Christ's Object Lessons
by Ellen G. White
Chapter 6: Other Lessons from Seed-Sowing
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And more than this is wrapped up in the sowing and
the reaping. As we distribute God's temporal blessings, the
evidence of our love and sympathy awakens in the receiver
gratitude and thanksgiving to God. The soil of the heart
is prepared to receive the seeds of spiritual truth. And He
who ministers seed to the sower will cause the seed to
germinate and bear fruit unto eternal life.
By the casting of the grain into the soil, Christ
represents the sacrifice of Himself for our redemption. "Except
a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die," He says, "it
abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
John 12:24. So the death of Christ will result in fruit
for the kingdom of God. In accordance with the law of the
vegetable kingdom, life will be the result of His death.
And all who would bring forth fruit as workers together
with Christ must first fall into the ground and die. The
life must be cast into the furrow of the world's need.
Self-love, self-interest, must perish. But the law of
self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation. The seed buried
in the ground produces fruit, and in turn this is planted.
Thus the harvest is multiplied. The husbandman
preserves his grain by casting it away. So in human life, to [p. 87] give is to live. The life that will be preserved is the life
that is freely given in service to God and man. Those
who for Christ's sake sacrifice their life in this world,
will keep it unto life eternal.
The seed dies to spring forth into new life, and in this
we are taught the lesson of the resurrection. All who
love God will live again in the Eden above. Of the human
body laid away to molder in the grave God has said,
"It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it
is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in
weakness; it is raised in power." 1 Cor. 15:42, 43.
Such are a few of the many lessons taught by nature's
living parable of the sower and the seed. As parents and
teachers try to teach these lessons, the work should be made
practical. Let the children themselves prepare the soil and
sow the seed. As they work, the parent or teacher can
explain the garden of the heart with the good or bad seed
sown there, and that as the garden must be prepared for
the natural seed, so the heart must be prepared for the
seed of truth. As the seed is cast into the ground, they
can teach the lesson of Christ's death; and as the blade
springs up, they can teach the lesson of the truth of the
resurrection. As the plants grow, the correspondence
between the natural and the spiritual sowing may be
The youth should be instructed in a similar way. They
should be taught to till the soil. It would be well if there
were, connected with every school, lands for cultivation.
Such lands should be regarded as God's own schoolroom.
The things of nature should be looked upon as a [p. 88] lesson book which His children are to study, and from
which they may obtain knowledge as to the culture of
In tilling the soil, in disciplining and subduing the land,
lessons may constantly be learned. No one would think
of settling upon a raw piece of land, expecting it at once to
yield a harvest. Earnestness, diligence, and persevering
labor are to be put forth in treating the soil preparatory to
sowing the seed. So it is in the spiritual work in the
human heart. Those who would be benefited by the tilling
of the soil must go forth with the word of God in their
hearts. They will then find the fallow ground of the heart
broken by the softening, subduing influence of the Holy
Spirit. Unless hard work is bestowed on the soil, it will
not yield a harvest. So with the soil of the heart: the
Spirit of God must work upon it to refine and discipline
it before it can bring forth fruit to the glory of God.
The soil will not produce its riches when worked by
impulse. It needs thoughtful, daily attention. It must be
plowed often and deep, with a view to keeping out the
weeds that take nourishment from the good seed planted.
Thus those who plow and sow prepare for the harvest.
None need stand in the field amid the sad wreck of their
The blessing of the Lord will rest upon those thus
work the land, learning spiritual lessons from nature. In
cultivating the soil the worker knows little what treasures
will open up before him. While he is not to despise the
instruction he may gather from minds that have had an
experience, and from the information that intelligent men
may impart, he should gather lessons for himself. This is
a part of his training. The cultivation of the soil will prove
an education to the soul. [p. 89]
He who causes the seed to spring up, who tends it day
and night, who gives it power to develop, is the Author
of our being, the King of heaven, and He exercises still
greater care and interest in behalf of His children. While
the human sower is planting the seed to sustain our earthly
life, the Divine Sower will plant in the soul the seed that
will bring forth fruit unto life everlasting.
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