Monday, October 20, 2014

Sowing In Our Own Garden

I recently read an old Spurgeon sermon meant to encourage Sunday school teachers that was such an encouragement to me as a mother. He spoke about the tiny mustard seed parable from Luke 13:18-19:
'He said therefore, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.”"
He talked about the simplicity yet the depth of these two verses and how it can be applied to those of us teaching young ones. 

Spurgeon spoke about how the sower takes that mustard seed and sows it into his own garden. Like this sower, we as mothers take this seed which is the gospel, truth, and love of Jesus, and are called not to just hold it to ourselves to pour over and enjoy, but to actively sow it with care. And where might be a good place to sow these seeds? Though we are missionaries on a foreign field, sowing the gospel in places far from home, our own gardens, which are our own families, are especially precious and to be cultivated with special care. Spurgeon then elaborates on the simple fact of how that tiny seed, sown in the sower’s own garden, then grows from something tiny into a great tree, providing refuge.  That is what I desire so deeply for my children, and I know you do too; that those gospel seeds take root in their young hearts, and that our children grow and thrive on the love and truth of Christ and become great “trees” who bless others and touch lives with the light of Jesus.

Of course we have heard these truths countless times and all have this desire and commitment, but I never cease to be greatly encouraged as we see these truths repeated in so many ways throughout God's word.

Be encouraged again, mothers, your labor for souls in lands all over the earth is eternally precious to the Lord, but so is the careful sowing and care of your very own garden. Every day you are doing meaningful and powerful work for the kingdom of God!

What passages of scripture are most encouraging to you personally about sowing in your own  “garden?” Do you currently feel encouraged about the value of the ministry you do at home, or are you feeling discouraged or hindered in any way? Let's pray for one another, that God will use us greatly for His kingdom on our foreign mission fields, as well as especially in our own gardens.


  1. I love thinking of our ministry to our kids in this way, Ashley! Thank you! I'm entering a new stage, where I don't currently have any babies or toddlers in the house, and I'm starting to work more on outside of the home ministry. So, I'm thinking and praying through the right balance between my first ministry in my own little "garden" at home that is so important to me and that is my primary focus, and my ministry with the women of our church, which has been able to grow lately as I enter this new stage. I feel strongly pulled to both, so I am finding that I need to be more careful to guard my time to tend the precious garden of my kids' hearts.

  2. Wow, what a big transition! We're still a couple of years away from our youngest starting pre-school, but I am so aware at how quickly the seasons change. How wonderful to hear that God has blessed you with great ministry opportunities both in your home and to women outside of your home! I will pray for God to help you find a great balance of those two important ministries!

  3. That's where I am, too, Sarah, at least somewhat. Homeschooling still takes up most of my time, but on the weekends I'm ministering at an orphanage. I love what I get to do there! Of course, it goes without saying that I love my own children even more than any other ministry. But, I find that I have to work to focus on being here with them more, now that I have another ministry. It's a bit more exciting there for me, or something. :-) I feel torn sometimes.

    So, Ashley, thank you for this very timely reminder!