Paul took the church at Corinth to task for their divided loyalties, proof, he said that they were still living worldly lives, quarrelling with each other, jealous of one another. Even in their loyalty to the men of God who had brought them the Gospel, in their claims to follow one or the other of them, they had allowed the spirit of the World to drive a wedge between them.Image may contain: mountain, sky, cloud, outdoor and natureThe preachers of the Gospel, and the teachers, are not saints to put on a pedestal, to claim allegiance to. Paul himself and Apollos were simply God’s servants, doing the task God had put before them; they were the means God had used to bring the Corinthian believers to faith in Jesus Christ.

“I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God Who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.” 1 Corinthians 2:6,7 NLT

Preachers and teachers, planters and waterers work together for God. Their goal is the same; both receive their rewards from God; but the increase is, and always will be, the work of God.

As a worker in a professional greenhouse operation, I know how many different jobs must be performed perfectly in order to bring a beautiful finished plant to market. There are seeders, transporters, germination specialists, counters and graders, transplanting teams, growers, pest control people, trimmers and shapers, shippers, and packaging specialists. Behind the scenes, there are salespeople, purchasers, schedulers, maintenance people, IT teams,  cleaning and supply teams, management, receivables specialists, and logistics specialists. All are working towards a single goal– a quality end product. No one person could do it all; and the failure of a single person can spell failure for the entire product. Every person receives his reward for a job well done.

Over and above all of our work in the operation, however, it is still God Who gives the increase. He puts the tiny store of life into every seed and supplies the life as it grows each step of the way. He supplies the sunlight and water and warmth needed for growth, and the finished product is a testament to His beauty and creativity.

 

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