Posts tagged ‘Harvest’

April 2, 2012

Another Lesson from the Law of the Harvest: We Reap in Proportion

by Dave McClelland

In the last blog post we considered this aspect of the universal law of the harvest: we reap more than we sow. The next aspect seems almost contradictory: we reap in proportion to what we sow. The apparent contradiction is solved when you understand the difference. While both deal with quantity, the former multiplied seed has to do with God’s part, but this latter proportionate seed with human responsibility. It has to do with living by faith and with being faithful, bold, and courageous.

God’s part is that whatever is sown is multiplied many fold. Man’s part is that, trusting in God’s sovereign providence, mercy, and promises, he needs to sow all the good he can and leave the results to God: “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6–8). Bountiful sowing leads to bountiful reaping.

One man stated the principle of bountiful giving this way: “If you want to be rich … GIVE! If you want to be poor … GRASP! If you want abundance … SCATTER! If you want to be needy… HOARD!” The world’s philosophy is typically just the opposite. It can be described as: “Get all you can, can all you get, and then, sit on the can.”

The law that “we reap in proportion to what we sow,” like all the laws of the harvest, has great positive implications. “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty, the liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Proverbs 11:24–25). We read also in Luke 6:38: “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

If we sow abundantly to the Spirit, we will reap abundantly in spiritual blessings. If this is true, then why would anyone be tempted to scatter sparingly? It takes faith then to be generous. The uncertainties of life are one of the things that keep most people from giving and ministering to others when they have the opportunity. They are afraid their giving will be their lack. Who knows what the future holds, they ask. If I give, I might not be able to meet the needs of my family.

The point here is that we can’t wait for conditions to be perfect. Nor can we wait for things to be free of all risks—absolutely free, absolutely safe. Instead of protecting ourselves, we have to take what appears to us as risks and live by faith. Ecclesiastes 11:1: “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.” The point here is, don’t try to second guess the sovereignty of God. Just trust the Lord and His universal law: we reap in proportion to what we sow.

But don’t forget that this aspect might also be applied negatively. If we sow abundantly to the flesh, we will reap an abundant harvest of the consequences of fleshly living—a life full of the weeds of unrighteousness and the misery of sin. Christian, don’t miss this great warning of sowing to the flesh and don’t draw back from the encouragement to sow in spiritual things—we are promised a “life more abundant.”

January 10, 2012

The Universal Law of the Harvest (Pt. 3: The Time of Reaping)

by Dave McClelland

In a previous blog with regards to the law of the harvest we saw the type of harvest that is reaped. But there is a third important principle to remember: We reap in a different season than we sow in. There is always a time lapse between sowing and reaping. Just as the farmer has to wait through the growing season for the plants to mature, blossom, and develop fruit, we have to wait for our seed to grow and mature too.

The basis of this law is found in the creative purpose of God’s law: “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:… a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted” (Ecclesiastes 3:1–2). In Genesis 8:22 God made Noah a promise: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” The harvest never comes immediately after planting for there are seasons to life and the harvest never comes immediately. “Rome was not built in a day.” Plants don’t grow overnight. Athletes don’t become strong or proficient in a week. Wisdom isn’t gained in a single lesson, and so it goes throughout all of life. Scripture and life itself teach us that time is needed for growth and maturity in everything—the biological, zoological, social, spiritual, and mental areas of life. This law of reaping carries with it both a warning and encouragement.

There is a warning to the unbeliever. Because you do not see the immediate results, you often think you have gotten away with something—but you never do. You may be able to deceive yourself for a while that the sowing of selfishness is really going to yield more joy than sowing sacrifice for the sake of God’s Word. But you ought to remember that “God is not mocked!” “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). Because the ice on the pond doesn’t break immediately, we venture farther, walking on thin ice. But it is certain that “their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste” (Deuteronomy 32:35).

But there is encouragement here for the believer.

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