Take a seed in your hand – a tomato seed for instance. Examine it carefully. It does not seem like much could come from it.
Such a seed is so small, and it possesses a tough and hard exterior. By surface observation, a seed doesn’t look like much at all. Unaware of what a seed could become, we might just toss it to the earth and walk away from it.
Put that same seed into the hand of a farmer. His reaction is different. His thought is on the potential, on what the outgrowth will be. His vision is focused on what’s inside that shell.
What does the farmer see? Life–to him the seed carries a vitality that can only be seen further along.
A seed buried under ready soil dies a kind of death as it’s soaked by dew and rainwater. The sun warms the ground above it. Thereby, the shell of the seed–the flesh so to speak–rots and cracks a bit. Roots begin to stretch downward and shoots start to push toward the surface.
The Ready Soil
Jesus spoke in parables; these are best defined as comparisons and word pictures. In one of His talks, recorded in Matthew 13, Christ referred to the seed that is the Word of God.
Through this parable, Jesus referred to the ground as the key to the release of the life contained in the seed of Truth. The ground the Savior was talking about was the space within our hearts and our minds.
Hard soil leaves the seed exposed, and birds come to swallow it up. Rocky and thorny ground allows the seed to get a bit of start before heat and weeds stifle the process of growth and render it fruitless.
The good ground, the ready soil, the receptive mind and heart receives the seed and so comes life. There springs forth “a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let him hear” (Matthew 13:8-9).
We let our ears hear the Word of God and because we do there’s a growth that’s going on inside of us. The soil of our hearts took in the seed. That seed got down into us and has taken root and so our thinking and our living has become fruitful.
A tomato seed produces tomatoes that may be here today, but before long–if they are not eaten or turned into spaghetti sauce–those tomatoes shall become old and smelly as they begin to perish.
The Word of God produces everlasting fruit. What comes from us is love and with this love there’s joy and peace and temperance and kindness and gentleness (see Galatians 5:22-23).
Peter makes this point for us toward the end of 1 Peter 1. As souls who have obeyed the truth by the Spirit, we are characterized by real and fervent love for each other. We have hearts purified by the precious Blood of Christ. Our lives are New Creation lives for we “have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable seed” (see 1 Peter 1:22-23).
The secret to who we are in Christ is the “living and abiding” truth God has sown. And this truth gets into us through our ears as we hear and our eyes as we read.
Tighten the Belt
Earlier in 1 Peter 1, the Apostle offers another illustration as an exhortation regarding our minds. He tells us to be girded and sober thinkers. The imperative instruction could be worded like this: Strap on the truth, tighten the belt of your thought processes, and be serious about it.
We can do this in this way: “Set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance” (1 Peter 1:14-15).
We know things, eternal, holy things. Remember, these things came through our ears and they were planted into our hearts. These are incorruptible seeds, producing the living hope inside us. Click To Tweet
Again, Peter reminds us to imagine what’s coming, or even better, think on Who is coming. Jesus shall return and the New Heavens and New Earth with Him. Put away thoughts that you used to think and how you lived by them. Set before you the revelation of God’s “It is done” and the fact that His End is “all perfection” (Psalm 119:96).
We know things, eternal, holy things. Remember, these things came through our ears and they were planted into our hearts. These are incorruptible seeds, producing the living hope inside us.
Now, Peter writes, we can be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16). This is to be our manner of life.
Impossible, you say? Not at all for the faith that we live by is “the faith of the Son of God” (see Galatians 2:20).
Rest in His Faith
The danger that Peter instructs us to avoid is the trap of doing things in the energy of our flesh. Salvation and the sanctified life that comes by it cannot be bought with silver or gold. That is, our donations and offerings do nothing to bring holiness.
Rigid, traditional life defined by ritual is also vain and empty. Our holiness can come only from above through the Savior who purposed to redeem us; His redemption was ordained “before the foundation of the world, but manifested for us in these last times” (1 Peter 1:20).
The very power of our belief, the very will to do of God’s pleasure, comes by the Son. These are gifts of grace.
Are doubts clouding your thinking? Seek the Son. Ask for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Let the Lord enliven your belief.
Jesus Christ offered Himself as the Lamb to shed the Precious Blood. He rose from the dead. He now sits in His glory “that our faith and hope might be in Him” (1 Peter 1:21).
Within all of us, there are tendencies to want to do things by way of our own strength. We want to earn our honor and save ourselves. There’s a deceptive sense of satisfaction, a type of infection in our flesh. We want to take the glory that comes from a job done well.
The fruit of human efforts is so short-lived, however. “All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower fades away” (1 Peter 1: 24).
What abides forever? The Word of God, the Gospel Truth–this is what endures, this the incorruptible seed that produces a great bounty for us to harvest.
Let’s ask God to help us to keep our ears open and ready to receive. Let’s allow the Spirit to break up the hard ground in our hearts. Let’s be like gardens and fields fenced off and enclosed and well tended as we fellowship with Him and with each other.
We are not what we once were. We are His; God has hidden us in the Son. Through His faith that is at work in us, we show His life in a tremendously troubled world.
And we shine like lights for His honor and glory.