On the 3rd day of Creation, the “seed principle” of sowing and reaping was introduced. Many of us just ASSUME that it only has to do with plants and biology, but this principal is a “law” that we can see in every area of life…
In this talk, I first define the concept of reaping & sowing. Then, I talk about the Machiavellian fallacy we sometimes import into our theology. Finally, we dive into a few practical examples of where we see real life examples as it relates to sickness, disease, “losing” healing miracles, and other theological landmines….
First, four points about reaping and sowing…
Here are the four points. You always…
1. Reap WHAT you sow >>>
Farmers all understand this. Kindergartners do, too :-)
If you plant corn, you’ll reap corn- not tomatoes. If you plant squash, you won’t harvest bacon.
It sounds odd, I know, but many people believe…
… that you can sow time and reap money. How many times have you heard people at church say something like “I tithe my time instead of my money”?
… that you can sow money and reap favor with your family. How many times have you seen businessmen say “I don’t know why my wife doesn’t know I love her… I buy her all these nice things…”?
… that you can sow intentions and reap results. How many times have you heard people say, “Well, I really desired ____________ to happen…”? To reap a result you must sow an action. Thoughts simply reap thoughts.
2. Reap WHERE you sow >>>
Farmers also know that you reap in the same field where you sowed the seed. You won't sow in this field and reap in the garage. Or in the field two streets over.
You sow here = you reap here. You sow there = you reap there.
This works in the Kingdom as well. If you sow somewhere, you’ll reap in that location. This is one of the greatest arguments for sowing into your local church rather than sowing elsewhere.
This is a great argument for sowing time and energy in your marriage, with your kids, or with any other part of your life you value. Whatever you put your hand to prospers, right? You’ve just got to make sure you’re putting your hand to the things you actually want to prosper.
To reap a harvest, sow what want and sow it where you want it.
3. Reap MORE than you sow >>>
The seed is the most important aspect of the process, as it has a compounding effect.
Think about it like this: would you rather have a semi truck full of seedless apples (yes, they've created them in a lab!) or just one regular apple? The number of seeds each apple contains depends on the harvest conditions, as well as the species of the apple. However, each seed represents an entire tree- a tree which can bear fruit each year (of more apples, all of which have seeds, each also representing an infinite number of trees).
In the same way, each seed that is planted (be it finances, an act of kindness, prayer, time, etc.) has exponential output.
Why does it work this way? There’s no way to explain it other than acknowledging that it’s a principle woven throughout the created order.
4. Reap AFTER you sow >>>
In order to harvest three months from today, you’ve got to plant something NOW…
And, of course, you've got to continue tending the field where you sowed! No farmer would invest time + effort sowing only to simply to walk away, wait a few months, then return expecting a harvest.
Paul said to persist. You WILL eventually reap a harvest (Galatians 6:9). Amos encouraged people that one day the harvest would come so bountifully that the reapers would overtake the sowers (9:13).
* By the way, all farmers know that they are NOT in control of the harvest. They can do certain actions that facilitate it (so much so that a harvest is impossible without their activity), but the harvest requires Providence.
Second, the Machiavellian fallacy…
Machiavelli was a political theorist that said “The end justifies the means.” That is, it doesn’t matter HOW something happens. You just look at the result.
We often feel that because good comes out of tragedy or disease that God necessarily causes it. The truth, though, is that God doesn’t CAUSE bad things to happen, but He’s so good that He can transform anything into something glorious (see Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20).
Third, finally, we make some practical observations…
…about illness, about HIV / AIDS… marriage eroding… credit collapsing… and even about abortion.
Turns out, many of these examples are more likely great illustrations of reaping and sowing (read: natural consequences) INSTEAD of Divine Punishment.
Links referenced in this talk:
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