Sow and Reap

<<plant to get a harvest>>

In the natural world before the ingathering of a crop there is an intentional sowing; this act of faith forms the foundation for what comes after, for the harvest is a multiplication of the seed sown. Often there is a considerable time delay between sowing and reaping, but unless there is a major interference, a crop will result. In our lives we determined the

Sowing is an act of faith, reaping is the consequence

kind of harvest we receive, and the quantity of it. What kind of harvest do you want to reap?  Then sow seeds fitting for that harvest – it is unrealistic to think we can gather a good crop from corrupt seed or one kind of crop from a completely different plant to what was sown (Lk 6:43-45). The principle of cause and effect indicates that the consequences of our actions have a cumulating ability that will result in an outcome determined largely by the input.

Principles of sowing

1/. “A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature reaps destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Gal 6:7-10). It is a divine principle that we will ultimately reap the consequences of what we have sown in the

As you have done, it will be done to you – Obadiah 1:15

kind of harvest we obtain – if not in this life certainly in the next. “Those who sow trouble reap it...Those who dig a pit fall into it” (Job 4:8; Prov 26:27). As believers we should sow into the Kingdom of God for it too will produce a harvest for eternity (Jn 4:35,36). Even God said “My Word will produce and accomplish what I desire” (Isa 55:10,11). This positive declaration is made by God who can never lie (Num 23:19).

2/. The outcome of sowing generously produces plenty, while stinginess results in a small return. “Give generously, for your good works and gifts will return to you later” (Eccl 11:1). Give and it shall be given unto you. With the measure in which we give will be the measure we receive back – give little and receive little back, but giving much will result in a liberal return (Lk 6:38; 2 Cor 9:6).

Your willingness or reluctance to sow bountifully indicates whether you hold God and His promises in high esteem.

3/. Never underestimate the power of the seed, increase is a divine principle in both the natural and spiritual world – the smallest mustard seed can become a great tree (Mk 4:26-28, 31,32). The spread of the church over some twenty centuries points to this.

4/. Sowing requires effort – clearing the ground and breaking up the soil. Sowing spiritually also requires preparation. The greater the input and effort in ministering the love of Christ, the greater the rejoicing and reward when lives are transformed (Lk 15:7).

5/. Sowing requires faith and patience. Good, strong plants require considerable effort and consistent attention over a period of time to develop their full potential. This is especially applicable to raising our children ‘in the fear and nurture of the Lord’. Weeds (undesirable qualities) will reproduce unassisted and need to be dealt with. We can’t blame them for their faults – where did they pick these habits up? God says the sins of the parents are passed down through the family line as also are the blessings for obedience (Ex 20:5,6).

6/. Those who sow in tears shall reap with joy (Ps 126:5,6). The reward comes to those who persist.

Often with evangelism, although we may sow in one area and another gathers in that soul, and we reap where we have not directly sown, we are to rejoice together in the lives saved, and will have our share in the eternal reward (1 Sam 30:24; Jn 4:37,38; 1 Cor 3:6-9).

In the parable of the sower not all the seed sown achieved its intended purpose, however this was not due to any fault of the seed; it was the condition of the soil that determined what happened (Mt 13:3-23).  As the soil is likened to the condition of our heart, we need to take responsibility for our spiritual condition (Prov 4:26; Hos 10:12; Mt 7:24-27; 1 Cor 3:10-15).  Is my heart uncluttered by the things of this world, open to God, and providing a receptive fertile environment for His Word to grow and so produce a bountiful crop of righteousness?

Do I make His Kingdom the centre of my life, for we are to have no other Gods before Him?  In the OT God challenged the people that they were not making His concerns their number one priority (Ex 20:3; Hag 1:4-11). The NT states, “Seek first God’s Kingdom then all these things will be added to you” (Mt 6:33). 

See also: blessed or cursed, cause and effect, consequences, fertility, generation, growth, harvest, priority, seed, stewardship.