything that is spiritually productive in ministry.

  • There should be unity and teamwork where we appreciate the value of our fellow-believers at Community Church.  Together we are seeking to join God in the work that He is accomplishing.  One “waters”, another “plants”, but God causes growth and in this we are one [3:8].

  • No one person in God’s work is exalted over another in contrast to the world where the godless exalt people.  The lost do not see the exalted, Majestic One, and thus they strive for self-promotion, and exalt others above their fellow men because of what those revered have and/or accomplish.

  • There is to be no competition or comparison in the work that we do in this field.  We all have one dominating reality in common – we are to rely on the power of God and to praise God for the spiritual growth which He accomplishes.

  • We are not to envy those whose work in the field is different than our tasks-for we are all instruments in the growth which God is accomplishing, [sadly we see the divisions that hurt these saints in 1 Cor 1:10-17].  Like Jeremiah and Isaiah, some may strive with great might in God and yet see little if any fruit for their efforts; instead they may be disregarded and even martyred by men.  Others like Jonah may see much growth in a short span.  This reluctant prophet saw an entire and very pagan City brought to Christ despite his own glaring deficiencies in faith and character [Jonah 3 and 4].

  • Everyone working in the field as an instrument of divine growth is to find supreme fulfillment in their own labor regardless of the apparent abundance or the seeming lack of results.

  • We are always to discern through God’s guidance the work which God desires to accomplish through us individually and collectively at Community Church.

  • We must in God’s grace be abandoned to Him.  We must be Spirit filled.  We must use the Word of God.  These are divinely appointed means for growth in God’s field.

  • We must not think that anything is impossible for us in the field.  It is God Who is the means.

  • We all are to strive in the field in the power which God supplies so that what we do in our short lives is not done with “wood, hay and stubble”, but rather, though tested by fire, with enduring “gold, silver, and precious stones”.  The “fire” will reveal God’s growth in and through us in His field, [3:10-15; 1 Peter 1:7].

  • We are to understand that our time will be examined on this earth to the extent that we cultivated God’s field in His power.  We must not be diverted from pouring ourselves into this vital work seeking God’s growth in His field.

  • Those used by God are to be esteemed and loved for their work [1 Thes 5:12-13], but not revered or set against each other.

  • With reliance on Him, we are to redeem the opportunities present in the Holidays and the dawning New Year!

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427