4th February 2020

God Grants The Increase

“I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.”
1 Corinthians 3:6 (NKJV)

Paul is talking here about preaching the gospel, and God turning people to Christ, but there is another meaning to do with herds and flocks and grain. Double-meanings in the Bible are common, and make the Bible more interesting. Unbelievers argue about inconsistency and conflicts between books, so it is all the more important for believers to be able to explain with knowledge and understanding. When God gives the increase, people usually take the credit for themselves, but it is important for us to give God the glory.

People today do not always understand the ‘increase’. There is a fascinating programme on television, called ‘Spring Watch’ about the birthing of lambs. Each year most sheep will give birth to one or two lambs, and a sheep may live for 9-12 years. The farmer tends his flock and sees to it that they are fed and watered. Some sheep will have 3 lambs, which causes a problem, as sheep only have two teats, so one of the lambs must be given to a sheep with no lambs, or maybe hand-reared with a bottle. A third lamb is an additional blessing. People think it is natural that animals and humans are born, but it is only God who gives life. Similarly with plants, the gardening programmes show good ideas about growing plants, but they do not give God the glory. We plant seeds and water them, but God gives the increase, as it says in 1 Corinthians 3:7. The amount of increase is a variable blessing that only God can bestow on us.

Obedience to God leads to divine blessings, both spiritually and physically and there are lots of examples of this in the Bible. For example in 1 Kings 17:7 during a drought, God sent Elijah to a poor widow in Zarephath, and God had told her to feed him. Even though she only had a small amount of flour and a little oil, she did as she was asked and the oil and flour lasted for many months, until the drought ended. This widow did not know God, because she spoke about ‘The Lord your God,’ but she was on a learning curve, and was about to learn about God’s increase.

Last summer while watering my plants, I noticed a large courgette, which I had not noticed the day before, weighing 8½ ounces, and measuring nearly 8 inches long. There were lots more still growing. On occasion I supplied my garden with 14 gallons of water. When we plant and water, we show faith that God will supply an increase.

Prayer
Father in Heaven, we thank You for the food we eat, and also for rain and sustenance for plant growth.
Amen

Study by Phil Stilliard
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About the Author:
Phil Stilliard attends the London congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion International London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON
W1T 6AQ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: london@gracecom.church

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