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.
this text, many truths can be gleaned. Here are a few:
must depend upon God for anything that is spiritually productive in
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
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
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
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
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;
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
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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