Author: Ron Graham
Sowing and Reaping
The things that are happening to us now, are the harvest of thoughts and actions sown in the past. Today's thoughts and actions are seeds being sown for a future harvest.
Sowing and reaping is an almost perfect analogy of life. We can hardly do better than to see life as a process of sowing seed and reaping a harvest and to take care how we sow. Since all of us are now reaping what we once sowed, and sowing what yonder we will reap, it is well that we know the principles of sowing and reaping.
1 You Sow in Patience and Faith
¶“So be patient brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth. He is patient until the ground receives the early and the late rains. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:7-8).
Such is a seed that to sow it requires a measure of faith, insight, and patience. In a handful of small shrivelled seed is the potential to feed you for a season, and thereafter the world for centuries. But you must await the harvest. It is not an easy thing to believe in that amazing potential.
Likewise, figurative seed demands a measure of faith and insight. It is hard to be convinced that today’s few words, thoughts, and actions, have the potential to affect our future enormously.
2 You May Sow What Another Reaps
¶“The one who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit for eternal life. Thus the sower and reaper may rejoice together. In this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap what you did not work for. Others have worked, and you have entered into their labours.” (John 4:36-38).
Anyone who receives an inheritance knows what it means to reap what another has sown. Your local church is another example. You enjoy membership in it because a few far-sighted souls once began to assemble, sowing what you now reap. Another example shows the dark side of the principle —a little child dies of AIDS. The child has reaped what another sowed.
What are you sowing today, that someone else will reap in days to come?
3 You May Sow Wheat and Reap Thorns
¶“They have sown wheat and have reaped thorns. They have worn themselves out but profit nothing. Their harvests shall shame them, because of the LORD’s fierce wrath.” (Jeremiah 12:13).
What you sow may be spoiled. Where good seed was sown, some other bad seed may grow. Your harvest will be destroyed. However you may not be to blame.
Parents might do everything possible to bring up children well, yet one child falls into bad company and becomes a criminal.
Those who have sown good seed in your local church are mindful of how ready the enemy is to destroy their labour and its fruits, and to leave them with a harvest of thorns.
4 You May Sow the Wind and Reap the Whirlwind
¶“They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind. The grain stalk has no head. It will yield no flour. Even if it were to yield, strangers would devour it.” (Hosea 8:7).
A wife or husband thinks that a little flirtation is harmless, only to find it develops into a shattering of lives and relationships. We may reap more than we dreamed of from the seed we sow.
This also has its bright side. Goodness can overcome the whirlwind. Your small labour of love may seem such a small and vulnerable seed. Yet it could produce an unimagined harvest of good. You never know.
5 You Will Reap What You Sow
¶“Do not be deceived. God is not mocked. For whatever you sow, that will you reap. For if you sow to your flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh. But if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.” (Galatians 6:7-8).
No seed can produce except after its own kind. If we sow evil, we reap evil. You cannot sow to the flesh and reap from the Spirit. You cannot sow seeds of digression and reap true discipleship.
Of course the seed sown is not the harvest reaped. For example, flirting is not fornicating. But one grows out of the other, and therefore we must warn against the one whilst not accusing of the other.
6 You Reap Sparingly if You Sow Sparingly
¶“If you sow sparingly, you will also reap sparingly; if you sow bountifully, you will also reap bountifully.” (2Corinthians 9:6).
The more good we sow, the more good we reap. Let us be generous and bountiful in sowing good seed.