Fruits

Successful Living: Fruit of herself | Religion

I recently heard a preacher say that everything we see above the ground came from below the ground.

It hit me like a ton of bricks, or a grand piano falling from a 10-story window, or an anvil from a cliff. Pick your simile. It doesn’t matter, I hadn’t heard anything quite as profound in a very long time.

Think about it, anything plant based, such as fruits or vegetables, wood or fiber products, we understand had to grow and they grew from the earth. Anything made of metal or stone had to be mined from land. So legitimately, anything we see above ground came from below the ground. And, if you believe the Bible as written, even man came from the dust of the ground (reference Genesis 2:7).

Which gave me a new appreciation for the lesson Jesus taught, “So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And he should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how. For the earth brings forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (Mark 4:26-29).

It’s that phrase, “The earth brings forth fruit of herself,” which got me.

The earth doesn’t care what kind of seeds you sow into it; the earth is going to grow whatever is planted in it.

In this passage in Mark 4, Jesus is comparing our hearts to the earth and the Word of God to seed (reference Mark 4:14). He goes into detail as to why some of the seed will grow and produce, and why some don’t. Regardless, the interesting thing about our hearts is that they grow whatever we put in them.

Once, when scolding the Pharisees, Jesus gave us additional insight into this principle: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34b).

Whatever we put into our hearts in abundance is what will come out.

Or you can say it this way: Whatever seeds you so in your heart, that’s what your heart will produce.

I remember when I first heard, “Your desires follow your attention, not the other way around.”

I assumed I was watching women because I liked them. I realized later the opposite was true. I lusted after women because I was constantly ogling them. The seeds I had placed in my heart were bringing forth fruit.

When I substituted different seeds, I grew different fruit. When I started focusing on the Word of God and less on the shapes of the fairer sex, I began reaping the promises of God.

The Apostle Paul confirmed this principle in his writings, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

Jesus was adamant with His caution as to what we plant in our hearts.

“Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that has, to him shall be given: and he that has not, from him shall be taken even that which he has” (Mark 4:24-25).

It reminds me of a song I learned as a child in church, “Oh, be careful little ears what you hear. Be careful little ears what you hear. For the Father up above is looking down in love, so be careful little ears what you hear.”

The second and third verses were like it, “Oh, be careful little eyes what you see … ” and “Oh, be careful little feet where you go … ”

If I could leave one thing with you, Dear Reader, it’s an understanding of how important it is to guard what you put in your heart. It is like soil and doesn’t care what seeds are planted within it. It’s going to grow whatever’s there.

Regardless, I venture to speculate that whatever we see above the ground in your life came from below the ground, just like the earth.

Tim Hughes is a lay minister and elder at Ascension Life Church in Athens. He can be reached at tim@thramb.com

Tim Hughes is a lay minister and elder at Ascension Life Church in Athens. He can be reached at tim@thramb.com

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