Christianity 201

October 6, 2014

Sowing and Reaping Can Me More Than Just Economics

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Today we return to the website of Ralph Howe Ministries. When we think of sowing and reaping we tend to think of it in bottom-line, dollars-and-cents terms. (That would be pounds-and-pence for my UK readers!) But in the much larger Bible context, planting, reaping, seeds and fruit are all referring to the spread of the gospel story and the establishment and growth of Christ-followers. It is to that end that Ralph writes the following; click the title to read at source.

A Biblical Principle

Here’s a biblical principle we can take to the bank: If we sow sparingly, we will reap sparingly; if we sow the gospel abundantly we will reap abundantly (2 Corinthians 9:6). Some believe this is why evangelists are so effective in leading people to Christ – they sow abundantly. I believe there is some merit to the idea. The Good News itself is powerful because the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). And, the more often it is shared, the more often it will bear fruit.

sowing and reapingPeter, one of the original twelve, states that we are “born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding Word of God.” So, obviously, the more ’seeds’ we plant the better the harvest we will reap. Sow seldom – see little fruit because you are planting very few seeds. Sow regularly and often – you will reap a harvest from some of the seeds that you planted – some of the times that you shared the Gospel.

Our job is to share Christ. Not to bring people to Christ – that is the job of the Holy Spirit. Our task is to take Christ to the people. In case you have not noticed, unbelievers are not flocking to the church where they can hear the Gospel. So, we are to take the Gospel to them. Then the Holy Spirit works with the seed we planted and convicts them of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8-10). As hearts become warm towards God people respond and we see a harvest of souls for the Kingdom. The Holy Spirit is the true evangelist who convicts people’s hearts, opens their spiritual eyes, and points them to Christ. He resides in all of us, not just in the evangelists (one of the five-fold ministry gifts of Ephesians 4:11-12).

This is the task of all true disciples. Some excuse themselves from the work of winning the lost by saying that they don’t have the gift of evangelism. There is no such gift in the Bible. Every true disciple of Jesus is called to “follow Him” (Matthew 4:19) and, as we do, He “makes us into fishers of men.” So, if we are not fishing we are not following. And, we are not “becoming.” We have traded ’safe,’ ’secure,’ and ‘comfortable’ for exciting, risky, and an adventure.

We all need to remember that one day we will be held accountable by the Lord Jesus as to what we did with what He commanded us to do. He was not joking when He said, “Go into all the world and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). And, it was not an option that we can choose to become involved in or choose to let others do it while we stay safe and secure. Of course, we will become involved in other areas of ministry – caring, hospitality, worship, leading … but, Jesus will still bring us back to the basic and foundational calling that is upon every believer’s life – the “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10) as He did.

So, time to learn to share the Gospel so we can plant these powerful seeds of Good News in the life of people that we know and the hearts of total strangers. Of course, this will mean having the learn how to express the Gospel as most believers know the Gospel but because they have never shared it – really find it hard to express the Good News of salvation in a way that makes sense of this powerful message. And, we need to learn to share it in a way that today’s generation can understand it. We live in a post-Christian society and so we need to learn how to communicate the message in new ways to those who do not have a Christian consciousness.

Remember, every one of us will be held accountable for what we have done with the gifts that He gave us – and the greatest gift is the message of salvation – the Gospel of the Kingdom.

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