The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

04/14/2010

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Metaphor #3 From 2 Timothy


"The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crop" (2 Tim. 2: 6).

How many of you remember the old fable of The Little Red Hen? It was popularized in the 1940s by Golden Books as a children's story. It's moral is both good for children and adults. If I remember the story correctly, the characters are the little red hen, the lazy dog, sleepy cat and noisy duck. After finding some seed the hen decides to plant it. She asked the other animals for help but they refused. All along the process of cutting, taking to the mill, and baking, her "friends" refused to help. When it came to helping her eat the bread, they all quickly said yes. She did not share the bread with those other animals. Today's metaphor about the farmer, like the soldier and athlete is simple in it's scope. There are many things about what good farming is about that are left out. The apostle Paul zeros in one only one aspect, that being the finished product. The farmer gets "first dibs" on what he has worked hard and well to produce.

As with the soldier who wants to please his commander and the athlete who must compete by the rules, there is an important lesson here in the metaphor of the farmer. I believe that in this metaphor the dedicated effort on the part of the farmer is rewarded by his getting the first share of the crops. The soldier's reward was in the pleasing of his commanding officer with his obedience. The athlete's reward was in the knowledge that he competed according to the rules of the contest. The farmer is rewarded much like the elders of Paul's first epistle to Timothy. "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. For the scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain' and 'the worker deserves his wages' " (1 Tim. 5:17 7 18).

All in all, we as Christian soldiers, athletes and farmers are answerable to a higher calling. When we take Jesus into our lives, more is expected of us. Being Christ-like is not supposed to be easy work. But in most instances of our lives, haven't we received the most satisfaction when the hard task was completed well? When we go the extra mile to call, write or visit, the rewards always outweigh the inconvenience. It is when in doing these things that we do not consider them to be inconveniences that we are on our way to being good soldiers, athletes and farmers.

Have a great day....Go about doing good.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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