“One of my neighbors,” Stan began, “is quite the gardener. Just last night he gave me a box of the most amazing tomatoes out of his garden. Big and red, with the most wonderful flavor.”
“Does he have some particular secret to growing them?”
“I asked him that,” Stan responded. “He said he uses some vegetable food he bought at the Big Box Wholesale Club. It has ‘Miracle’ somewhere in its name.”
“I’m not a gardener,” I said, “so I guess I don’t need any.”
“Me neither,” Stan replied. “However, I was thinking about this in terms of something the apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to the church in Corinth. No, it didn’t involve growing vegetables,” Stan added with a smile.
Continuing, he said, “What Paul was writing about had to do with spiritual growth. I think he was addressing a question about who does what regarding spiritual growth and who is to be given the credit.”
Going on, he added, “Paul was writing about spiritual seeds he had planted in the Corinthian church. He acknowledged that those seeds were watered by another person whose watering furthered the spiritual growth, but he emphasized that it was God who was to be given full credit for the actual spiritual growth.”
“Just like me,” Stan continued. “I am eternally grateful to my neighbors who were instrumental to my accepting the truth of Christ’s finished work on the cross and in my getting a ticket for the train to glory when it is time.”
“And,” he said, “I am equally thankful for each person who has had an impact on my spiritual growth for the time I have remaining on this side of eternity while I am waiting for the train.”
“But I give all the glory to God for His faithfulness in causing my spiritual growth. People where helpful in planting and watering, but it was God who caused the growth with His own special brand of miracle!”
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:6 and 7.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for those who plant the truth of what Christ Jesus accomplished on the cross so that others can have the assurance of life eternally with you when it is time. And thank you for those who help in the furtherance of spiritual growth for the time each person has remaining on this side of eternity. But I thank you especially for causing all of the growth. I ask you to lead each person to accept and acknowledge that it is only you, not any person, who causes their spiritual growth. I thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.