I know some pretty smart people. I'm not talking run-of-the-mill smart. I'm talking about what you might call "scary smart."
The guy who invented Google Earth and Google Translate is a friend of mine. The sophisticated mapping technology that lets you locate satellite imagery for any square foot of earth is pretty complex. He was also one of the creators of WiFi, as well as the visionary architect of Skype. And, if you think THAT'S smart, he's currently applying it to neuron-level brain mapping to guide the treatment of neurodegenerative brain diseases and disorders. In terms you and I can understand, he's curing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. That's "scary smart."
I know a young man who was bored with school, and so he began to go online to MIT and Berkley to take their advanced calculus and physics classes. When he was ELEVEN years old. That's "scary smart."
If having that level of intelligence was a requirement for a vibrant faith in Christ, we wouldn't need church buses. There just wouldn't be that many of us!!
But the Gospel is simple enough for a child to understand. And faith is like farming. You will always harvest what you plant.
You don't plant corn and expect apples. Or plant yams and expect cotton. If I were to continue on with three or four more examples like this, you'd think to yourself, "Come on, Bishop Robert; move along. I get the point." And you'd be right.
In life and in faith, as in farming, you harvest what you plant. Paul tells us "the person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life."
You can't plant sexual immorality and expect to harvest solid families. Nor can you plant anger and malice in the hope of harvesting peace. If you sow iniquity and trouble, you'll harvest it. Even Job knew that.
If you expect to be a peacemaker, you need to plant peace. James says, "And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness." If you expect to reap the benefits of a strong and vibrant faith, you have to plant seeds of righteousness in your life.
You always harvest what you plant. Always.
And, by the way, you always harvest MORE than you planted if you've planted in good soil. I remember some time ago when our family was planting our garden. We had prepared corn rows, and dropped two or three kernels of corn together into the soil every couple of feet. Over the next months we gathered hundreds and hundreds of ears of corn. You always harvest what you plant; and you always harvest more than you planted. The Apostle Paul reinforces this principle when he reminds us that he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, but he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
So, look at your life. Does it have a solid "crop" of faith, peace, and joy. Are you gathering an abundant harvest of love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. These are the fruit of the Spirit. This is what He plants in you, as you yield to Him.
If not, then the question is a simple one. What did you plant?
The lesson is clear. Plant what you want to harvest. Because you always harvest what you plant.