Years ago, I heard of a missionary who had faithfully served the Lord amongst a group of market traders. During many years of sharing the Gospel with them, he didn’t have a single convert. As he was about to retire, he was asked to train a new recruit, which he did. During that first week, that new recruit led one of the traders to Christ. The young man was initially delighted, and then sorrowful, as he’d been blessed, while the older missionary hadn’t. The older missionary was not in the slightest bit upset, as he said, “You’ve reaped what I’ve sown, and God has the glory.”
Sowing and reaping is an essential part of a farmer’s life and it should be a key part of the believer’s life too.
We’re expected to sow. Mark 4:14 says, ‘The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others’. Sowing God’s Word into the life of others isn’t just the responsibility of the pastor and leaders. It’s the responsibility of everyone in the church. Every member is a minister of the Gospel. Everyone has a part to play. Do you know how to share Jesus with someone? If not, then maybe it would be good to find out!
We reap what we sow. The quality of the seed is important. If we sow discord, gossip, and contention, then that’s what we’ll reap in our own lives, and from those around us. Learn how to sow good seed that’s worthy of God’s blessing, words of encouragement, building up and blessing are the good seeds to sow, especially the Gospel.
We reap more than we sow. No farmer sows one seed expecting the same return. They expect a significant harvest or there’d be no return for their labours. We should expect the same with our sowing – And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s Word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted! (Mark 4:20). Isaiah 55:11 says, ‘It is the same with My Word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it’. Are we expecting positive results? We should be. Not every seed flourishes, but enough do to create a harvest.
We need to be active reapers. The common misconception about the principles of sowing and reaping is that we sow the seed, and then wait for God to do the reaping for us. When we do this, we miss an important part we are to play. We sow the seed, God gives the increase, but we’re to reap (or gather) the harvest. So, we all must become a sower and a reaper.
Let’s ask God each day for opportunities to sow and reap. Let’s be looking out for those opportunities and grab them with both hands. When we do, everyone will rejoice with us and give praise to God for His abundant harvest. (PHILIP ASSELIN)