“For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” Mark 4:28.
“The formation of character is the work of a lifetime, and it is for eternity. If all could realize this, if they would awake to the thought that we are individually deciding our own destiny for eternal life or eternal ruin, what a change would take place! How differently would this probationary time be occupied, and what different characters would fill our world!” Child Guidance 162.2
Christ’s development was perfect
“He who gave this parable created the tiny seed, gave it its vital properties, and ordained the laws that govern its growth. And the truths which the parable teaches were made a living reality in His own life. In both His physical and His spiritual nature He followed the divine order of growth illustrated by the plant, as He wishes all youth to do…. In childhood He did the works of an obedient child…. But at each stage of His development He was perfect, with the simple, natural grace of a sinless life.” God’s Amazing Grace 283.2
Christian’s character development
“The germination of the seed represents the beginning of spiritual life, and the development of the plant is a figure of the development of character. There can be no life without growth. The plant must either grow or die. As its growth is silent and imperceptible, but continuous, so is the growth of character. At every stage of development our life may be perfect; yet if God’s purpose for us is fulfilled, there will be constant advancement.” Child Guidance 162.3
The harvest of life is character, and it is this that determines destiny, both for this life and for the life to come. The harvest is a reproduction of the seed sown. Every seed yields fruit after its kind. So it is with the traits of character we cherish. Selfishness, self-love, self-esteem, self-indulgence, reproduce themselves; and the end is wretchedness and ruin. “He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Galatians 6:8. Love, sympathy, and kindness yield fruitage of blessing, a harvest that is imperishable.” God’s Amazing Grace 162.4
“The plant grows by receiving that which God has provided to sustain its life. So spiritual growth is attained through cooperation with divine agencies. As the plant takes root in the soil, so we are to take root in Christ. As the plant receives the sunshine, the dew, and the rain, so we are to receive the Holy Spirit. If our hearts are stayed upon Christ, He will come unto us “as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” As the Sun of righteousness, He will arise upon us “with healing in His wings.” We shall “grow as the lily.” We shall “revive as the corn, and grow as the vine” (Hosea 6:3; Malachi 4:2; Hosea 14:5, 7). God’s Amazing Grace 197.7
“The parable of the seed reveals that God is at work in nature…. There is life in the seed, there is power in the soil; but unless an infinite power is exercised day and night, the seed will yield no returns…. Every seed grows, every plant develops, by the power of God.
Sanctification is the work of a lifetime. As our opportunities multiply, our experience will enlarge, and our knowledge increase. We shall become strong to bear responsibility, and our maturity will be in proportion to our privileges.” God’s Amazing Grace 283.3,4