Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Take The Name Of Jesus With You"1 (Lyrics)
Galatians 6:9 – And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. (NKJV)
For many years while we lived overseas, I did not have the chance to have a vegetable garden, but when we refocused — not retired — we had a good-sized garden behind the house. Since we downsized to a bungalow in town, I have had a small vegetable garden. I am not a great gardener, but we did get a lot of vegetables out of it, which we ate as needed. We also put a lot of them in the freezer, and we are still eating some of them.
Canada celebrates Victoria Day on May 24th, and here in southern Ontario, people have traditionally looked forward to putting their gardens in on that day. The soil would be warm and the danger of night frost would be practically over. But sometimes, we put in seeds, and they don't germinate. Sometimes, even the little plants that we buy in the garden centres don't grow well, and sometimes, they die. It does not matter what we do — it all seems to be in vain.
Like those seedlings, the church that the apostle Paul planted in Corinth was having difficulty thriving. Corinth is one of the places that we have visited, where the events in the Bible took place after Pentecost and the start of the spreading of the gospel. Paul went to Corinth from Athens on one of his mission trips, and upon his arrival, he preached to the Jews who lived there. He stayed and worked with Aquila and Priscilla for eighteen months, teaching the Word of God and founding a church.
Later, he heard that the church in Corinth was not doing well. The introduction to the first letter to the Corinthians indicates that there were problems, pressures, and struggles of a church called out of a pagan society. There was confusion among the people as to who they should believe and follow:
1 Corinthians 3:4-6 – For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. (NKJV)
When we put in a garden, there are times when we wonder what we did wrong that we failed. Sometimes, outside influences hamper the growth of the plants. So it is with the growing of the church and the spreading of the gospel. Do you feel sometimes, like I do, that you are not doing enough? Remember that it is God Who gives the increase. Patience is a virtue!
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, as we try to spread the good news of the gospel during these days of problems, pressures, and struggles, we ask that You would give the increase as You did in days past. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.