We are going to take a look tonight at the seeds we plant in our everyday life, and our marriages; and how they specifically affect our “right now,” and our “future.”
Mark 4:26-28 (NASB) And He (Jesus) was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows – how, he himself does not know. 28 “The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.
This verse says that the soil produces crops all by itself, even without outside help, or interference from man. God designed the earth to work with seeds in just this way. It is something that God set in motion, not man! Or you could say it this way, the idea of seed, time and harvest is a principle found in God’s word. There is nothing you can do to stop it or change it, it is a principle, or a “law” that is set in motion, just like gravity. This principle did not start taking place in the book of Mark in the New Testament, but was initiated and started all the way back in the first chapter of Genesis.
Genesis 1:11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth”; and it was so. “It was So, and that’s all you need to know!”
Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
Now the scripture back in the book of Mark said that man planted the seed, then he just went to bed, and when he got up the next day the seed was sprouting and growing, and he doesn’t even know how. Now over the years, using science, we have figured out a lot of different ways to grow crops and to make seeds sprout, but there’s still so much that we don’t understand. We have learned how to enrich soils to get better plants, we’ve learned how to eliminate soil all together using hydroponics, and we’ve even learned how to cross breed plants so that we end up with seedless watermelons and seedless grapes. We have learned how to “genetically modify” fruits and vegetables. But just know this, anytime you tamper with a principal spelled in God’s word, and you alter it to do something else, usually another negative result happens. Many times we don’t even know about the negative results until many decades later.
So, there are five observations I want to make in this little message tonight:
- God himself put into practice the principle that seeds, when they are planted, will grow. There is nothing you can do about that. It’s His process.
- A seed must be sown in order to grow. Unsown seed has an unrealized harvest. Seed will not grow unless it’s planted!
- Seeds reproduce after their own kind. The fruit that grows from a seed will always be of the same kind as the seed.
- After seed is planted, there is some amount of time that goes by before you see the results, or eat the fruit of it.
- As long as the earth remains, this process will continue.
With those five points in mind, let me just say that seeds can take on many forms, and can be good or bad, and we’ve got to learn to know the difference, and to act accordingly. It’s important to know that a seed can simply represent an origin point, or the very beginning of something. It’s the point at which something begins the process of growth. A seed is as small as it will ever get. Seeds only get bigger.
Now, this starts becoming very important when you consider the power of seeds in the light of your marriage. You see, seeds can be planted by our words and our actions . . . or the absence of our words or actions.
Think about it! What you do and say have a powerful impact on your spouse, and literally sets the course of growth for the seed that has been planted. The seeds of your words and your actions are a direct example to those around you, of what you believe in, support, love, hate, and tolerate. Your seeds locate YOU!
The simple fact is that the harvest, or the fruit that you are currently experiencing in your life and your marriage, is the direct result of seeds that you have sown in the past. Good or Bad! If you don’t like the plants that are growing, check out the seeds you are sowing!
Keep in mind the original five points:
- God himself put seedtime & harvest into practice
- A seed had to be sown in order to grow.
- Seeds reproduce after their own kind.
- It has taken some amount of time.
- It will not stop.
Let’s talk for a few minutes about some different kinds of seeds that you may have planted in your marriage:
Need Seed - This is when you say things or do things to your spouse that are grudgingly or of necessity. Your heart was not really in it, you just did what you needed to do at the time to get through that situation.
Feed Seed - This is when you completely miss the opportunity to do something good or right, because you are only in it for yourself. Your focus is to eat the seed for yourself. Why should I do this nice thing? She probably won’t even notice or care.
Weed Seed – This is a seed that grows up and chokes out other good seed that has been planted. This kind of seed can completely “undo” the results of good seed already in the ground. This is negativism that occurs in marriage when the husband refuses or is incapable of weeding the garden.
Greed Seed – This is a seed, that when grown, is only interested in individual, personal gain, with no respect or concern for that of the spouse. It’s only for your gain. This is the “my money,” “my account,” “my car,” “my time” seed! Very unhealthy! Often is the beginning of divorce!
Deed Seed – This is when you do or say something to your spouse only to be noticed. Only to get the attention on yourself. This is “brownie-point” seed! This seed is often used as bribery, blackmail, or bargaining in order to get something else. It openly displays selfishness to everyone around you, but especially your spouse and family.
Speed Seed – This is when you lead incorrectly by example, and jump into things too quickly without knowing the details, or even praying about it. This seed doesn’t even really consider God in the matter at hand, but can easily size up the situation, plan, investment or decision with the need for God’s involvement. Thanks God, but I’ve got this!
Plead Seed – When you give in to your spouse because they are simply begging or pleading with you of you to do something. Many times, this is where true leadership goes out the window, the man steps out of his Godly role in the family as the head of the union, and proceeds to take his pants off and hand them to his wife, who will not need them, because she is already has the pants in the family, and is quite comfortable wearing them. This is usually the beginning of the end, because this is “genetically modified” seed in it’s highest form. It is attempting to change the roles of each spouse that God Himself set into place. Do we need to read Ephesians 5 again?
You’ve got to watch what kind of seed you are planting. Seeds will make or break your marriage.
If you knowingly, willingly, and purposefully plant negative seeds in your marriage, don’t be surprised when a terrible harvest comes your way.
If you knowingly, willingly, and purposefully plant positive seeds in your marriage, don’t be surprised when a wonderful harvest comes your way.
The good news is that even though a small seed can grow into a huge tree, it is also most vulnerable, and at it’s weakest state when it is in seed form. That means that there is no better or easier time to take care of a bad seed, than in the very beginning. At it’s infancy. A bad seed, or even a bad seed that has started to sprout, can easily be plucked out and destroyed. But nourish it and let it grow for a while, and now you’ve got a real problem. Thus the title of this message, “Nip It In The Bud!” That’s the best time to nip it.
Now, Frustration can come when you don’t understand the Germination Time of the seeds you plant. When you don’t take into account the dormant time of seeds. There is seed, there is time, and there is harvest. Things take time!
Once a good or bad seed is planted, there is always a period of time that goes by before the resulting plant is actually seen breaking the surface and sprouting. That time period can vary depending on many conditions, including the quality of the soil, exposure to light, moisture, air temperature, etc. That period of time is called the seeds “Dormant Time or Seed Dormancy.” It doesn’t look like that terrible seed you planted is going anywhere . . . . I said that terrible thing, but nothing really came of it . . . . or . . . . I’ve been purposely going out of my way to bless my spouse, and do kind things, but it’s like they haven’t even noticed . . . . I’ve been giving and giving, doing the right thing, but it just seems like I’m going nowhere. Sound familiar? It happens to all of us!
But dormant time is not “NO” time, it is “GROW” time. As is turns out, there is a whole science behind all of this, and there is a lot happening that cannot be seen.
Seed dormancy has two main functions:
The first is called synchronized germination – this is when the seed itself is working with the soil, waiting for the optimal conditions to grow (keep in mind that God made the seed this way, to do just that)
The second is called spreading germination – this is when the seed itself is working with the soil, to spread the growth of a batch of seeds over a period of time, so that a catastrophe does not result in the death of all offspring of the plant. (Frost, flood, animals)
The bottom line is that God made seed to work with the earth to find the best time to grow, and to have the best chance of survival to grow into a plant.
You see, some things need to be planted, and some things need to be pruned! Some seeds need to be watered, and some need to be weeded.
So then, we find this truth before us tonight:
- Plant good seed
- Don’t plant bad seed
- Nourish good seed planted
- Nip bad seeds planted
The Holy Ghost helps us know whether to nip it or nourish it. Do you want it to grow, or do you want it to go?
Things that are planted will grow up if cultivated.
Good things grow up to be great things, and bad things grow up to be terrible things. We must learn to be patient while the good things grow, but quick to take action on the bad.
Weeding your garden can be messy business, but it’s worth it. That’s why you see all those gardening bags having a kneeling pad in them. Because in order to get all the weeds out, sometimes you have to spend some serious time on your knees, and not everyone is willing to do that.
The devil always shows you the worst case scenario about the good God wants to do in your life. He says if you serve God you will miss out on the fun. He says if you become a missionary, God will send you to the worst place in Africa. He says if you become a minister of the gospel that all your friends will leave and you’ll be alone. But he also shows you the best case scenario when it comes to sin and pleasure and enjoyment. God kind of does the opposite of that and shows you the best case scenario about serving God, and the blessings that will come in your life by obedience to Him. And He shows you plainly and tells you the truth about how sin and wrongdoing will affect you and bring negative things into your mind and your thinking.
One of the worst seeds that you can ever plant is the seed of fear. Fear will grow up and dominate.
One of the best seeds that you can ever plant is the seed of love. Because Love will also grow up and dominate.
So in closing, let me sum it up this way:
The Best Use Of Life Is Love - Love should be our top priority, our primary focus, and our greatest ambition. Life without love is really worthless! Paul makes this point in the New Testament – “No matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.”
The Best Expression Of Love Is Time - Important things can be measured by how much time we invest in them. Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it. You can always make more money, but you cannot make more time! Relationships take time & effort, and the best way to spell love is TIME.
The Best Time To Love Is Now - The Bible says “whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone. Use every chance you have for doing good.” Today marks the beginning of the rest of your lives together. Life is about togetherness – Life is all about Love!