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Apple Seeds
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Awhile back, I decided that I was going to grow an apple tree from a seed that came from a particularly delicious Honeycrisp apple from Hood River, Oregon's Fruit Loop region.

Lacking in my confidence to really succeed, I planted the small black seed into a mid-sized clay pot and set the pot in the corner of my yard. A few days went by and I checked the pot for a sprout. Then a few more days and then a few more, but alas no sprout. I found myself getting upset at the apple seed, blaming him for not growing, calling him defective and a waste of time.

Little did I know that it was my lack of nurture and care that was causing the seed to lie dormant. I didn't really nourish the seed the way one should in order to produce results. I just halfheartedly put a small amount of effort into the seeds future. I said to myself, “It's an apple seed, it knows how to grow, it can grow without my help.”

Delicate Time

As I rolled up my sleeves and headed for the clay pot where the seed lay buried, my thoughts turned to the spiritual seeds planted in the hearts of new believers in Jesus. Many times new converts to the word of God and to the church, struggle to adjust to a very different way of living. There are many obstacles in their path. Faith is in it's infancy and they are in a very delicate time. Just like the apple seed, they need nourishment to grow.

As members of the church and community, we have an obligation to God to help those new faith believers to flourish. We must water, weed, and provide spiritual guidance in order for them to fully bloom and bear the fruits of the Lord.

I decided that I'd practice a little faith of my own and began to nourish and nurture my apple seed along, until a few weeks later a small green shoot pushed through the soil and into the sunlight. As time went by, it became quite a resilient, fruit-bearing tree. All it took was a little love and a little faith and the tree blossomed.

That’s all it takes to nurture someone new to faith—a little love and a lot of faith, and in the end you will see a mature, strong-in-faith being, bearing the fruits of the Spirit, and sharing God’s love with others.

"Then Jesus said, 'What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches” (Luke 13:18, 19).

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By Benjamin DuBose. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the New Living Translation © 1996.

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