In the early morning sunshine Thrusday, I was walking into a place for a breakfast and could not help but notice the abundance of spring flowers surrounding the entrance: bunches of yellow daffodils, ranks of hyacinths, tulips (my favorite) and lots of other colorful things I don’t know by name. Spring has finally sprung here in upstate NY. But when I got home, and walked up to my front door, things still looked bleak and drab; no flowers in sight here. What’s up? Ah, the truth pinches me now as it did that morning: no sowing, no reaping! I did not plant flowers that would come up this spring.
Sowing and reaping is a mainstay of a biblical worldview (Gal. 6:7, Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. esv).
Let me apply this concept (sowing or planting, giving rise to something to reap) to just one area of life: your mind. If you desire to grow spiritually, love the Lord your God with all of your mind — so that the thoughts and expressions coming out of you are like those beautiful spring flowers — you must first consider what you’ve planted (or failed to plant). What do you ‘sow’ to your mind? What goes in by way of watching, or hearing, or reading? And then what do you reap? What springs forth? Is your thinking and your conversation looking drab and barren?
In Luke 6 Jesus teaches about a tree and its fruit:
43 “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Of course this verse points to the reality of grace — which if God implants in our hearts, will bear good spiritual fruit in our lives, confirming our new nature (new birth) as Christians. But further, it also reminds us of the principle that our thinking and our conversation is the fruit of what is treasured within, and what is sown to our heart and mind.
So let me ask you: do you read your Bible? Do you read it daily? This is the Word of God and by it (alone) will you grow to understand God, yourself and the world you live in. Or is your daily mental diet simply watching TV or reading newspapers? (A fellow named Ben Hecht, once said, Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.)
And further, what else do you read to sow godly thoughts in the seed bed of your mind? When was the last time you worked through a good book? How about one of the great Christian books so readily available? (I could easily recommend several books that have significantly impacted my life; just ask me).
It was Sir Francis Bacon who said, Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man. The Word of God (Psalm 119) says,
97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.
98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.
102 I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Spring has sprung, but the time for sowing is not past. It is new every day! Sow away!