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The Concept of Reaping and Sowing


There are a plethora of scriptures using analogies to describe sowing and reaping or planting and harvesting. Just as God created the earth to yield fruit that was once seed form and placed into the earth, He created almost everything else to act in the same way. This is to say: you get out what you put in. Perhaps the product is multiples more than you sowed. Take actual fruit for instance. You may plant one apple seed, but the tree from one seed has several more apples on it than just the one seed you put in the ground. And, each apple has many seeds of its own. You see, no matter what you put in or where you put it in, there will be an eventual outcome. Although I used the apples example, there are so many things that can be sown. For instance, I like to sow positive thinking and holiness into my children. The bible says in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” To me, this means that whatever I sow into my daughters as children, they will exhibit it as women. Additionally, they may be wives, cooks, evangelists, or whatever is the will of God for their lives. It is my duty to give them the basis for whatever God has for them and ensure they are ready and willing to accept what God allows. Nevertheless, my children are a portion of the ground God gave me to attend, and I must shepherd them accordingly. 

God also provides seed in the form of financing and salvation. 2 Corinthians 9:10 declares, “Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)”. This scripture explains how the Lord provides for us in food and in fruits of the spirit. And, the more of what God give you that you sow into areas that are fertile, you receive more of what you have given. For instance, patience is a fruit of the spirit. When God allows you to exhibit your patience, in circumstances where you would ordinarily be impatient, He increases your patience. Similarly, when you give to ministries of any kind that have spiritual authority in an area, you may increase in the area ofyour life that you gave towards. My favorite biblical story characterizing this phenomenon is from 1 Kings 17:9-16. In this passage of scripture, the prophet Elijah is ordered by God to go to live with a widow for the duration of a drought. Prior to this command, Elijah was living at a brook called Cherith (see 1 Kings 17:3-7) where the Lord had been sustaining him through the drought. Once Elijah got to the widow’s house she was just about out of her supply of food, I paraphrase. However, Elijah says to her, “Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son” (1 Kings 17:13). Looking at his instructions, it wouldn’t make sense for anyone who has their last for only their family during a drought to make food for a stranger first and to take care of his needs. However, her obedience made provision for her throughout the duration of the drought. This example is relevant to our topic sowing and reaping because the ground in which the widow sowed her last meal into was fertile. Remember, earlier in the 17th chapter of 1stKings God was providing for Elijah by the brook and by the raven. Because the widow then sowed into Elijah’s life, she was then privy to the resources the Lord gave him also. When we give, we should do so as liberally as we can if we intend to receive liberally. According to 2 Corinthians 9:6, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

We can sow into individuals and into ministries, and people can sow into us. I used to receive gifts of any kind from anywhere until I really learned the concept of sowing and reaping. What kind of seeds are being sown into your life? Does the individual who is sowing into your life have yielding ability? Galatians 6:7-9 declares, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” I was bound in fornication for many years not really knowing how to stop or that I could stop. Consequently, I had a child that I had a really difficult time supporting. And, I received exceptional grades in high school, yet I attended an average college. I did not go as far as I probably could have because I needed to stay close to where I could receive help if I needed it. Not that any of those things were unbearable. I mention them because they were simply the harvest I reaped because of what I sowed. Sowing and reaping are another way to say action and reaction or action and consequences. Galatians 5 gives examples of what fruit is borne out of a life in Christ and what behaviors are reaped in a life walking your own way.  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:19-23). The latter group is what we should all be desiring to grow. Thus, we must work the ground of our lives to ensure we are cultivating righteousness and holiness rather than chaos.

Thief Tactics


Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” When Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy, it is not in the magnitude that a regular thief comes. Notice in Part-B of the quotation that Jesus provides a remedy to the aftermath of being the thief’s victim because the thief that Jesus speaks of comes to steal much more than your money and possessions. Oftentimes, this thief steals things that have no monetary value at all, but they are worth more than you can imagine. The thief comes to thwart your destiny. How? You ask. He does it by getting you to sin and thus out of the will of God. 

There’s a children’s story, “There Was an Old woman who Swallowed a Fly” that I read as a child and now have read to each of my own children. In that story, the main character, the old woman, originally swallows a fly and subsequently a whole lot of other animals in hopes of catching the fly she originally swallowed. After she’s swallowed these insects and animals, she dies. I mention this story to illustrate the devastation caused by sin. Scripture tells us, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23. Just like when we sin, we try to cover the consequences of sin by committing more sin. While the only thing that realigns our destiny is repentance. 2 Corinthians 7:10 declares, “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” So, you see, sin severs a tie between you and God; however, repentance bridges the gap. 

It is so important not to remain in sin. There is a form of compensation for sin which is death as was mentioned. What is not said in the scripture is if this death is instant as in your life on earth will end or if it means you lose the ability to spend eternity with your heavenly Father. There are some certainties of what you could stand to lose by living a sinful life. One thing is the loss of your Godly relationships. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (Amos 3:3) Your real Godly friends will not agree with your sin. It adds strain to a relationship when there is no agreement. Additionally, as an unrepentant and unremorseful sinner, you will likely not want to be in the sight of God. God’s spirit dwells in believers, so wherever they are, the Spirit is there also. I know this uncomfortable feeling all too well because I have experienced it firsthand. When I was not professing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I went to church, but mentally I was not present. Furthermore, I did not want to hear about what I was doing wrong or how to restore relationship with my Father. I was just not hearing its. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and I honestly felt in my doing there would be no repercussion. I was incorrect in my thinking. Moreover, I felt judged sometimes by those who had accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. The feeling of judgement was somewhat agonizing, but it was not really the judgement at all. I was ashamed of myself because I knew better. But, more than that, I was ashamed because in every way that I had sinned against God, none of it produced the results I really wanted. 

The reason my efforts didn’t work is because I attempted life without God. I tried to go to college without God. I tried to raise my oldest child without God. I tried to be a wife without God. I did all of this while choosing a life of rebellion and disobedience instead. Simply put, I was disobedient because I did not trust God. Bottom line, the reason we all choose our own way instead of that which was given to us is because we think we know better than the one who gave us the instruction. Every action performed outside of what we’re told is disobedience. I personally acted out of ignorance. God’s way didn’t make sense to me. If he gave me my own brain, why am I charged with submitting to my husband and other authority figures? Well, it doesn’t really matter why. It’s important to just obey. Because of the technological advancements of today, I am prone to be impatient. However, the Lord often uses tribulation or hard times to make us patient (See Romans 5:3). I’ve had to learn that in order to stay on track with God, it is important for me to wait and not get ahead of each step that He wants me to go through. But, it is so tempting to want a peek at the future. The only time anything good will be withheld from you is if you are living in sin. “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you” Jeremiah 5:25. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” Psalms 84:11. 

It is imperative to maintain a relationship with God by following His commands. He is the holder of your purpose and your destiny. Your whole life is in God. Do not be deceived by the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). He is cunning and crafty, and he wants to destroy the reason you exist. Not only that, Satan does not even want you to discover the reason you exist. Do not forget the way he deceived Eve in Genesis 3:4 “And the serpent said to the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” But, we know she did. Everything that was meant was changed the moment Eve disobeyed God. When Jesus came, He re-opened the ability for us to have relationship with God through Him. If you have been committing sin that you have not addressed with God, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3:2). Today is the day of salvation. Jesus died so you could ever be connected to your Heavenly Father. You have more power than the devil. You are smarter than he’ll ever be. Walk in the authority that you have been given. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Receive your gift.  

Complaining or Testifying


Take a moment to listen to yourself when you talk. What do you say to other people when you tell your story? This is not an exercise to condemn the way you speak of yourself, but it is to cause you to really consider your self-talk. There is a ton of literature with positive mantras and euphemisms to speak over yourself so that you may begin to feel the way you describe yourself. Consequently, you may begin to characterize yourself positively so much so it becomes your identity. Once it becomes your identity, you have formed a new attribute of yourself. The Bible tells us, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23.7 Part a). We may physiologically be what we eat, but the sum of our character comes from what we are thinking about. How do we describe our experiences in relation to others? Are we speaking from the perspective of a victim or a victor? The truth is, even in our times of hardship, our all-knowing, all-powerful God allowed ever bit of it. He has the capability to intervene at any time. Why doesn’t He? In all the terrible things that have happened in my life, I realize I wouldn’t be the woman I am today had those things not happened. My testimony was built through hardships and obstacles. There are some things that I talk about now in my life, and when I talk about those things, I know that I was only able to even survive those past times because God protected me and provided for me. However, I could not always describe my past this way. It used to be somebody’s fault. It used to be if he/she had not acted the way he/she did, then I would not have had this or that experience. I was wrong, and I was complaining. 

The reason I was such a complainer is because I didn’t know how to experience God’s peace about anything. I was defining myself by my circumstances instead of by the identity God gave me. John 16:33 advises, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world”. It is imperative that we develop a nature of peacefulness despite our tribulation. And, we must learn the reason and purpose of tribulation because it has its place in our lives. Tribulation is inevitable. Job 14:1 says, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.” Although the scripture says man, it means mankind, women included. We don’t have to do anything to add trouble to our days, since it is coming to us no matter what. When it comes, we should be prepared to learn whatever the lesson is. Then, can experience God’s glory. Romans 5:1-5 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, andrejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” From this passage we see the ultimate goal of our tribulation is to experience God’s love. During trying times, we gain patience, experience, and hope. Let’s not forget that these traits are present along with faith. While tumult is wreaking havoc on our lives, must believe that our Lord will rescue us for His name’s sake. 

It is easy to call the circumstances as they are and say of yourself, I am down and in despair. When we talk this way of our experience, it is a complaint. These types of words are how the adversary is able to keep us looking down instead of looking up towards the one “who is able to keep us from falling” (Jude 1:24). God wants us to “overcome him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11). The more positive words you come up with to tell your story, the more you cause someone else to live in liberty. You exalt God when you tell your story from the perspective of how you overcame adversity. The truth is you cannot overcome without Him. Overcoming obstacles catapult you into your destiny. “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10). Ultimately, we are subject to trouble so that we come to know and live like Jesus. The testimony comes as we praise God for His part in the trouble. Thus, we can “give thanks always for all things unto God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). Developing thankful verbiage towards our situation allows us to uplift the name of the Lord. Although it sounds crazy, but I learned to give God thanks for had things happening. When someone says hurtful things to me, I thank God for using individuals as vessels. Feeling opposition makes me know that I am on the right path, and that God is getting ready to raise me to a higher level of faith so that He gets a higher level of glory. 2 Corinthians 3:18 declares, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” So, we must not run away from trouble, but we must go through it so that we stand triumphant and experience God who transforms our stories from complaints to testimonies. 

The Individual as the Church


Mostly when we consider “church”, we think of a worship temple, a sacred building, et cetera. We do not often associate ourselves as the church. Yet, every function that was released to the church to be within a community, individuals are called to be reflections of these functions on their own. Christian is more than a title. One of the basic beliefs of one who calls himself/herself Christian is that we have a Savior (Jesus Christ) who was born of a virgin, lived, and died, but is resurrected and sits on the right hand of God to this day. If you are not familiar with this story, you may find it in the Holy Bible’s books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). At the death of our Savior, He became a Spirit (also known as the Holy Spirit). As baptized believers, we have that same Spirit in each of us. Because of this, we are capable of the same works that Jesus performed in His lifetime today. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover”(Mark 16:15-18). Unlike in the Old Testament, we do not have to go into the temple to enter the presence of God. The presence of God is in us. In Acts 1:2, after Jesus’ resurrection, it is noted, “Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles who he had chosen.” By this scripture, we see evidence that the Holy Ghost that dwells in us can give us the ordinances of God. Similarly, Proverbs 3:1-4 says, “My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: So shalt thou find favour in the sight of God and man.” Here, we see that we ingest the commands of God, and keep them internally for automatic recall.

We know that commandments are extremely important in the Christian faith, and you are probably most familiar with the ten commandments, most of which begin with “Thou shalt”. Because the commandments were extremely difficult for mankind to keep, Jesus came to redeem man from his sinful nature. Hebrews 10:14-18 states, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAITH THE LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAWS INTO THEIR HEARTS, AND IN THEIR MINDS WILL I WRITE THEM; AND THEIR SINS AND INIQUITIES WILL I REMEMBER NO MORE. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering of sin.” Although Jesus came and broke us free of the Mosaic law, there is relevance to the commandments. Namely, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40). Additionally, Jesus says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14: 15). As an individual, you have control over these aspects of relationship with God. None of your ability to keep these commandments are contingent upon church attendance. It starts with you.

Because you can obtain and maintain the favor of God without visiting the church does not mean that you should not go. There are several scriptures that support church attendance. One of the most popular verses is “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24, 25). Therefore, it is important to be linked to a community of Christians after accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior. There is no greater gathering of believers than those found in the church. Additionally, it is a place where people can share their testimonies. When we do this, it encourages another to be strong in his/her own tribulation. The church building is where those who deliver and explain God’s word may be found. In this atmosphere, you can hear the word of God, thus increasing your level of faith. “So, then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Hebrews 10:17). The church building is also a place where you may explore various types of ministries yourself. It is a place where you can exercise your spiritual gifts, and discover your life’s purpose. You also can help others do the same. Churches almost certainly meet on whatever day your denomination considers your sabbath day. The bible says in Exodus 20:8, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” In my upbringing, that day was Sunday. Remember, those who attend the church are individuals just like you are, and they require the same love and patience in working on their part to obey the commandments just like you. It is important to never get so consumed with the relationships within the church so much that you forget about the reason you are there. Yes, you owe respect to those who have charge over you (leaders). 1 Peter 2:13,14 states, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” So, whether in the church setting or on your own, you must govern yourself accordingly as an individual to carry out the requirements as set forth in the commandments of God.

In conclusion, Jesus sums up the law with love. It is my belief that He sees us all the same (Acts 10:34,35). Although He sees us this way, it is not up to us to disregard others and their position of authority in our lives. What is, however, important is how we conduct ourselves according to the example that Christ has set forth. Furthermore, it is important that we be an example to others who we’re exposed to as well (believers and non-believers). We love because He loves. Just because we develop an awareness of God, a Christian principle, or even a shortcoming that another has, it is not a license to execute judgement on our brothers and sisters. Our calling is to be the light to those in darkness not argue them out of it or shame them out of it. As an individual, the best way you can draw people to God is with how you execute love towards his creation.