Apostle Don Meares
“For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.” –1 Corinthians 3:4-9
God wants His people to live in unity and increase, not division. The Holy Spirit works to bring people together and not tear them apart. Sadly, many churches are born out of division rather than multiplication, which goes against God’s intention.
In 1 Corinthians 3, the Apostle Paul addresses the issue of divisions and rivalries among the people of Corinth. These people were aligning themselves with different leaders, either Paul or Apollos, causing disputes and divisions within the church. These divisions are carnal and are clearly not from the Lord.
The Apostle Paul was known as an intellectual. He was respected by many. But when he confessed His belief in Jesus Christ, he faced criticism and mockery. The Corinthians, who once admired Paul, were now drawn to Apollos, known for his eloquence and knowledge of the Scriptures. This caused Paul personal distress as he was attacked both intellectually and personally.
To address the issue, Paul reminds the Corinthians that the planter (Paul) and the waterer (Apollos) are nothing in themselves. It is God who gives the increase. It is God’s will for believers to experience an increase in their lives, and God wants them to receive His blessings and abundance.
To receive God’s increase, we must plant, water, and reap the harvest. The increase does not come from man’s efforts alone, but God ultimately gives it. He deserves all the glory.
If we want to experience growth and increase, planting and nurturing these seeds by watering and nurturing them is essential for growth. We are like seeds planted by God. And just as seeds need watering to reach their full potential, we, too, require spiritual nourishment and care.
There is a distinction between being planted and being buried. While planting and burial may appear similar on the surface, these have different purposes. Planting involves the expectation of growth and transformation. On the other hand, burial implies the end and disposal of something. When God plants us in difficult or dark circumstances, it is not to bury us but to help us grow. It is His way of making us stronger individuals. When we are rooted in Christ, we will grow as we are transformed into His likeness. If you are facing challenges, you must recognize that you are destined for increase and extraordinary things. Even when facing adversity, we must persevere and trust in God’s plan.
On the other hand, we must reflect on ourselves. What are the seeds we have sown? Have we watered these effectively? “Watering” means that we must watch for the spiritual development and nourishment of our planted seeds. How are we “watering” our commitments and aspirations? What are the steps we are taking towards growth and increase? When God blesses us with something, He means that He is permitting us to work on it, and He gives us the ability to receive only what He has given us permission to work in. James 2:17 reminds us that “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” It is not enough to just believe in God’s plan. We must move in obedience towards it.
God is saying to us: “You’re not going to be able to receive the increase from me if you are doubtful, if you don’t have faith, if you’re disobedient to my laboring instructions, and if you are joyless or lazy. Stop focusing and placing time and energy on areas that will not do anything for you.”
There is a transformative power when God plants us. We must be active and engaged in our faith. We must be willing to nurture the seeds of our potential and trust God’s plan for our lives.
Aim for Growth and Increase
Many people grow older but not wiser. Those who truly embrace growth transform their lives. They don’t just go through the experiences but thrive through it. Challenging circumstances and seasons can be difficult. But if we remain rooted in the Lord, He can turn it into an opportunity for personal development. For us who have given our lives to the Lord, we need to trust in God’s plan, even when faced with difficulties. His goal is not to bury us but to plant us so we can be abundant. God has a purpose for us, and He is working for our benefit. Galatians 6:9 tells us:
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
As the Lord is planting us, we must also remember the seeds we have sown in our lives. Let us nurture them and take responsibility for them. God has made us stewards; if we are faithful, He is even more faithful to reward us. Growth takes time, and we must persevere, especially in our own faith journey. We must remain consistent and obedient as we wait for the harvest. In the process, we need to outgrow familiar environments and relationships. This is part of growth. And if we don’t let go of what God is asking us to release, we won’t be able to receive His increase.
Speak life instead of speaking death and lack in your situation. Open your eyes and look at your hands. God wants to use those hands to bring in the increase, to bring in the harvest. As we do His will, we must be hopeful and expectant. Even as we’re going through trials and growing pains, we are to anticipate an increase. Take care of your spiritual growth. Continue to nurture your dreams, potential, and purpose. Take responsibility for the blessings and opportunities you receive in life. Remember this: God has destined you for greater things.
Live a life of increase according to God’s will! If you want to learn more, you can watch the complete message here:
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