Usually when most of us think of the concept of reaping what we sow, we think of it in the negative sense. We think of paying the consequences for sinful actions or foolish choices, but the laws of the harvest are not just negative. These laws are also positive, very positive, and stand as a promise of blessing for sowing that which is good as well as a warning against sowing what is bad.
There are seven laws of the harvest. Over the next few weeks we want to consider each of them and learn from these principles.
Note: Galatians 6:7-8
I. We Reap Only What Has Been Sown
1. Life is filled with choices, choices that affect us on an everyday basis in everything we do.
2. That means our everyday choices are not without significance.
3. Our choices affect us and others in dramatic ways whether we see it immediately or not.
4. While earth remains, no man will mock God by changing for even one time these laws of the harvest.
"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;" (Eph 5:15-18)
"So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." (Psa 90:12)
B. Why do we need wisdom?
1. So we can make wise choices!
2. What we reap was planted either naturally or purposely, either by God or by man, and for either positive or for negative results.
3. In other words, this law of the harvest, We Reap Only What Has Been Sown, has both a positive and a negative side.
C. The Positive Side
1. We reap blessings from the labor of others.
"I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours." (John 4:38)
2. Blessings We Reap Because of What God Has Done on Our Behalf.
a. The Blessings of Common Grace
"That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Mat 5:45)
"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." (James 1:17)
"John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." (John 3:27)
1) God is gracious toward all men wheth-er they realize it or not, or whether they ever give Him thanks for His blessings.
2) In fact, every good gift we enjoy comes from God.
b. The Blessings of Salvation Grace
"And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." (1 John 5:11-12)
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
1) Regardless of man's lack of thankfulness, God has given man the greatest gift of all in His Son.
2) He became man and went to Calvary that we might have life by faith in Him.
3. Blessings We Reap Because of What Others Have Done In Our Behalf.
a. Not only are we blessed because of what God has done in our behalf, we are also blessed by what others have done.
b. Others have labored and we have entered into the blessings of their labors.
c. The bless-ings we have enjoyed in the Western world, of freedom, of law, of ministering to the suffering, the poor and the like, are all the by- products of Christianity and our godly heritage.
d. It has been said that South America was settled by the Spanish, who came to that land in search of gold, but North America was settled by the Pilgrim Fathers, who came in search of God and that is what made the difference.
e. Do we realize the far-reach-ing implications of our choices on the lives of others--children, family members, co-workers, friends?
4. The teaching of Scripture on being an example to others stresses this very point.
"For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." (John 13:15)
"So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia." (1 Th 1:7)
"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." (1 Tim 4:12)
"In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine showing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity," (Titus 2:7)
5. Being a good model is a form of sowing that can result in reaping Christ-like changes in the lives of others.
D. The Negative Side.
1. We Reap the Wrong Others Have Sown
a. We reap a certain amount of wrong inherited from our parents.
"Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." (Psa 51:5)
"The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies." (Psa 58:3)
"And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:" (Gen 5:3)
"The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation." (Num 14:18)
1) We all reap the sin of Adam and we pass that along to our children.
2) This means not only a sinful nature, but things children can learn like how to be critical from a fault-finding parent.
b. We reap the wrong of foolish and corrupt leaders. cf Is. 2:5 ff
1) This often includes the judgment of God on society--past, present, and future.
2) What is happening in our cities across our nation is that we are treasuring up wrath unto ourselves. cf Ro. 2:5
3) It is of concern to us because, if the Lord tarries, it shall affect us greatly.
4) As a nation, whatever we do is wrong because we as a people are wrong spiritually and morally.
5) Note the author Edward Gibbon who, in 1787, after 20 years of labor, completed his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, In it he attributed the fall of the Empire as being:
We will look at another of these 7 laws next time we come together.