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What kind of seeds have you been sowing lately? Even though not many of us are farmers or gardeners, all of us are sowers and reapers. There are some important principles about sowing and reaping which we need to understand.
Galatians 6:7 states the first principle very clearly: Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Thus, the question that I asked you before: What kind of seeds have you been sowing lately? If you’re sowing seeds of righteousness, you will reap good things. Seeds of righteousness would be things like being kind to people, having a servant attitude toward others, giving yourself in service to the Lord in small and big ways. Seeds of righteousness would include living a pure and clean life, not allowing known sin to remain in your life, being obedient to God’s commands in your life. Are these the kind of seeds you are sowing on a consistent basis, day-in, day-out?
If so, you will find that God’s blessings are showered on you: peace, joy, contentment, fulfillment. And those seeds you sow for others come back in a harvest of good things others will do for you.
However, if you’re sowing seeds of sin and disobedience, don’t be surprised to discover that the harvest is very painful. Have you been sowing seeds of immorality? Do you have any idea of the ruination that will reap in your life? Paul tells us in Corinthians that when we sin sexually, we sin against our bodies and that causes untold consequences that are long-lasting.
Are you sowing seeds of lack of discipline and laziness? Proverbs 13:18 tells us that the person who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame. Not a very pleasant harvest, but that’s what you’ll reap in due season.
Are you sowing seeds of careless and thoughtless words, or too many words? Proverbs 13:3 says the person who speaks rashly will come to ruin. And in Proverbs 10 we see that when words are many, sin is not absent. So, if we’re sowing the wrong kind of words, we shouldn’t be surprised to discover a harvest of ruin–ruined relationships and opportunities because of careless words. Did you ever think about the harm we can do with a tongue that is out of control? The harvest can be disastrous. We surely need to be very careful about the seeds we sow, because one thing is for certain: What we sow we will reap; it’s unavoidable.[/nextpage]
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There are three major principles about sowing and reaping we should all know very well, because we are each sowing seeds in our lives on a daily basis, which later on we will reap.
That first principle was that what you sow, you reap. If you sow oranges, you’ll get oranges, not apples.
The second principle is that you always reap more than you sow. When we plant flower seeds, we reap many blossoms from one seed. When the farmers plant one grain of wheat, they reap many more grains of wheat from the single grain. We reap more than we sow.
Now, just consider how these two principles apply to our daily lives. What seeds did you sow yesterday? Did you work diligently, do your very best? Were you kind to others, willing to help, with a good attitude? If those are the kind of seeds you sowed yesterday, you will reap good things today.
Your work will be easier today because you worked hard yesterday. You won’t be nearly as frantic and stressed out today because you don’t have yesterday’s work to do today. You’ll find that people will treat you better today because you were kind to them yesterday. The help you gave someone else yesterday will come back to you today, when someone is willing to help you. You are reaping today what you sowed yesterday.
Furthermore, you’re reaping more than you sowed. When you sow a good seed in someone’s life, if reaps a multiple harvest which you usually never even know about. You extend kindness to someone, and they are encouraged to be kind to someone else. You role model a servant attitude, and other people reflect that in how they treat others. You may sow one little seed of doing something good, but it will reap a much larger harvest than you can imagine or will ever know.
It’s always amazing to me to see how the seeds we sow in this ministry reap such multiple harvests. The CDs and transcripts we send out everyday travel everywhere, from one person to another, one state to another, one country to another. Those tiny good seeds each of us plant just keep multiplying in the lives of untold numbers for long periods of time.
But we also need to remember that when we sow the wrong seeds, they come back plentiful as well. Have you ever noticed how quickly weeds multiply? Let one dandelion seed get in your yard, and the whole lawn is overtaken with dandelions before you know it. You reap more than you sow, both good and bad.
The third principle of sowing and reaping is that you reap in a different season than you sow. You know, lots of us forget this, and we need to keep reminding ourselves that just because we don’t see the results of our actions today doesn’t mean we won’t yet reap that harvest.
Perhaps you’ve been sowing good seed for a long time and it doesn’t seem to get you anywhere. Maybe you’re discouraged and thinking that it doesn’t do any good to try to do things right. Asaph felt that way in Psalm 73, when he laments the fact that while he’s trying to live a godly life, it brings him nothing but trouble, and those who are snubbing their noses at God seem to be doing just fine. But Asaph forgot this principle that we reap in a different season than we sow.
When he finally gets back to that by the end of the chapter, then he has an entirely different perspective. He says, It was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny…Those who are far from you will perish…But as for me, it is good to be near God. He finally remembered that we reap in a different season than we sow.
You may not see the results of your righteousness right away, but you must never doubt that God will give you a good harvest in due season. When is due season? Well, often it’s further away than we would like, but remember, God has the times and seasons in His hands and you will reap the harvest.
Also remember that if you’re sowing seeds of sin and disobedience, you may not see that harvest for awhile, and you may be thinking that you’re getting by with it. But be assured of this, you will reap what you’re sowing. The season for harvesting will come as surely as night follows day.
Three important principles: You reap what you sow. You reap more than you sow. You reap in a different season than you sow. Remember those; I think they’ll help you.
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“The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.” Sure doesn’t sound like something you would find in the Bible, does it? But, believe me, it’s there. I think we need a clear understanding of this biblical principle.
Let me read it to you from Luke 8:18. Jesus is speaking, and He says:
Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.
You’ll find almost the exact same words in Matthew 13:12 and Mark 4:25.
Have you ever read those statements by Jesus and wondered what He meant? How could it be fair that those who have will get more and those who don’t have will lose what little they have? Yet admittedly we can see evidences of this phenomenon all around us.
I think it’s important to note that Jesus is not proclaiming a law, but rather explaining a principle. He’s showing what can be expected, just as He explained that what you sow, you reap. If you put corn seed in the ground, don’t look for beans to come up, because that would go against natural principles set in place by the Creator. So it is with this principle: Whoever has will get more, and whoever does not have will lose the little he has.
Here’s what Jesus was trying to teach us: That we must use what we have in order to have more. Large fortunes didn’t begin with large sums of money. They began with small amounts, frugally saved and invested, yielding a larger amount to invest, and on and on until the sum was large. But if that first small amount was never invested, it never would have multiplied and produced the large fortune.
Now think with me a minute as we apply that to our spiritual lives. When God sees us invest for Him our little bit, whatever it is, then He gives us more to invest. Maybe you don’t have many gifts or talents or money to offer, but if you take the little bit you have and give it, you’ll discover that your resources increase. If, however, you refuse to use what you have, perhaps because you feel the contribution is not significant, then you’ll lose what you have.
As I look back over the past twenty-five or so years, I see how God has multiplied my abilities and opportunities. It’s something you don’t really notice while it’s happening, but in retrospect you can see how God is enriching you personally by enlarging your talents, your abilities and your opportunities. But it won’t happen until you gladly and willingly use whatever you have for His glory.
I remind you of the parable of the talents. The servant with only one talent failed to use it, while the two who were given two talents and five talents worked hard and doubled their talents. When the master comes back to review the servants’ productivity, he gives the top rating to these two servants: “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Each of them had doubled their talents, and they were equally rewarded, though one had twice as much as the other.
But to the servant who hid his one talent and failed to use it, the master said, “You wicked, lazy slave. You knew better. Why didn’t you at least put it in the bank and earn interest on my money? Because you haven’t done a thing with the one talent I gave you, I will take it from you and give it to the servant who has ten.”
There you go again: the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. But who’s fault was it? Was the master unfair to this servant who had failed to use his one talent? No, indeed, for if that servant had done anything at all with his talent so as to use it effectively, he would not have lost it and he would have been given more.
Do you feel like you’ve been passed by in the resources department? Everybody else seems to have more than you–more talent, more ability, more opportunities, nicer circumstances, etc. Well, stop and think a minute. Could it be that the reason you haven’t been given more is because you haven’t used what you’ve got for Jesus?
Jesus told us in Luke 16:10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” You can’t be careless and irresponsible with what you have, and then expect God to give you more. You can’t use the excuse that you’ll give back to God when you have more to give. You’ll never have more to give until you give of what you have.