I planted but God..
(By Jeremiah Kim)
1 Corinthians 3:6-7 – “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”
Galatians 5:6 – “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
The above two verses from 1 Corinthians are the Bible verses that Pastor Jin, our Hesed pastor at the time, shared with us leaders at our yearly kick-off meeting this January. At the time, honestly the verses didn’t really resonate with me. The verses talk about planting and watering. I don’t think many of us living in the 21st century are farmers by trade. I certainly am not and have never been! But looking back, I would say 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 has been one of the most impactful verses for me this year.
Through 1 Corinthians 3:6-7, I’ve learned that our God is an omnipotent, great god that deserves and receives all the credit and glory. But also that He does not work by himself, He chooses to work through men, flawed, sinful by nature, and mortal, who stand in stark contrast to our God. So whether we realize it or not, we have a big role to play in HIStory.
I’ve particularly come to like these two verses from 1 Corinthians, because I think it balances the two sides of the coin very well. At the end of the day, God deserves all the glory, because only God gives growth. Only God can really, truly change people. But we need to do our part, we need to plant, we need to water, so God can work through us. We cannot do anything on our part and then blame God when He does not work in our lives.
Hebrews Ch. 11 shows us this well: our forefathers of faith, who acted on their faith in God and saw Him do great things. If so, what have I been doing based on my faith? What have I been planting this past year?
Sarang Fund is a Christian, non-profit organization that seeks to share the gospel. And the Christian gospel is the only one that I know of that us mere humans can get to a supernatural being, a god through faith alone. No good deeds, no pilgrimages to holy sites, no man-made rituals are needed to get to Jesus! Moreover, none of these actions can get us to Jesus! Only faith given to us by grace can.
Apostle Paul describes this well in Ephesians 2:8. But ones who have that faith do not sit idle. Galatians 5:6 says faith works through love and that this is the only thing that counts for anything. Faith working through love… so I’ve been planting love this past year. However imperfect and sinful I might have been, I believe gracious God strengthened me to show love to those around me in what little ways possible. With my family members, I think it was through saying “I’m sorry,” first and taking a reconciliatory attitude even though sometimes I didn’t want to. With people who didn’t know Jesus yet, I think it was through just grabbing food with them and listening to them talk even though I’m not a very sociable person. In many instances, situations didn’t change, but I’m very hopeful that in His timing God will give growth to the little seeds I’ve planted.
To conclude, I’m very grateful to have been given this opportunity to serve as a staff member in Sarang Fund this year. It has allowed me to show the love that I’ve received (first through Jesus, and then through my fellow believers) a little further than I am usually accustomed to in a very practical way. Praise God!