• David Osteen

Step 4: TPS - True Potato Seed

There has perhaps been a distraction amongst this series of articles I have presented; that being, that most people believe that potatoes do not grow from seeds. But even if that be the case, please excuse the ignorance of the teacher in exchange for a look at the heart of the teaching. There is a great need for the Gospel in the world, and there is an equally great need for individuals to teach, preach, and share that gospel with the world. Let us not suffer the dreadful fate of being merely Sojourners, but rather, let us be admonished to be the Sojourners and Sowers that God has created us to be.

That being said let me address an issue at the heart of the past 3 weeks of articles. They have all focused around 1 Corinthians 3 and personal responsibility, helping to grow the church, and helping the church to grow. Within the confines of each message I have used the “oh so familiar” agricultural illustration of planting seed. The error on my part, as may have been assumed by some, was in using a potato plant as the illustration. You see, as it has been pointed out to me, potatoes don’t grow from seeds; they grow from “eyes”, “tubes”, or “buds”. Alas, does this negate the heart of the message which I have preached for the last three weeks? “May it never be!”

On the contrary, it only validates the original problem that I stated in the second sentence of the very first paragraph of the very first article of this series, “The real problem… is that nobody even knows how to grow a potato anymore.” You see, potatoes were first grown by the Inca’s in 200 B.C. with what are called “True Potato Seeds - TPS”. TPS look similar to tomato seeds, but are found in small berries that grow among the foliage of potato plants. While it is true that you can plant the “eye” of a potato and get another potato, the quality of the potato is not as good as one grown from a TPS. TPS yield potatoes that taste better, and are more resistant to disease, insects, and spoilage. You see, when you plant a TPS you yield what God intended.

Herein again, lies the problem in 1 Corinthians 3. The brethren didn’t see themselves as coming from God, but instead they stated “’I am of Paul,’ and another, ‘I am of Apollos.’”(v.4) They saw themselves as growing from the “buds” of these men, rather than from the seed of God’s word. The way in which they saw themselves led to jealousy and strife. That is where Paul corrects them in that Paul and Apollos were merely “Servants”, and that all were of God. You see, if we want to help yield a crop of TRUE potatoes, we have to make sure we are planting the TRUE Potato Seed. The WORD OF GOD should be our focus. Certainly we can influence people by the way we live (1 Pt. 3:1), but if we want to help grow the church and help the church grow it REQUIRES us to use God’s word; “for IT is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Ro. 1:16) Not you.

I am glad that my faith is from the word. I am glad that my parents shared with me the TPS of God’s word, instead of just giving me “buds” of faith from their life. I am glad that when I went to church I attended a BIBLE class that strengthened my faith, rather than attend a rap session of personal stories and jokes that were “buds” of other people’s lives. Most of all, I am glad that God has allowed me to be, “born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God.” (1 Pt. 1:23) It is to God’s glory that I grow, it is to God’s glory that I serve, and it is to God’s glory that the seed of His word will provide for man the true and living way of salvation.

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