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Sowing and reaping – a truth thousands of years old and as new as the blueberries I picked this summer. It is also a Biblical principle – “whatever a person sows he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7) – by which we can guide our lives. Romans reinforces this principal by exhorting that the worldly-minded person focuses on things of the flesh, but the heavenly-minded person focuses on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5-8).
My mother grew up in a farming family and my uncle still farms wheat in Kansas. I clearly remember family trips to the old farm, complete with chickens, cows, rabbits, and a hayloft. In short, I am not so far removed from the farming life. I guess that is one reason that the season of harvest – the season when the sowing turns to reaping – is special to me.
I’ve always enjoyed fall, but also always felt like the bounty of the season – with its apples, pumpkins, hay bales, and cotton fields (I’m in Georgia!) was provided to remind us of God’s goodness as well as the principles of reaping what we sow.
Sowing and Reaping in the Bible
The verse in Galatians I quoted above begins with “Don’t be deceived…” We can so easily deceive ourselves into believing that we think one thing when we live another way. For example, we may say we believe in the power of prayer, but the prayerlessness of our lives gives evidence that we don’t. We may say we value the Bible as the Word of God, but our lack of study gives evidence that we don’t really value it.
Instead, our lives show our true values: sports, TV, entertainment, video games, Facebook, romance novels, clothes, food, home décor, and so on. We are not to deceive ourselves, because God is not deceived by our nice-sounding words – He looks on our hearts and the actions that spring from our hearts.
This month’s topical study guide is on sowing and reaping. The Word has plenty to say about it, but even if you don’t read all the verses in the list, I urge you to commit Galatians 6:7 to memory. We reap what we sow – not only in this life, but in eternity. Eternity lasts far longer than our short span here on Earth, even should we live to be 100! Reaping what we sow in this life – debt, poor health, broken relationships – may be bad, but it is nothing compared to the loss of blessings in eternity.
Too harsh? Paul urged believers to build with gold, silver, and jewels, not wood, hay and straw which will be burned in an instant (1 Corinthians 3:12-15). Furthermore, 2 Corinthians 9:6 reminds that whether we sow sparingly or bountifully, we will always reap what we sow.
I urge you to sow good things – godly, Biblical things – in your life so that in both this life and the one to come you will be reaping blessings, not crying bitter tears of remorse. Start by setting aside even 5 or 10 minutes a day to study the Word and pray – and then let the Spirit change your heart and your life from the inside out.