Let those of us who work for the great harvest, be
MINDFUL OF WHAT WE SOW.
Let us have nothing in the seed-basket that cannot be termed what Jesus called "The word of the kingdom." There will be no difficulty in obtaining that. Farmers don't stint the sower, and God will not withhold seed from His labourers. Let the youthful preacher be encouraged, for just as you have seen the sower fill his basket from the sack, so there is, in the Bible, enough for each, enough for all, enough for evermore.
Sow BIBLE IDEAS: --
"Put the Bible into them, my brother," said an earnest Scotch divine to us many years ago, and there is nothing grows as well, or yields as much, as the Bible, used as seed. People may tell you that they want something else, something more attractive and pleasing. Yes, but they won't say so in the time of harvest. You may plant your field with flower-seeds, sow tulips, marigolds, mignonette, &c., those will look very well in June and July, but how about September? The very people that asked for them in spring will curse you for them in autumn.
BIBLE IDEAS ABOUT GOD: --
His love of righteousness, His hatred of evil; His love of man, but His dislike to sin; His delight in benevolence, but His determined hostility to wrong-doing. We need to show not only God's pity for sinners, but His inflexible justice, which did not spare His well-beloved Son, when He bore our sins.
BIBLE IDEAS ABOUT CONDUCT: --
Never mind being called legal, if you can back your preaching by the Bible. Put the truth into the people about honesty, industry, and self- denial. Let others spend their time in talking of the angels with bright wings of gold; let us teach men how God means them to live in this world. Those of us who wish to learn how to sow, should study Jesus and Paul. They are examples of what sowers should be.
BIBLE IDEAS ABOUT REPENTANCE: --
"These things teach and exhort." One secret of the want of lasting success, is that we do not preach repentance. Men need to have right ideas on this subject. Those who have not repented cannot believe unto righteousness; they can believe unto feeling, but not to right doing! It is not a question so much of tears, as of turning away from sin. The greatest of penitents said, "I turned my feet unto thy testimonies."
BIBLE IDEAS ABOUT JESUS: --
That He died for us according to the scriptures. When the Master wished to take away the sadness from His disciples, as they walked to Emmaus, "He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself." This is what we must do. Put the truth, as it is in Jesus, into the hearts of the people. Let us show from the word of God, that "By His stripes we are healed." Nothing gives abiding peace like the thought, Christ has died for my sins. This will lead to loving Jesus, with the kind of affection which will not be tempted to grieve Him by doing that which is evil. Let us see to it that we get the seed in.
IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO GET IT ON THE LAND, WE MUST PUT IT IN.
No preacher has done his work thoroughly who does not use the harrow. There are some so-called teachers, who don't know what the gospel harrow is. This is why the catechism is not taught. The ancient plan of catechising in the church ought to be more general than it is. Why should we not hide the word of God in the hearts of our hearers, by causing them to think over what we have said? We may not be able to get them formally to answer questions, but we may make them think. Some preaching is like raking with the teeth upwards. It may be easier and more speedy, but it is not so likely to hide the seed. It is a good practice for those who have been listened to by others, to talk to themselves after the sermon or lesson is over, and to say, Soul, what hast thou done to-day? How many Bible truths hast thou put into the hearts of the people?
DIDST THOU PUT THEM IN?
If thou didst, never fear but thou shalt see harvest some day. His word does not return void. This is not true of thy word, or of anyone else's, but "the word of the Lord abideth for ever!"