John’s mission began when he was eighteen years old. Carrying a leather bag filled with apple seeds, he traveled the land planting the seeds wherever he went. He later created numerous nurseries and bought large tracts of land where he developed thousands of productive apple trees. He soon became known as the “apple seed man” and later as “Johnny Appleseed.”
Interestingly, John’s favorite book was the Bible. Being a very godly man, he would sow spiritual seed by preaching to people on his many journeys. Be it apple seed or spiritual seed, John Chapman was a planter. (From “Johnny Appleseed” at www.bestapples.com)
Did you know that every believer has the same assignment? Of course, God doesn’t expect us to travel the country planting apple seeds. But He did commission us to plant the seed of God’s Word in the hearts of others (Mark 16:15).
This idea of planting the seed of the Word was discussed at one of our Men’s Breakfast meetings. It caught my attention because I, along with others from RLA, recently worked in an apple orchard on our missions trip to Utah. As I walked through this beautiful orchard, I was amazed by what I saw. A single tree that came from a very small seed was now loaded with fruit! Some of the trees were so full of apples that their branches nearly hung to the ground.
In the Parable of the Sower Jesus likened the Word of God to seed (Matthew 13:18-23). The Hebrew writer then declared, “For the word of God is alive and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12). Never hesitate to include Scripture in your witnessing encounters. The Bible isn’t just another religious book. It’s uniquely alive and active. The Word of God is a powerful seed that contains within itself everything needed to produce spiritual life in a receptive heart. It just has to be planted.
Maybe the story of Johnny Appleseed doesn’t motivate you to go out and plant a tree, or a bush, or even a flower. Gardening might not be part of your gift set. Rather than a green thumb, you might have the proverbial brown thumb. That’s okay. You can still be a successful planter of spiritual seed.
So equip yourself with the Word and be a faithful planter. Then watch as the powerful seed of God’s Word does what it alone is designed to do.
Pastor Todd Weston