Peninsula Community Church
You Reap what you Sow
May 21, 2017
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
Late one summer evening in Broken Bow, Nebraska, a weary truck driver pulled his rig into an all-night truck stop. The waitress had just served him his food when three tough looking motorcyclists decided to give him a hard time. Not only did they verbally abuse him, one grabbed the hamburger off his plate, another took a handful of his french fries, and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it. The trucker did not respond as one might expect. Instead, he calmly rose, picked up his check, walked to the cash register, put the check and his money on the counter, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into the night. When she returned, one of the bikers said to her, “Well, he’s not much of a man, is he?” She replied, “I don’t know about that, but he sure ain’t much of a truck driver. He just ran over three motorcycles on his way out of the parking lot.” You might say they reaped what they sowed.
Today, we will look at the principle of sowing and reaping. A right understanding of this principle is critical as we have been called by Christ to be fruit bearers in His name and the fruit we bear is directly related to what we sow. Jesus reminded us of the importance of bearing good fruit in John 15:5. He stated I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. Through a study of scripture, we have an understanding that bearing good fruit does not just happen. It is an ongoing process and a key part of this process is sowing and reaping.
The Bible is replete with passages that speak to the sowing and reaping principle. Listen to a few of these. As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same (Job 4:8). Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity, and the rod of his fury will fail (Proverbs 22:8). These two verses show us that when we sow evil, we reap evil. Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him (Psalm 126:5-6). Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you (Hosea 10:12). And finally, Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For 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. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:7-10).
So what is the point here? It is simple. We all sow and we all reap what we sow. Everyone of us is in the process of sowing and reaping. We all sow through our deeds. We all sow through our words. We all sow by how we handle our possessions. We not only sow but we also reap the rewards of what we have sown; both good and bad. If we sow evil, we will reap evil. If we sow good, we will reap good. So what are you sowing? Your answer to that question is important because everyday we sow into our families, our marriages, our relationships, our church, our community, and the world. Someone has said “Today is the father of tomorrow.” The fact is what we do today directly impacts our future and all of the tomorrows to come.
In this passage we understand that sowing and reaping specifically affects our finances but there is much more to sowing and reaping than just finances. Our finances have been and always will be a reflection of what you are sowing in the other areas of your life. For example, how you sow your finances will determine your trust factor. How you sow your finances reveals your heart and the priorities in your life. Your financial generosity will define how generous you are in other areas of your life. So do you have a generous heart? Are you giving generously to the Lord? Paul states that if you sow generously you will reap generously.
With that said, we must understand that to reap good fruit we must sow good seeds because we to reap we must sow. When it comes to our walk with Christ sowing cannot be a passive process. If we do not sow good seed we will end up with weeds, thorns, and vines. The good we do can be destroyed if we are passive in our approach. To reap good fruit, we must sow good seeds. The question for us is whether or not the seed we sow is good or bad. It is a choice as to what we sow. What seed will you actively sow? Will it be good seed or bad seed?
How many farmers would be successful if they were passive in planting their fields. How many farmers sit back and hope their fields are planted? How many farmers sow just any seed or how many would carefully choose the right seed and sow that seed at the right time to produce the best harvest possible. To reap we must sow and we must sow good seed. Standing by wishing we have a harvest produces no fruit. Good fruit comes only as we sow good seed.
Secondly, sowing requires patience. Why is this? It is because we do not sow today and then reap tomorrow. There is a space of time between the time of sowing and the time of reaping. This is the most difficulty part of sowing seed. We do not see the results of what we have sown immediately. Sometimes we sow a lifetime of seed to only reap later in life. For example, how many have abused their bodies with drugs and alcohol only to find they have major health issues later in life because of the seed they sowed. They sowed bad seed and now they reap the results of that seed.
The opposite is true as well. We can sometimes sow good seed and not see much fruit right away but in due time we will reap a harvest. That is why Paul stated And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:7-10). We be faithful to sowing good seed. At the right time we will reap a good harvest.
Thirdly, you will always reap more than you sow. I found that one piece of see corn can produce up to ten ears of corn or more on one stalk. Each ear of corn will have about 400 kernels of corn on it. So we could say that each piece of corn seed has the potential of producing 4000 new seed that can be planted and produce more seed. Let me put it another way. Granville told me that one bushel of good seed corn can produce 260 to 300 bushels of corn on irrigated property. So you see whatever we sow, much more is reaped. When we sow good seed the ripple effect impacts multiple lives. We always reap more than we sow.
Fourth, what we reap is different from what we sow. We sow a kernel of corn but we reap a whole harvest of corn including the stalks and the ears of corn. The truth is that the seed sown is contained in that which is harvested. The problem with sowing is that too often we are waiting for the exact kind of thing to come back to us. Sowing good seed affects every area of our life. We sow and reap a harvest that is different from what is sown. Hosea has said that if we sow righteousness we reap love. Notice righteousness is sown but we love is reaped.
Sixth, the one who sows shares in the reaping. When we sow good see others are blessed by what we sow. There are times where others pay for our mistakes and the choices we make. The opposite is true as well. There are many people who reap the good we have sown. They reap a harvest of blessing because of our faithfulness to sow good seed. We see this in evangelism. We sow seeds of God’s love and others get the credit and the glory when the harvest occurs. The key for us is that we do not allow a spirit of jealousy to rise up within us and refuse to take credit for what only God can do. Having others join the harvest is the blessing of sowing good seed.
If you feel like you are not bearing good fruit perhaps you need to change what you are sowing? Sometimes we need to make a choice to sow something different to get a different result. When a farmer looks at his barren fields, he doesn’t gripe about it. One of two things will occur. For one, if he is not getting a harvest he will change the seed he uses.
Secondly he may start with the seed he has. He can hoard the seed or he can plant it. If he holds onto it, that’s all he’s got. If he gives it away, God will multiply it. So do not be stingy in your sowing. Do not be stingy with your finances. Do not be stingy with your grace. Do not be stingy with your love and compassion. Do not be stingy in sharing your faith. Stingy people reap what they sow. They reap emptiness but generous people reap life and hope. So sow your finances, your love, your faith, and you will reap a righteous harvest. Paul challenged us to be generous sowers so we will become blessed reapers. Give God a chance and see what He can do. Do you want to have friends? Sow friendship. Do you want people to love you? Sow love. Do you want to feel secure? Sow your finances in the right place. Do you want good health. Sow good eating habits. Do you want to see people come to know Christ? Sow seeds of evangelism. Remember to reap you must sow, and you must sow generously.
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Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved Robert W. Odom