Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I am not a country boy.

I was raised off the Dan Ryan Expressway on Chicago’s south side. I am much more comfortable on a toll way than a tractor.

For the last eight years I have lived in the county seat of the smallest county in the state of Illinois. Living among cornfields and the corn fed I’ve been exposed to many things that have served to enrich and enlighten.

There is a family in our church that grows various fruits and vegetables on their land. They raise tomatoes, beans, cucumbers and the most delicious blackberry’s found anywhere.

They have a small area were they grow sweet corn for themselves. They purchased hybrid seed to plant sweet corn and the next spring, preparing to plant sweet corn once again, they planted seed from last years harvest. As the stalks began to break the ground they found the corn small and irregular. The ears weren’t developing and the stalks were subject to rot.

There was a problem.

Today, hybrid seed is predominant in agriculture and is one of the main contributing factors to the dramatic rise in agricultural output during the last half of the 20th century. Hybrid seed is produced by artificially cross-pollinating plants. Hybrids are bred to improve the characteristics of the resulting plants, resulting in better yield, greater uniformity, improved color/appearance and disease resistance.

There is however an inviolable rule concerning this seed. Hybrid seed cannot be saved, as the seed from the first generation of hybrid plants does not reliably produce true copies, therefore, new seed must be purchased for each planting.

Their crop failed because they tried to use second generation seed and second generation seed will not produce a first generation harvest.

Those who have inherited the experience and truth of the day of Pentecost are the harvest of a first generation seed. If we are to continue to experience the yield, uniformity and disease resistance that defined the first generation harvest the seed we sow must be first generation seed.

Our children need a first generation experience because Mom and Dad’s faith will not suffice.

Our cities need a first generation church preaching first generation truth.

Our faith must remain first generation in doctrine, experience and worship if we are to reap the harvest that God has promised to us.

Hand-me-down Pentecost will not reach the world. If we want to reap a first generation harvest we must invest first generation seed in each soul we raise and reach.

A personal and Apostolic experience is our sole satisfaction.