God Makes Things Grow

1 Corinthian 3:5-9

5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.


Did you know that farming teaches patience? You prepare the land, plant seed, water it, fertilize it, remove weeds, and then, harvest time. Right! Weeds should be removed. Sharing the gospel of Christ is planting spiritual seed. There are spiritual weeds. Does God make them grow—both spiritual seeds and weeds?

Christ Jesus told a parable in Matthew 13:24-28, 24The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

29“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Do you accept that this parable teaches about confusion in a local church? In the first century, Apostle Paul rebuked the church in Corinth because they were divided. Some of them said, “I follow Paul”; others said, “I follow Apollos.” Why did they want to identify with Paul or Apollos? They just cannot agree with one another. Why? Did the enemy of the gospel plant weeds among them? Maybe!

Apostle Paul explained that both of them (Paul and Apollos) were servants.

1.  Servant

5What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task.

The term “servant” should be noble description for preachers of the gospel of Christ like Paul and Apollos. It is proper for Christians to respect preachers with propriety. Still, obscure interpretation of preachers as servants of the Lord exists. Some individuals presume that since they’re not preachers, they are not servants; and so, they think that they have higher status and superior to servant-preachers.

This is very sad reality. The English term “servant” that Apostle Paul used was translated from Greek term “diakonos” which is also translated as deacon.

Preachers are not superior to deacons; deacons are not superior to preachers. Both preachers and deacons are servants in the Lord’s vineyard. Yet, the enemy of the gospel causes confusion anywhere. They devote their loyalty to deacons and preachers and not to the Lord. Confusion sparks conflict; conflict ignites quarrel.

The parable of the good seed and weeds teaches us in Matthew 13:37-43:

37The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. 40As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

Christ himself makes us grow spiritually. The devil causes confusion among believers. Friends: Do you sense any concern about your eternal destination? How serious are you in your faith in Christ?  I hope you have grown spiritually mature as Disciples of Christ and not remain spiritually infants. Together, let us remember what Christ Jesus challenges us in John 15:8 (NIRV). 8When you bear a lot of fruit, it brings glory to my Father. It shows that you are my disciples.

The fruit of apple is apple. Similarly, the fruit of disciple is disciple. Christ expects all his disciples to bear fruit. Do you believe that he has already prepared the potential disciple for everyone who obeys him? Christ commanded us to go and make disciples, but he does not force anyone to obey his command.

Actually, we are instructed also to be empowered by his Holy Spirit. So, our top priority is to seriously pray and be inspired by the Holy Spirit. When we are inspired by the Holy Spirit, we are not bothered whether we plant or water seed.

2.  Seed

6I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.

Apostle Paul and his mission team planted the seed in the city of Corinth.

At the proper time, they left Corinth; Apollos took over and watered the seed.

The church may have grown numerously, and new attendees devote their loyalty to Apollos; they didn’t personally know Apostle Paul. Maybe the original members of the church were loyal to Apostle Paul. But still, there were church attendees also said, “I follow Cephas or Peter.” Still others said, “I follow Christ.”

Faction and division in the church practically proved that they’re still infants spiritually in their faith in Christ; they have not grown spiritually mature yet.

See? If you plant seeds, you don’t expect those seeds to grow or bear fruit overnight. Similarly, we don’t grow spiritually mature overnight. There’s process.

When we share the gospel of Christ to people who have not heard it yet, that is planting spiritual seed. To preach about Christ to new believers, that is watering the spiritual seed. We plant and water the seed and expect harvest later on. Pray for opportunity to share or preach the gospel so that you may bear much fruit.

Are you ready to bear fruit or are you still seeds needing water to sprout?

I tried planting tropical seeds but did not grow; nothing happened. Maybe, you started a career but there’s no progress. It’s discouraging, right? Confusion and frustration happen also when there’s no apparent acceptance to the gospel.

Remember that after planting seeds, they won’t sprout after few moments; they won’t grow immediately. God in his perfect timing makes things grow.

Consider this: If you want positive response to the gospel of Christ sooner than later whenever you share his gospel, pray earnestly that God may lead you to potential believers who will accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.


Somewhere in Asia, an evangelist shared the gospel to a group of students; they responded positively. So, he encouraged them to join the youth fellowship in the church. The youth pastor took care of them; and later, he challenged them to follow Jesus Christ through water baptism. They were baptized. Wonderful story!

Here’s the drama. When the evangelist and youth pastor gave their annual report, the youth pastor received all the credits of bringing the youth to church. What happened to the effort of the evangelist? Was it recognized? You guess!

This reality happens anywhere around the globe. There’ll be those who will be recognized for their efforts on earth; your effort may not be recognized yet.

Why? Most probably, the Lord reserved your reward in heaven. Do you agree?

Personally, how do interpret what Jesus Christ warns in Matthew 6:1-4?

1Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Is it sinful if they can’t wait any longer and desire to be appreciated right away for effort made? Or, it’s not necessarily appreciation. Maybe, they just want confirmation that what they did is appropriate. Well, the heart is deceitful. But, when we are inspired by the Holy Spirit, joyful peace is more than enough for us.

Together, let us remember what it instructed us in Colossians 3:23-24, 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Service to the Lord can be done within church ministries or wherever God has situated us. Lifestyle testifies about our transformation in Christ. If you are student, study with all your heart; if you are employees, work with all your heart. The Lord records behaviors on what we do, and he prepared rewards. The biblical requirement that pleases the Lord to reward is service done with all our heart.

3.  Service

8The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Have you ever gone house hunting? Even if you don’t buy a house, just yet, visit open houses; go and observe. Why? It is practically smart to have visual on features and parts of house you may want to have for your house. If you were to buy, what practical features in a house do you want? Are you particular about kitchen, living room, bedroom, washroom, doors, windows, basement or garden?

How about the paint, style of the house, stairway to the basement or up the attic? Do pay attention to baseboard, cupboard, electric outlets or switches.

If you are a handyman, you may change aesthetic parts. Surely, all parts of a building are significant, but the structure of building should be stable and solid.

Someone testified, “I always make sure that I am satisfied with my projects; so, I choose the best material I can afford and do the best I can.”

That’s awesome attitude that testifies to transformation in Christ. Whether working for employer or doing project for personal use, the Lord records attitude that he will reward one day. And rewards are given to deserving individuals, right?


Have you ever dream of competing in the Olympics? Anyone may compete but may not qualify in the Olympics. There are processes in choosing who should qualify in the Olympic Games. If you dreamed of competing in the Olympics, you have to train seriously hard. But if you are related to Olympic officials and told you that you are chosen to compete in the 100 meter dash, will you do it?

A story published online about a chairperson of athletics federation who was accused of nepotism. To represent their country at the International Games, she chose her relative who was obviously not a trained sprinter (Nasra Abukar).

Without proper training, how can a runner compete at the international level? The athletic official who chose her untrained relative to represent their country, do you think that she will be appreciated? Will she be ignored?

Let’s reflect on 2 Timothy 2:5-7,  5Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. 6The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

In everything we do, publicly or privately, our decision, action and mindset are recorded by the Lord. In his perfect time, he rewards practically or spiritually.

Jesus Christ is coming sooner than later, and all of us hope to enter heaven through faith in him. But, Christ commanded us to store up for ourselves eternal treasures in heaven also. All instructions of the Lord are opportunities for us to store up for ourselves eternal treasure in heaven, if we obey diligently.

Additionally, there are practical blessings included to godly instructions, and not just spiritual blessings. Keep planting spiritual seed and store up eternal treasures for yourselves in heaven. God makes things grow in his perfect time.

Pray for godly wisdom and inspiration of the Holy Spirit to understand the insight that the Lord reveals through his word. May everyone who heard this encouragement store up abundant eternal treasures for the glory of God, Amen!

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