SOWING AND REAPING

It is a very basic principle of life.  It was stated first in the very first chapter of the Bible.  As a matter of fact it is stated several times in Genesis one.  Every living thing would “Produce after their own kind.”  It didn’t really matter whether it was plants or animals, if it had life it would follow the plan God made for it.  Plants would have seeds in them to produce other plants like them.  The animals could only produce with other animals of the same kind and the offspring would be of the same kind.  With both plants and animals it is possible to have some forms of hybrids that mix two similar species and produce something that is a mix between the two.  But the “Kinds” can’t be limited to the same species.  What is obvious is that there can be mixtures such as a horse and a donkey to produce a mule or a cow and a buffalo to produce a catalo.  But there can’t be a mixture between a cat and dog to produce a cog or dat.  Only God knows exactly where the limits of the “Kind” are.  But the limits are there.

I have no doubt that in creation God produced a pair of dogs from which we have hundreds of different species of dogs and a single pair of horses from which we have multiple species of horses.  The law of God is that what we sow we will reap.

In Galatians 6:7-8 Paul took this basic principle of nature and applied it to spiritual matters as well.  “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.  Whatever a man sows that he will also reap.  He that sows to the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.  He that sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”  Earlier in chapter 5, verses 19-23 he had explained exactly what was involved in sowing to the flesh when he said, the works of the flesh are evident.  He then listed different moral problems, character flaws and social mistakes as works of the flesh.  Then he explained that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  So when he tells us what results from sowing to the flesh and the Spirit it isn’t some abstract idea that we have to wonder how we do each.  It is very clear what is involved in each.

The sowing and reaping principle is powerful and encouraging for many reasons.  It means that if we aren’t happy with what is going on in our lives, there is a clear path for changing what is going on.  To change the results, you change what you are sowing.  If a person isn’t getting enough of what they are receiving then they need to increase the amount of seed they are sowing.  Paul even applied this principle to a Christian’s giving to the cause of Christ.  “He who sows stingily will reap also stingily.  He who sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).

What is so powerful about this point is that it means we can change our lives at any point we are willing.  It is common for people to complain about their life situations.  They often feel that the world is against them or that they have bad luck all the time.  But anyone can change the outcomes of life by changing the input of life.  Change what you sow and you automatically change what you reap.

Can you imagine a farmer complaining about the amount of rice he has growing in his fields?  It wouldn’t take long for someone to say, “Why do you keep planting so much rice if you don’t want to have that much?”  If you don’t like the harvest, change what and how much you sow?  Even with something as important to us as bringing up our children for God, the principle still applies.  We tend to have the outcomes from our children that we put into their training and development as they have grow up.  With humans it is different from plants and animals in that each person has the right to choose for themselves what they will be or become.  Even with the very best of input and influence one may decide to go in a very different direction.  But the likelihood is far greater that one will grow up to choose the right way when they have been loved, treated with respect and shown the way of God.

The amazing thing that the apostle Paul reminds us of with regard to sowing and reaping in 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, that fits powerfully with all the other points is, God supplies seed to the sower.  “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”  We reap what we sow.  But God blesses us by supplying us seed, multiplying our seed for sowing and increasing the harvest of righteousness.

It would be a good time for all of us to check our seed.  If we’ve been sowing the wrong seed, we can expect the wrong harvest.  But you can always change the seed and thus change the harvest.  If you have the right seed but not enough of them, God will give you more seed if you are diligent in sowing the ones you have.  Do you have room in your pocket for more seed?  Maybe it’s time to get a bigger container.

About leoninlittlerock

Preaching minister for Central church of Christ in Little Rock. Author of over 20 books including: When a Loved one Dies, Spiritual Development, Skid Marks on the Family Drive, Challenges in the church, To Know Christ and A Drink of Living Water.
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