Sowing and Reaping

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7726011@N07/5263126267/

Galatians 6:8 …If you plant in the soil of your corrupt nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in the soil of your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life.
Sowing and reaping are words that we don’t use a lot anymore except in church. But when the Apostle Paul was talking to the church in first century, everyone understood those terms. Sowing has to do with the method of planting seed, especially grain, which meant that you took a hand full of seed and threw it out in a sweeping motion in order to cover as much of the plowed ground as possible in as even a pattern as possible. Reaping was the method of harvesting the grain after it was fully developed. It was the point of the harvest where you realized how much of the seeds really developed into usable crop. There were weeds that commonly grew in wheat called tares, that looked like wheat until it was harvested and then you saw the seed-head.
Paul used this to teach about spreading the word of God. Unlike today where we can buy seed that is 99.9% pure seed and plant rows that are identical and harvest almost pure wheat, they could not do that then. They had to rely on spreading lots of seed over as much of the ground as possible in order to get the biggest harvest. That was the idea of spreading the gospel too. Not to be picky about who heard it, but to let as many as would listen hear it and let God produce the fruit. In 1 Corinthians 3:6-9, Paul uses this analogy to teach about how the seed of the word of God is what we spread to the hearts of people and God is the one who ensures the growth.
As usual, humans mess up what God intends to be good. We have taken the sowing and reaping and turned it into a name it and claim it mentality (Sow $20 and you will reap 10 fold). As much as I believe that God honors our giving and will bless it, there is no promise to make us rich. God could care less about our money if we care less about lost souls. Jesus died to save us from our sin and not to make our financial messes go away. Paul continually reminded churches of the need to stay focused on preaching the message of Christ crucified and not getting caught up in worldly things. Paul was concerned with sowing spiritual things and reaping spiritual things.
I know that right now many are typing their rebuttal to this telling me how wrong I am about the name it claim it statement. I have come to appreciate the chance to ruffle a few feathers for the sake of getting you to focus on what God sent Jesus to do and not what you think He will do for you because you sow your money. That is the focus of some, not all. There are ministry need that include money, but we must never forget that God can do it without our money if we are willing to sow the spiritual seeds that He has intrusted us with. Paul was a rich man before he became a Christian. He gave up most of his riches for heavenly rewards that are eternal. He worked hard to sustain his daily needs and God blessed him and met his needs. But Paul’s number one concern was for the spreading of the word not the spreading of the wealth.
There is nothing wrong with having money. God can bless us with earthly things. Some, I believe, have a special call to give financially to help other do ministry. But if you never had a dime to your name and you sow to the things of God, you are rich. No dollar amount can be placed on the forgiveness of sin and salvation given to us by what Jesus did on the cross. The reaping of souls, grown by the sowing of the seed, called the word of God, is a harvest that the modern church has for too often replaced with the reaping of a dollar because they sow their money far more than they sow God’s word.
Love ya. Mean it.

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