Sabbath: The Gospel and the Church
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Read for This Week’s Study:

Gal. 6:1–10Matt. 18:15–171 Cor. 10:12Rom. 15:1John 13:34Luke 22:3.

Memory Text:

“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10)

Some potato farmers decided to save the biggest potatoes for themselves and to plant the smaller potatoes as seed. After a few disappointing harvests, they discovered that nature had reduced their potato crops to the size of marbles. Through this disaster, those farmers learned an important law of life.“They could not have the best things of life for themselves and use the leftovers for seed. The law of life decreed that the harvest would reflect the planting.

“In another sense, planting small potatoes is still common practice. We take the big things of life for ourselves and plant the leftovers. We expect that by some crazy twist of spiritual laws, our selfishness will be rewarded with unselfishness.”—International Student Fellowship Newsletter, March 2007.

Paul applies this principle in Galatians 6:1–10. Instead of members “bit[ing] and devour[ing] one another” (Gal. 5:15), the church should be a place where the Spirit leads us to put others before ourselves. Understanding that we are saved by grace should make us humble and more patient and compassionate in how we treat others.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, December 24.

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Sabbath: The Gospel and the Church — 3 Comments

  1. As a University trained Soil Scientist and a vegetable gardener who has grown potatoes for over 50 yrs I must question the story about small seed-potatoes producing only marbles after a few crops

    In my experience the seed-potatoes as sold in garden shops are always reasonably small - recommended sizes are like a golf-ball or hen egg. The important feature about a seed potato is not its size but the presence of strong vegetative shoots. Some gardeners who have a number of strong shoots on a large potato will cut the potato into two or more pieces and plant each separately.Even the peelings from potatoes can be planted to produce good sized potatoes. The important features about seed potatoes are not their size but the vigor of their shoots and the fertility of the soil into which they are planted.

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  2. Dear Graham,

    As a long-time gardener, I tend to think that both what you say and the what the story teller says is correct. Besides good soil and cultivation, etc., what determines a good potato crop is not the size of the seed potatoes, per se, but the genetic characteristics of the seed potatoes.

    If you should mark your best potato hills and save small potatoes from those hills, chances are that your potato crop would stay good or perhaps get better, because you are planting the potatoes with the best genes.

    However, if you would do what the potato farmers did -- save only the small potatoes for seed, your potatoes would indeed grow smaller and smaller. That's because, according the the law of chance, you would tend to plant more potatoes that had a genetic tendency to being small. And by taking the smallest of this crop, the next year's crop would be even smaller.

    I believe the lesson is correct: "The law of life decreed that the harvest would reflect the planting." But the spiritual sowing we do is so much more important than potato planting. :)

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  3. Hi Graham
    The first sentence about the potato farmers in the lesson book is absolutely correct - and as God the creator intended - we plant the smaller potatoes as seed and keep the bigger (and biggest) potatoes for ourselves as God intended to provide sustenance and nutrients for our health and wellbeing and existence. Remember during the wartime they planted just potato eyes to provide a crop of potatoes. Thus the rest of the illustration doesn't make any sense to me at all. Obviously the Sabbath School authors are not gardeners and do not have good proof reading / checking of facts systems in place.

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