First the giving, then the receiving.
Meditation Thought: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray, therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)
The harvest is not usable until it is gathered – it has been long in reaching the harvesting state – but all the time and effort is wasted if it is left in the field to rot. There must be laborers to go at the proper time to bring it into the storehouses. The laborers must be knowledgeable, willing and strong to complete their task – they must give much of themselves before they can enjoy the fruits of the harvest. First the giving, then the receiving.
If you will keep a picture in your mind of a tiny seed bursting into a plant which produces abundantly, it will enable you to do what you ought to do even when your emotions rebel.
“To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables… the sower sows the word… and… the [seeds] that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:11,14,20)
The Word has fallen on good ground in your will, your mind and your heart, yet it needs more than good ground. It needs that ground to be tilled (disturbed so it will not form a restrictive hardened crust of self-will to bind the seed of the Word); it needs the nutrients to be released into its nature (the thoughts of your mind concentrated on the Truth, your determination to find the Way, your life based upon the examples of Jesus’ Life).
It needs the water of the Holy Spirit released through your spirit believing that He dwells within you and does direct you, and your acting upon the prompting.
It needs the sunshine of the Son’s life once again manifested upon the earth through all of your faculties.
Yes – all of these are required for the accomplishment of the seed producing thirty-fold, sixty-fold and a hundred-fold.
If you will keep a picture in your mind of a tiny seed bursting into a plant which produces abundantly, it will enable you to do what you ought to do even when your emotions rebel. It will facilitate your mind to think clearly, remember accurately and produce creatively. It will prompt you to speak words of love – even if words not loving intrude your mind for a brief moment, for they will be ignored and replaced by words which will heal and encourage growth of the word in another.
The Word is a symbol
To base your life –
And your growth –
Upon the Word
Is to release
The harvest which
Is inherent within you
As the seed of Word
Unites with the ground
of your life.
…the present determines the character of the future.
Meditation Thought: “…if the householder had known in which part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and not let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:43,44)
You must anticipate the future, realizing that the present determines the character of the future. This will give you strength to conduct yourself as you ought, even when the required behavior is not to your liking at the moment. Not all moments will be “sacrificial” moments – in fact, as you come to rejoice in the perceiving and doing of the will of the Father, more and more activities will be joyful, and fewer and fewer perceived as sacrificial. It is this change in perception that is the moving of the kingdom upon the earth. It comes only by discipline and sacrifice of selfish desires – but the rewards of the discipline and sacrifice are as bountiful as the promised “hundred fold” harvest. It is this knowledge which gives you courage to labor for the moment, particularly when the labor is not to your liking.
The times of reaping the harvest – the unfathomable joy of actually having the promised return, will be carried in your memory as your tools to make the labor easier during the “tilling” times.
The more you experience in planting, tilling and harvesting – whatever area (field) it is in, the greater your wisdom and knowledge is to prompt a bountiful harvest.
This is consistent with the rewards of using whatever “talents” are provided int the most productive ways possible, and also the more provided, the more required. Each portion is either multiplied or not, and the more portions the more dramatic the contrast of results. The “Son of man coming at an hour you do not expect” compares to the owner of the fields checking out the status of your care of them. You cannot “set up” a good appearance for the “inspection” because you have no notice of the inspection time. Therefore, care must be constant and inspection will always reveal good care of the field because good care never ceases, when the laborer is as concerned about the harvest as the owner.
IT is the laborer who realizes that the owner will share the harvest with him who is able to be motivated to do a good job. If he is lazy he eventually cheats himself. It is those who will remove concentration from self alone who will know this, and thus use the present to provide a future of good return for themselves.