How to Plow in Cold Weather – Part 2

14 03 2009

Proverbs 14:4 (The Message)

No cattle, no crops; a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow.

King Solomon is telling us that without a strong ox to help us work the farm there will not be a good harvest.

In many ways we are blessed in our day by the advancement of technology. Where people used to depend on animals to do heavy labor we now depend on machines. This fact shows us that when we are reading the scriptures that we cannot always take the literal word-for-word meaning to heart. If that were the case then this Proverb is false.

I am not really a farmer even though I worked on a farm when I was young. However, judging by the massive fields I have seen in my travels around the central United States I feel safe to say that our generation is bringing in bumper crops compared to the ages before us. All of this is happening without any oxen or cattle to pull a plow.

Cattle in this proverb is looked upon as a tool. An ox was a very valuable tool to the farmer because it gave him the ability to do more work than one person could ever do by himself. Try getting a shovel and hand plowing even just a small patch of ground. You will quickly be looking for a better way of breaking up the ground.

Can we look at this Proverb in a spiritual point of view? You bet. Jesus talked about the different types of ground in a persons heart.

1. Some fell on the road

2. Some fell among the rocks

3. Some fell among the weeds

4. Some fell on good ground

We know that the good ground got in the “good” shape it was in because the farmer plowed the ground ahead of time. The diligent farmer is always watching his fields to make sure they are in good shape.

I have seen fields that have been completly ignored for a long time. They were overgrown with weeds to the point where nothing good would grow in that field. This type of field needs much work before it can grow a good crop.

What is the state of your “ground”? Have you been working your ground to keep it in “good” shape?

When we work the field of our life we have to work smart. Going out by ourself with shovel in hand to till the gound will wear us out very quickly. We need to learn some valuable lessons from the good farmer here.

1. What tools can you use to work your ground into good shape?

2. There are 4 seasons. Each one requires us to work in differnet ways. Plowing, Planting, Nurturing, and Harvesting. What season is your life in?

3. The four grounds are: Hard Packed, Rocky, Full of Weeds, and Good for growing. What shape is your ground right now?


How to Plow in the Cold Weather

13 03 2009

To start this out I am going to reference Proverbs 20:4 in two different translations. Each brings it’s own unique view on this scripture.

The Message:

A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall.

King James:

The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.

I grew up working on a farm during the summer and I wasn’t around the farm during the spring planting season. There was one time that I do remember helping my Grandpa plow up his garden so he could plant. I really don’t remember the exact time of year, but I do remember the lesson he taught me.

We had all the modern equipment that any farm had during the early 80’s: Tractors, combines, etc. and we used these all the time. But, there was an old antique plow that had been on the farm for ages. It had metal wheels and a seat in the very back. It was designed to be pulled by horses, mules, oxen, or whatever animal you had.

My grandpa decided to use it to plow his garden since the field plow was too large. It was a small garden and this old plow was the only one that would really do the job. So, he modified the plow and it could be pulled behind a small tractor.

The only problem was that it would take two people to operate this newly rigged piece of equipment. One driving the tractor and another operating the plow. It was my lucky day, I guess, so I got stuck running the plow.

We practiced working the plow/tractor rigging for a while before actually working on the garden. The plow was controlled by several levers, and it had to be steered by the seat. It’s quite funny to imagine me as a twelve or thirteen year old boy trying to steer this plow with my seat, and operate the controls. I learned to appreciate modern farm equipment very quickly that day.

Proverbs 20:4 speaks to us about a lazy farmer who does not want to plow his field. The King James version tells us that his reasoning was the cold weather, The Message says during spring.

As I walked out of my house today the spring temperature was a very cold 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Not exactly my idea of nice spring weather. I think I can safely say that most people would want to be indoors on a day like this.

However, there was a time in history when we could not let the cold weather keep us inside. If it was the time to be planting your crops you could not let the cold weather stop you. You would get on the old plow and get to work.

Laziness will easily take up residence in our life if we let it. When this happens we will have nothing to provide for our needs when the time comes. The bank account will eventually run dry leaving you scrambling to make ends meet.

I remember many mornings that I really did not want to wake up before dawn and go to work on the farm. I had to because I was a kid and didn’t have a choice. My grandpa on the other hand was a mature adult and knew that there were many things that needed to be done before the harvest season came.

There are days in my life when I really do not want to get up and go plow the hard cold ground in my life. I would much rather be sleeping in a nice warm bed. But reality tells me that if I don’t get up and plow I will end up empty handed in the end.

Our spiritual life requires a Solomon definition of diligence to make it through those cold times. Dedication, prayers, fasting, and study during cold seasons in our life are a requirement if we want Gods word to be planted in the good ground of our life.

Good ground isn’t a naturally occurring element as some would think. The ground was actually cursed because of Adams sin. The ground has to be made good through much labor and effort.

When we have made our ground good then Gods word can fall into place at the right season and eventually bring forth a crop. Don’t get discouraged and lazy during the cold spring mornings of your life. Get up and get to work plowing up the fields. The rains will soon come. If your fields are prepared then you can bring fourth a bumper crop.

Contending For The Faith

24 04 2008

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.
Jude Chapter 1 Verse 3

Faith is the very foundation of Christianity and faith in Jesus Christ as the one and only son of God is the very root of our relationship with God. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6) so we know that faith is one of the core foundations our spiritual house must be built on.

Jesus taught a story about a wise man and a foolish man. Each man built a house. The wise man built his house on the rock and the foolish man built his house on the sand. We know this story very well because of the little song we sang in Sunday school as kids. I am singing it in my head now as I even write this. But we have to somehow translate this cute little song in our head to real life actions that have an end result of a strong solid life.

I am reminded of when Peter and John were walking up to the temple to pray and found a lame man sitting at the gate. We get a brief glimpse of how deep there faith went in this moment in time. The Bible tells us that Peter grabbed the man by the right hand, pulled him up, and immediately the mans feet and ankles became strong.

I don’t know if you believe in healing and miracles or not but this teaches us so much about the faith that we should strive to achieve and hope to have. There was no question in Peters mind about whether God would or wouldn’t heal this man. It’s as if Peter knew that God was going to heal the man. Peter took immediate action and did not question anything. God performed a wonderful miracle using the faith that Peter expressed.

It was only a short while before this that Peter himself struggled with his faith while having more faith than you and I may ever have. It was on the choppy waves of the sea that Peter jumped ship to walk on the water with Jesus. No one today would even attempt such a thing but Peter did not hesitate until he took a few steps and the waves began to crash into him. Then he began to sink. Peter eventually came to a realization of his faith in God and his faith did not waiver when he reached down and picked up the crippled man.

So… Dear friends, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints. Let us go forth with our feet planted on a solid rock, our faith in Jesus Christ.

Jude Chapter 1 Verse 3