Lessons on Zealous Living Learned in the Garden! Part 2

Written by: M. Wayne Sullivan



Time to read: 11 min

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Part Two: Lessons on Zealous Living from Seeds In the Garden

You and the kids have worked your soil the best you can, learning many lessons. Not a single window was shattered as you've extracted most of the rocks from the soil. You and the children have transformed the hard clumps of soil into fluffy and soft mixture. Most likely, you are wearing some of it. Perhaps you have amended your soil to make it more nutrient rich. What remains for the gardener to do?

Right, it is time to plant your crop. The seeds come out of your bag. You are ready to sow the seed. What lessons can you learn and teach from the sowing of the seeds? In case you missed it, in our last article we discussed Lessons from Soil.

Are you ready?

Let's get our ZEALOUS on! 


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1. What is a seed?

Scientifically, regarding plants, a seed is a reproductive body formed in the ovule of flowering plants, or angiosperms, as well as some other plants in the gymnosperm families. Pollination fertilizes the egg cells, or the ovule. The result is the maturing of a seed, a miniature undeveloped plant awaiting germination. The seed allows the plant to reproduce itself in nature. God designed plants in this way from the beginning and declared so on the third day of creation.

11  "And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12  The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13  And there was evening and there was morning, the third day." Genesis 1:11–13 (ESV)

Literally and metaphorically, as used in Scripture, the seed is used to refer to several themes that are threaded throughout the Bible, such as agricultural methods, offspring, people, family, the Messiah, the Gospel, the, Kingdom of God, the word of God, and the indwelling of God’s Spirit. We will look at these in the lessons that follow.

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2. Jesus’ Lessons on Seeds

In four of his parables, Jesus used seeds to teach lessons to his disciples: the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:3–9); the Parable of Seed and Weeds (Matt. 13:24–30); the Parable of the Seed Growing (Mark 4:26–29); and the Parable of the Mustard Seed (Mark 4:30–32). We will briefly look at each parable, so make sure you continue reading.

The Parable of the Soils (Matt. 13:3–9)

We looked at the Parable of the Sower last week. We really should call it “the Parable of the Soils.” That is what Jesus was really talking about. Remember, He gave us four different soils that receive exactly the same seed. The soils refer to how different people will hear and receive the seed. What is the “seed” they are to hear and receive? The “seed” is the “Word” of the Kingdom of God or the gospel message. Jesus and His disciples sowed that seed broadly, and they (the people) heard it in different ways. Some people (soils) heard, received, and bore fruit; and some did not.

We learn three lessons on Zealous Living as disciples of Jesus Christ.

  • We must ensure that we hear and receive the teachings of Christ and obey them.
  • We should sow the seed of the Word broadly, without prejudice.
  • We should recognize that some will not receive the message, but rejoice in those who will.

22 "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves."

James 1:22 (ESV)

The Parable of the Seeds and Weeds (Matt. 13:24–30)

The Parable of the Seeds and Weeds refers to two different seeds sown by two different individuals, a farmer and his enemy. The two seeds are wheat and weeds. We will deal more with this parable in our next article on Lessons from Weeds. The one thing that is important for us to note here is that there are good seeds and evil seeds. In gardening, as in life, sometimes it is hard to tell the difference until they have both fully matured. Be careful as you manage your garden that you don’t remove the good with the bad.

The Parable of the Seed Growing (Mark 4:26–29)

The mystery of life is at the heart of this parable. The sower plants the seed, cares for it, waters it, but in the end, it is God who makes it grow. Our sower goes about life, sleeping and rising, sleeping and rising, in a continuous fashion. Until harvest, his job, for the most part, is done. The planter can only plant the seed. He cannot manufacture germination or growth.

God is the one who is at work, even after our work is done. God is always at work, apart from our human efforts. God cultivates the seed of the Word to bring about the growth and expansion of His kingdom. God gives us the honor and privilege to be the sower of His Word in the souls of other people. Always remember that it is God alone who saves. That is not our work, we are but simple farmers in His vast field. So spread the seed of His word broadly and continuously, then watch Him work.

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The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Mark 4:30–32)

Jesus also wanted us to understand that when we sow the seed of the Kingdom of God, we must do so in faith that it will take root and grow. Regarding our families, the idea here could easily apply to the way we leave a legacy through how we sow the word into the lives of our children. Let me explain. 

Jesus uses the Mustard seed, one of the smallest seeds on earth, to explain the growth of the Kingdom of God. Even a small seed planted in faith can grow into the largest tree in the garden, providing nurture, shelter, and resources for a growing and diverse ecology.

As believers, we are to allow our impact to grow, forming a web of branches that can reach out broadly and impact the surround culture with the truth of God’s Kingdom.

Spiritual growth begins in our hearts, expands to our family as we grow together corporately as families and churches, continuously developing into a framework of Kingdom growth that affects the world.

This is why I believe so strongly in the development and discipleship provided through home fellowships and house churches. We must guard against working to develop this culture changing tree in our own strength. Rather, we trust God can take even the smallest seed sown and develop it into what He wills.

As you can see, Jesus has given us several great lessons from seeds. We should seek to know them well and regularly teach them to our children and extended family. But does the Bible say anything else about seeds? It certainly does. There is one major seed that is emphasized throughout the Scriptures that helps us to understand Jesus’ teachings even better.

3. The Greatest Lessons on Zealous Living Point in the Same Direction

From the very beginning, God has referred to a singular seed that would, like the mustard seed, grow and provide life for many. In  Genesis 3:15 , God refers to a seed while cursing the Satanic serpent.

15 “… And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”

Genesis 3:15 (NKJV)

The Hebrew word for seed used here is zeraʿ. It comes from the word,  zaraʿ  , which means, “to sow, to scatter, or to plant.” The verse teaches that God is going to sow a seed in humanity that will destroy all that the evil serpent represents. The same word shows up a little later to describe the offspring of Abraham, which will become a blessing to all nations.

There are many more verses that we could dig into so that we could trace this thread throughout Scripture. We can trace this line from Eve to Abraham to David, who was promised to have his seed rule over Israel for eternity in the Davidic Covenant of 2 Samuel 7, to Joseph, all the way to Jesus. Could Jesus be the zeraʿ, the seed? 

Why ZealousHomes?

Following God’s prompting, I started ZealousHomes for this very reason. I long to see the excitement and wonder of Christ overtake the Church and our modern day culture. So, I started the ZealousHomes blog on zealoushomes.com to help encourage and equip believers to live zealously for Christ. I am not gifted enough to make that happen on my own, but ZealousHomes is my prayerful appeal for Christian Zeal. 

ZealousHomes is a rallying cry to bring us back to a strong community of unifying grace full of Christian zeal. It’s a prayer for God to unite believers through mutual edification and encouragement. We desire a Christian community that can glorify Christ in our culture. That is why we have created Zealous Christian Gear at zealouschristian.com, to supply a line of apparel and gifts, along with much more, so that we can be walking billboards for Christ in word, in deed, and in what we wear. It’s a prayer that I believe God will answer in due time.

Conclusion: Knowing Jesus is the Ultimate Lesson on Zealous Living Learned from Seeds

Paul stated in Galatians 3:16, (what is it about the power of the many 3:16 verses in Scripture?)

16 "Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ."

Galatians 3:16 (NKJV)

The many mentions of seeds in the Old Testament all point in the same direction. They point to Jesus Christ, who is the seed of God from which the Kingdom of God will sprout and develop into a powerful, everlasting tree of life, full of peace and rest. Kind of like that mustard seed, eh? What a great thought!

The tree of life was found in the center of the Garden of Eden at the beginning of Scripture ( Genesis 2:9 ). At the end of Scripture, the tree of life is found in the Revelation of John growing on two sides of the river of life which flows from the throne of God and His Lamb, providing healing for the nations ( Revelation 22:1-2 ). 

That is a hope that you can get zealous about! Go sow that zealous seed in the lives of your children, your family, and your friends as you meditate on lessons learned from seeds. Go get your zealous on!

Help Us Start A Movement

Join our Zealous Nation! Let’s begin to offer up a collective prayerful appeal for Christian zeal to begin to permeate our lives, our families, and our churches.

Finally, It is our hope that this article has helped to give you a renewed sense of Christian zeal. So, if our content has added value to your life, please help us out by subscribing to our Newsletter. Also, please share this article with your friends. It doesn’t cost you anything and it is a tremendous help to us as we seek to grow and spread God’s Word far and wide.

In our next post, PART 3 of this series, we are going to dive into lessons on Zealous Living that we can learn from weeds. If you want to begin igniting a stunning Christian zeal for your sensational journey, then be sure to check out our future posts. Until next time, live zealously!

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Read More from this Series!

Recommended Reading On Christian Zeal and Revitalization

Further Readings

Living Zealously, by Joel R. Beeke and James A. La Bekke

Zeal Without Burnout, by Christopher Ash

→ Zealous for Good Works, by Todd A. Wilson

→ Flickering Lamps, by Henry & Richard Blackaby

→ Reclaiming Glory: Updated Editionby Mark Clifton

Founder & Editor at ZealousHomes, LLC.

M. Wayne Sullivan, M.Div.

Hey there! I am the Founder here at ZealousHomes. I am a deeply blessed with a loving wife, Crystal, and our two cherished daughters. I have served in Christian ministry for over 26 years and currently serves as the pastor of not one, but two great churches: Zealous Church and Lighthouse Baptist Church. I also serve as the host on our ZealousHomes Podcast. I love spending time with my family, reading with a cup of coffee, photography, graphic design, and writing articles that will benefit my brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Through ZealousHomes, my vision is to glorify Jesus Christ by living zealously for Him. Though I'm far from perfect, I aspire to inspire others to embrace their own spiritual journey with zeal and fervor. Join me as we navigate life's challenges and triumphs, all while striving to ignite a stunning zeal of faith in the hearts of many who endeavor to venture on the sensational journey of following Jesus Christ.

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