Be not deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows; (Gal. 6:7 NIV).
Sowing and reaping is an agricultural principle. It’s also an axiom of life that we reap what we sow. The more planted, the more harvested. He who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; He who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully; (Gal. 6:7; 2 Cor. 9:6). If we sow generously, we will reap generously. “For whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”
I love the simplicity of the statement that Dr. Charles Stanley uses to explain the principle of sowing and reaping, “You’ll reap what you sow, more than you sow, later than you sow.”
Reaping what you’ve sown is Biblical. If a man sows mercy, he shall reap mercy. If he sows compassion, he shall reap compassion. If he sows evil, evil is what he will reap. Whoever sows to please their flesh shall reap destruction. Anyone who sows to please the spirit, from the spirit, will reap eternal life; (Gal. 6:8). If we are selfish, proud, unjust, sinful, and trusting in our own ability, we are sowing to the flesh. But If we’re selfless, generous, kind, trusting, and we’re depending on God to meet our needs, we are sowing to the Spirit and will reap eternal life.
Romans 10:17 reads, “So, faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.” Hearing the Word of God preached is seed sown for the listener. We listen intently to the man or woman of God preach the Word of God. These words are seeds that are sown into our hearts. We take notes, and afterward, we go home, put our notes on a shelf, and then we continue living our lives. On the following Sunday, we repeat the process over again. Well, what happens with the word that we heard the previous Sunday? Have those seeds taken root in our hearts, and if so, how can we be sure?
The Greatest Sower of Spiritual Seeds
“The Parable of the Sower and Soil”; (Mark chpt. 4:1-8; Luke chpt. 8; Matt. Chpt. 13).
In this parable, Jesus is teaching a crowd of people near the sea of Galilee. They probably heard about Jesus and were curious about his teaching. Jesus said, “Listen! A sower went out to sow seed, and as he was scattering them, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocks where there was not much soil, and immediately a plant sprang up “because the soil had no depth. And when the sun came up, the plant was scorched, and because it had no root, it dried up and withered away. And other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it and it yielded no grain. And other seed fell into good soil, and as the plants grew and increased, they yielded a crop and produced 30, 60, and 100 times [as much as had been sown]. The Sower sows the seed, the seed is the Word of God. Man’s perception of God’s Word is determined by the condition of his heart; (Matt. 13).
The seed sown is planted into 4 different types of soil, “Hard, Stony, Thorny, or Good.” Soil or ground represents man’s heart.
- The hard ground – “the seeds fell by the wayside” prevents the seed from sprouting, and the seed becomes food for the birds.
- The stony ground – provides enough soil for the seeds to germinate and begin to grow, but because there is no depth, the plants never root therefore, they wither from the sun. The stony ground represents the hearer who hears the word and receives it, but when a storm comes it immediately is taken away because its roots had no depth. The ground is shallow.3.
- The thorny ground allows the seed to grow, but the competing thorns choke the plants. The thorny ground represents those who hear the word and receives it but the cares of the world, its riches, pleasures, and lust steals this person’s time and attention. This seed was choked, overcome because of worldly issues.
- The good ground – Those who hear the word, receives the seed and produces much fruit. Good soil yields its crop 100 times more than what was sown (Luke 8:8). This represents a person who is truly saved and has good fruit as evidence.
Jesus goes on to describes for us the condition of a man’s heart when seeds fall on bad ground versus good ground…
- The hard heart represents someone who is hardened by sin. This person hears the Word but does not understand it. So, satan comes and steals the message, keeping the heart dull, and preventing the Word from making an impression.
- The stony heart represents someone who professes delight with the Word; however, his heart is not changed, and when trouble arises, his faith quickly disappears.
- The thorny heart represents someone who seems to receive the Word, but this persons’ heart is full of worldly desires. His lusts for riches and pleasures, which draws him away from the Word.
- The good heart represents someone who hears the Word, and receives it, and produces fruit some hundredfold, sixtyfold, thirtyfold. This person is the only one of the four who is truly saved because salvation’s proof is fruit; (Matt. 3:7-8; 15-20).
If you planted a tree, you would expect to see the fruit of that tree. Fruit can be either good or bad. The result of man’s fruit depends on the condition of his heart; (Matt. 15:19). The flesh or the sinful nature causes us to act ungodly and sinful behavior produces works of the flesh. The Holy Spirit’s job is to conquer the opposing sinful desires that are at work in us. Works of the spirit produce life while works of the flesh produce death. The principle being the same spiritually as it is naturally. If you sow to the flesh you will reap corruption, but he that sows to the Spirit shall reap everlasting life; (Gal. 6:8). He who sows righteousness and lives his life with integrity will have a true reward; (Prov. 11:18 Amp. Bible.). The result of your spiritual fruit is that it brings glory to God.
What can we do to achieve the desired amount of the harvest that we want to receive?
Jesus said… “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, it abides in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me” – (John 15:4 KJV).
Believers are the branches abiding on this spiritual vine. To abide means to dwell. The vine is our dwelling place while our spiritual fruit is being developed. While on the vine we’re spending time with our Heavenly Father, reading His Word, and keeping His commands. This is vital because the goal is to develop spiritual fruit to maturity.
What is this fruit that we’re producing? Galatians 5:22-23, tells us that our spiritual fruit consists of a nine cluster of fruit that can only be produced by the Holy Spirit. It’s a nine cluster of spiritual fruit that includes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Spiritual fruit is not hard to recognize. Jesus said that we are known by our fruit; (Matt. 7:16, 18).
Spiritually our fruit is most effective when we’re lovingly serving others. Jesus is the perfect example of this. He gave of Himself sacrificially, freely, and unconditionally; (John 3:16). Scripture makes it clear that no one can serve God effectively unless he is connected with Jesus Christ by faith. Jesus is our only connection to God; (John 14:6).
Make your relationship with God the most important relationship that you have. Take time and spend it in fellowship with God by reading His Word, and in prayer. By doing so, you won’t have to guess the ripeness of your fruit. It only takes one good squeeze of your fruit to reveal the truth of your nature. What seeds are you sowing? Can others see Christ in you?
Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; and walk continually in love [that is, value one another, practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seek the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became a sweet fragrance]; (Eph. 5:2 Amp.). Love never fails; (1 Cor. 13:8). Love covers a multitude of sins; (1 Peter 4:8). Whatever you put on, put on love. Love is the best gift that you can give to anyone.
Bountiful Blessings to you!