From the sermon "The Laws of Life's Harvest"
This sermon was so encouraging to me, I just had to post it.
6The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
10So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
There are many theories that people believe about life. Some say that life is like a crap shoot. You never know what the next roll will be. Others say that God orchestrates everything about their life, so they really don't have to do much except just roll with the punches. Others believe that they have some choice in how their lives go, that there are certain principles they can work to determine to some degree what their lives will be like.
There are laws that govern things in our world. The law of gravity says that if you jump off a 20 story building, you won't live to tell about it. Our bodies have a law that says that they need so much water everyday or they won't function properly and eventually will shut down altogether. We can't change these laws, no matter how much we might like to.
God has established laws for living as well. One of them is "your life is completely in your hands!" Now, before you think I'm a heretic, hear me out. I fully believe that God is intricately involved in everything that happens in my life but before He could be, I had to make the decision to allow Him to be. In that respect, my life was in my own hands until I willingly decided to put it into His. Upon putting it into His, I gave up my life to His control, so now I can say that God is truly in control of my life.
God created us in his image and gave us a free will. We are allowed to make choices in life.
All farming revolves around sowing and reaping. When a farmer plants seed in the ground, he is hoping for one thing-a harvest. There are many factors that affect if he gets a harvest, and how big the harvest will be.
The same principle holds true in God's laws. There is one certainty and that is that there WILL be a harvest. Whatever you plant, you will harvest and depending on how you planted it, that harvest could be good or bad, large or small.
2And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:
Deeds are seeds! God will judge our deeds! Every thought, every word, every action is a seed. We will reap a harvest for every seed sown. When we are in right standing, it will produce right doings! What's on the inside of the seed will be evident for all to see at the time of reaping!
In the passage in Galations we see that the Christian life involves works, or deeds. If it didn't how would God judge us for them. There is a lot of controversy these days about "works" vs. "faith". Many choose to focus just on the "faith" part and render "works" as evil wood, hay and stubble. Others think that "works" will produce faith or, at the very least, favor with God and so they try to work their way into God's blessing. But this passage clearly shows us that:
GOOD WORKS IS A RESULT OF NO WORKS! HUH???
In 1 Peter, we are told that God has already prepared good works for us to do. So works can't be evil. Our salvation comes as a result of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. There is no working involved except that of the Holy Spirit. However, once the Holy Spirit has wrought that salvation in our hearts, our new nature causes us to do good works, just as Christ did.
Whatever we sow to, that is what we will reap. Some think that they can sow to the flesh and reap the spirit. That's just crazy! It defies the very law of sowing and reaping! If we sow meanness, we reap meanness. If we sow trouble, we reap trouble. If we sow bad things, we reap bad things. If we sow encouragement, we reap encouragement. If we sow help to those in trouble, we reap help in times of trouble. Every deed produces a harvest after it's own kind.
One thing is FOR SURE--there is a certainty of a harvest! Whatever you have sown, there is a certainty that you will reap a harvest!
Notice, God is not the one doing the sowing, you are! God gives us seed for sowing, but He won't sow it for us. God establishes, executes and enforces the law of sowing and reaping, but He does not exercise it. That is our part.
The one who mocks sowing and reaping is sowing for a harvest.
25And you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; 26I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, 27When your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you.
This is the harvest of the one that neglects the law of life's harvest. A writer which still to this day remains anonymous once said "man is free to choose, but is not free to choose the consequence of his choice." The consequences of our choices lie within the laws of life's harvest, established by God.
The thought occurred to me that life is a whole lot more enjoyable when we are sowing good things. It becomes even better when the harvest of those things starts to appear as well. As a mother this encouraged me. There is a certainty of a harvest for the parent who "trains up a child in the way that he should go". My reward is coming. It helps me to keep diligent even when it doesn't appear that I'm having any effect. Some of my seedlings have not yet broken the surface for me to see. But that doesn't mean that they aren't there! Every seedling already holds the harvest within it's leaves. It just takes time to see it.
In verse 9 of the Galations passage the Bible say that in "due season" or "due time", we will reap. Some of our harvest may not be temporal, but eternal. If we sow to the spirit, we will reap of the spirit. The Spirit is eternal. He is both now and in the future. Some of what we sow today we will not see until eternity.
"All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth."
It's good to just leave this up to God. The rewards we receive now are at best temporary. The rewards we receive later are eternal! Heaven and all it's blessings are the reward for earthly sowing!
Some people grow weary in well doing because they are expecting something out of season. We must trust God to meet out our reward when it is in due season. I guarantee that He knows what He is doing and whatever He is doing is GOOD!
32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” 38 And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Hang in there! Your reward is coming!
Live life with the end in mind!
In v. 10, we see that we are to be especially thoughtful of those of the household of faith! Be good to the church and God's people.
But what if you have sown bad things????
It is true that reaping may produce enduring consequences even after repentance and forgiveness have occurred. David lost his son and reaped a lifetime of strife amongst his family members even though he was forgiven. But he didn't allow himself to be tormented by those consequences. He moved on and began to sow rightly. He didn't fret over what he couldn't change. He just trusted God to help in the times when those consequences were an issue in his life.
A harvest is coming and you can decide if it's good or bad! There is no such thing as fate. There is only fusion with God's laws for life's harvest. He established it so that you could have a good life. All you need to do is work it.