Thursday, September 17, 2009

What you sow you also reap

II Cor. 9:6-8: “Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation. 6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

Being a giver does not just mean giving of one’s money. We as Christ-followers are compelled to give things that cost us; but why? We have been given an awesome gift. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” This was the gift God gave us. That is an awesome thought that God provided a way for me to enter into a relationship with Him. So if God gave to me this awesome gift of eternal life, why shouldn’t I live my new life with an attitude of generosity?

Paul tells the church at Corinth that, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” This applies to all aspects of our lives. This principle is given in the illustration of a farmer. What the farmer sows, or plants, he will also receive in his harvest. If a farmer sows corn, he will be expecting corn and not soybean. If a farmer plants and cultivates apple trees, he will be expecting apples. We as Christ-followers are like the farmer. If we sow love we should receive love in return. If I give people kindness the principle is that I will receive kindness back. So what happens when I sow love and do not get love in return? Two ideas come to my mind when I think about this principle. First, for the farmer there is always a time period between sowing and reaping. The farmer does not plant today and expect a harvest tomorrow. It takes time and work to receive a harvest. Secondly, there are always weeds that grow up along with the crop that you sow and those weeds have to be dealt with.

If we sow our time, money, love, and gifts, the bible says we shall receive a harvest. A word of caution however, this is not always on our time. God is the bringer of the harvest. He decides when the harvest will come and if it will be a bumper crop or not. Do not give just to receive back what you think you are due. Your motives for giving should be out of obedience and love, not want and expectation.
Give because you can, give because God’s word tells you to, and give because you love people.

Application – Be someone who gives not because you have to, but because you want to.

Challenge - Think about ways you can give your time, talents, and resources, in order to help the cause of Christ.

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