A Remnant

Don’t eat all the tomatoes!

Those last few “Sweet Million” tomatoes have something wonderful inside them — and not just incredible flavor.

You do want those again next year, don’t you? Well, that means we will have to squeeze out their juicy goodness, wash away the tangy, flavorful juice, and pick out the seeds to dry them.

Yes, inside each one of those little yellow disc-shaped seeds is the potential for a whole new plant for 2015, loaded with the lovely round wonders that delighted us this past summer.

This week I have been swapping seeds with friends. Who would want to give away an array of yellow and red poppies in exchange for a handful of Chickabiddy seeds? Well, maybe someone who had an abundance of poppies, but no climbing purple Chickabiddy, I guess!

Throughout the Bible, we read of a “remnant” that God saves for himself, much like I saved the last few “Sweet Million” cherry tomato seeds for planting a crop for the following year.

“God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel? ‘Lord, they have killed Your prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.’ But what is the divine response to him? ‘I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.’ In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God’s gracious choice” (Romans 11:2-5, NASB).

It’s a little bit painful to save seeds sometimes. A good tomato has to be sacrificed in order to save the precious promise of next year’s crop. The same goes for corn or summer squash.

It likely pained God to reject his chosen people in favor of the Gentiles, as is described later in Romans 11. He warns against our turning away, lest we become the rejected ones in favor of the “originals.” One thing is a constant, though. There is always a remnant.

Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt to preserve a remnant (Genesis 45:7).

Elijah was told of a remnant who had not worshipped Baal, when even the king and queen were the “Pied Pipers” leading their nation off the cliff to spiritual destruction (1 Kings 19:18).

There was a remnant of the nation of Israel that stayed in the land when most were carried away to captivity. A remnant of Christianity stayed true to the word of God, when others turned to institutionalized religion.

Jesus promised about the church that “The gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18b).

All through the ages, Christians have been killed for their faith. Some have denied Christ in order to save their lives; only to die anyway, losing their souls. Still others have simply abandoned their faith in favor of something that seems more enticing at the moment.

Throughout history, wherever the “seed” of the kingdom has been planted, it produces more Christians. (Matthew 13). “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11).

God has carefully preserved the gospel so that Christianity will continue. Sometimes there is sacrifice involved.

The other “seed” that God was preserving was the Christ. God continues to keep his people and his word preserved for future generations to come to Jesus.

Let us be the remnant! Then let’s go out and produce more Christians by our lives, by our examples, and by our words.

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