God’s seed — no other will do
Thomas Bonham is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business. Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives of the company together for a meeting. “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.” The executives were shocked as the boss continued, “I am going to give each of you a seed today -- one very special seed. I want each of you to plant your seed, care for it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown. I will then judge the plants and the one I choose will be the next CEO of this company.”
One man, Jim, went home and excitedly, with seed in hand, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil, and some compost, and together they planted the seed. He watered it every day, but it didn’t seem to grow. After three weeks the other executives began to talk about their plants that were beginning to grow. Weeks turned into months. As the others bragged about their plants, Jim kept quiet about his empty pot. He felt like a failure and knew he must have killed the seed. He thought about replacing the seed but knew that would be dishonest so continued to water and nurture the seed given to him.
The day came to meet again. He felt sick to his stomach. It was going to be the most embarrassing day of his life. When Jim arrived with his empty pot he was amazed at the variety of beautiful plants the other executives were presenting. As Jim cowered near the back of the room he heard the CEO say, “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown! Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO of this company.”
Jim was spotted and ordered to come forward with his product. When Jim got to the front the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed. Jim told him the story ... the CEO asked everyone to sit down except for Jim, whom he asked to remain standing. Motioning toward Jim, the boss announced, “This is your next Chief Executive Officer.” Nobody could believe what they just heard. Then the boss said, “One year ago today I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, care for it, and bring it back to me today. What I gave you were boiled seeds, impossible to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that your seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. He is a worthy successor.
[Luke 8:1-15; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 Corinthians 3; Isaiah 55:6-11; Galatians 1:6-9] “... The seed is the Word of God.” “... the Word of God is living and active.” “... I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.” “... so is my Word that goes out from my mouth, it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” “... if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned.” God has given man all he needs for righteous living through His Word. When man thinks it isn’t working, he tends to substitute it with his own seed of earthly salvation. Plant God’s seed only. Water it with sound biblical teaching and God will make it grow. We sometimes think we are failures because we don’t see the results we expect, but “Well done my good and faithful servant” will be the greatest of rewards.
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.