There is a story about a very old man so crippled with arthritis that he could hardly bend over who was seen along the side of the road planting small seedlings. Someone stopped and asked him why he was planting those little seedlings. They realised that he would be long dead before these seedlings would grow up into beautiful trees. His answer was: “they don’t need me to grow, they only need me to plant them”.

This reminds us of what Paul said to the Corinthians, “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase”. We do not always see the results of our planting or watering but that is no reason not to do it.

Gandhi once said, “It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result”.

This is why we preach. It may appear that no one is listening. All who hear us may turn away showing no apparent interest. Keep on keeping on. Many times the fruit that comes later is as the result of a seed planted many years before. The sower may have died before the seed germinates but as Gandhi said, “If we do nothing, there will be no result”.

We cannot take the credit for the seed growing—God gives the increase. What if we do not plant seeds? What if we do not preach? What if we remain silent when the opportunity arises to speak up for the Lord?

Paul went on to say, “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things to grow. The man who plants and the man who
waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labour. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building”.

It is wonderful to realise the exalted position we are in—to be “God’s fellow workers”, to be able to work in “God’s field”. It is a privilege—but are we taking advantage of it? Are we out in the field planting and watering? We cannot make it grow, yet God is depending on us to plant. If we do not plant God’s seed in the field, who will do it?

We remember that Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Are we responding to this call of Jesus, looking for workers to go out “into his harvest field”? The best way to get workers is to say to them, “Follow me” and then go ourselves. How do we get workers to go into the harvest field if we refuse to go ourselves?

We remember the parable our Lord told about two sons whose father asked them to go work in his field. “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, Son, go and work today in the vineyard. I will not, he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, I will, sir: but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted? The first, they answered. Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you”.

We really do not have a choice. We must preach. We must plant. We must be workers together with God or we do not belong to Him. We preach by the way we live and we preach by what we say. Never mind that we may not live to see the fruit of our labours. It is not our job to make the seed grow, the Lord does that, but it is our responsibility as well as our duty to be planting the seeds of the coming kingdom in the minds of all those we meet. Do it by always having literature in your pocket when you leave home. Do it by saying a word about your hope whenever you come in contact with others. You may be the only Bible some people you meet have ever read. Paul told the Corinthians, “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men”. What is the Gospel according to us?