The first fruits of a garden provide more than food, they also inspire us to keep on weeding and keep the garden in good shape. If we get behind in the garden chores, it becomes easier to throw in the towel or weed hoe and sit back and chalk it up to poor weather or no rain or too much rain or something.
In Hebrews 6 the image of ground and weeds is used to inspire us in our work and service for God. Sometimes it is filled with weeds and we lose heart. Sometimes though, a sweet harvest comes through. Peek into God’s garden for a moment.
7 For ground that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end. 9 Even though we are speaking this way, dear friends, in your case we are confident of the better things connected with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you showed for His name when you served the saints—and you continue to serve them. 11 Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope, 12 so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance.
The Bible writers lived in the thick of nature, up to their elbows in gardens and plants and animals. It’s no wonder that they use illustrations from nature to explain their spiritual life. This little nature picture from Hebrews is one of many examples of hard work and it’s rewards. There are two rewards here, the fruit of our labors and the final fulfillment of God’s promise. We will see many people in God’s kingdom even though we see many weedy patches and we ourselves will be there to enjoy the harvest of faces that have said yes to Jesus. Reward indeed.
And whoever gives just a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple —I assure you: He will never lose his reward!” Matthew 10:42
Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality. Romans 12:13
We all have been given great gifts. One of those gifts is the ability to take those gifts and regift them to others. Passing along the good bounties of nature and God are all that He asks of us, cold water, a little Zucchini, a smile, a word of encouragement, the simple things.
As Paul says to us in Galatians:
Nothing but the Cross
1-3Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
4-5Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
6Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience.
7-8Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. 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.
9-10So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith. Message Bible
Keep at your good work.