Message of the Week: Sowing and reaping
Paul states in Galatians 6:7, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." We often hear the principle of this verse stated in regards to finances. Many offerings are "encouraged" by someone that tells us if you sow money that you will reap more money. This advice has become a staple of the television evangelists with big budgets to raise. This has caused many to miss the deeper truth that the author was trying to convey. It is found in the next verse and serves to contradict the give money to get more money mantra, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." That doesn't sound like money. That sounds like life.
Let me illustrate from the story of Abraham and his son in the book of Genesis. Remember the "little lies" that Abraham told to deceive kings in regards to his wife. Abraham felt justified in the deceit, but God was not pleased and neither were the kings. In those instances, Abraham seemed to escape without too much damage. But follow that thread of deceit a few years into the future and Isaac is having the same problem. Then in the next generation Abraham's "little" problem has increased one hundred fold. Isaac's wife, Rebekah, was caught up in the deceit. His son, Jacob, deceived his brother and his father for fleshly gain that culminated in Esau desiring to kill his brother Jacob. The principle of sowing and reaping is seen in full bloom as we watch the seeds of deceit planted by Abraham multiply in the life of his son and seem to grow exponentially in the life of his grandson.
Like Father Abraham, we may feel justified in actions that we know are not honest and righteous, but there is an unforeseen cost that is incalculable. The law of sowing and reaping cannot be escaped. If we sow to the flesh, giving in to our fears and base desires, we will reap corruption. The sons and daughters that are watching us break the rules and cheat our neighbors will be there when those seeds begin to bring forth fruit and multiply. It has been said that what one generation tolerates the next generation embraces. This is the law of sowing and reaping. We have witnessed it for several generations as the moral compass of our nation spins out of control.
But there is another way.
"He that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." God beckons us to walk in the paths of righteousness and experience life everlasting. He has given us his Spirit to reveal his word and transform us as we apply that word to our lives. Instead of lies, we sow truth. Instead of greed, we sow charity. Instead of hate, we sow love.
We have the ability to begin turning the moral decay of our nation around by planting seeds in our children's lives on this Father's Day. Paul started Galatians 6:7 with the words, "Be not deceived." That is good advice. Our choice is clear; continue to sow decay and corruption or life everlasting. Which will it be?
Tim Stewart is pastor of Victory Chapel, 10615 Live Oak Boulevard, Live Oak. Message of the Week appears on Saturdays.