How to reap a harvest

power in a seedWhen we sow a seed of sin it promises pleasure and it delivers. There is immediate gratification or we would not be tempted by it. But that short-lived rush of reward is followed by a long term harvest of guilt, insecurity and often pain, not only for us but for countless others as the waves of sin’s impact spread. Once we start the wave we lose control of how big or far reaching it will be. Sometimes we can do nothing but stand back and watch in horror as it builds into a tsunami of destruction rolling over our loved ones and even innocent bystanders.

The man who plants a seed of righteousness, however, often seems to suffer loss. Many times there is not only no instant reward but the immediate result is criticism or scorn. He acts properly and seems to come out the loser like the farmer who once had seed but now has planted it and has nothing to show for it – no harvest and no seed for all his hard work. But the man who sows to righteousness will reap a harvest of good if he follows through – and that is where too many of us fall short. We do the right thing, seem to get shafted for it and decide we will step in and make things right.

So what does it take to reap a harvest from our righteous acts?
1. Obviously we must sow some righteous seed – acts of kindness, sacrifice, truthfulness, gentleness, peace.
2. We must tend the seed (water it, weed it) by continuing to do right.
Again, we often fail at this point, giving in to the temptation to take matters into our own hands, force a harvest, or refusing to plant more seed (“I did what was right and look where it got me. I won’t do that again.”)
3. Patience – The seed may lay dormant for a long time. It will look like nothing is happening, like you were a fool to bury your seed, to behave in a godly manner when others were not.
4. Faith (which produces the necessary patience) – If the farmer has confidence in the power of the seed he will find it easier to wait for the sprout to appear. He will be less tempted to dig one up to see if anything is happening. When we “entrust ourselves to Him who judges justly” the seed can lie dormant but we will continue to act rightly trusting that God is ultimately just and it is worth doing the right thing even when there seems to be no recompense.

It boils down to trust. Do you trust God to be just, even when it looks like evil wins, even when it looks like “nice guys finish last”, even when it looks like you did right and have nothing to show for it? If you trust Him, keep doing right, keep walking in integrity, keep sacrificing for others, keep speaking and acting kindly, keep sowing seeds of righteousness for when the time is ripe, the harvest will appear. I can vouch for the truth of it but more importantly, You have His Word on it.
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Galatians 6:7-10
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

James 5:7
Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains.

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4 thoughts on “How to reap a harvest

  1. Yeah, we do suffer. That suffering is a crucible sometimes. It hurts, and its easy to feel alone in it, yet that crucible, if we yield to the suffering, can refine us. The image I conjure is Paul and Silas singing and praising God from their Prison Cell after wrongful arrest and imprisonment, yet God sent a Mighty Earthquake that threw down the prison doors, and the chains fell off every prisoner! The Harvest was the whole Jailer’s Household was saved and believed on Jesus that very night!

    • Good observations, James. Even Jesus learned obedience by the things he suffered so suffering is definitely a part of the normative life for the believers. Thanks for commenting.

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