Karma - Six - We Reap a Full and Good Harvest
Because this is so true to real life and real time this law becomes exposes a raw nerve very quickly. Even with the word of God clearly explaining how it will be, which of us has not experienced the reality of this law; we reap the full and good harvest only if we persevere, but evil naturally comes to harvest on its own. It doesn’t need our help. The evidence shows up in our lives and is expressed in our regret and remorse... If only I paid more attention, if only I were a little more faithful and focused, or disciplined, or persistent. If only I had done what I was supposed to do when I was supposed to do it. Truth is... nobody likes to pull weeds. But this law of the harvest teaches us why it must be done. This is best illustrated through gardening (interestingly we actually have a master gardener and a master rosarian at Reunion). In gardening as in spiritual life, it takes the kind of care only shown through persistence and perseverance in cultivation to keep weeds out and provide for conditions that promote good growth and healthy plants. But the good gardener has the knowledge that weeds will naturally grow on their own and take over a garden without doing a single thing. If we are sowing good seed and expecting good outcomes then we must know that we need to persist and persevere or there will be problems.
Connection Point One - Knowing and Following God’s Word Helps Overcome Significant Problems
[The problem with the lack of biblical knowledge]
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." Hosea
[The problem with understanding Scripture correctly] -
“For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."
[The problem with real life application]
"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." James 1:22
John Lawrence gave the following illustration of this truth: A large 18-wheeler was parked along a Kentucky highway. The driver was standing by the tractor from which a front wheel had been removed. A preacher stopped to see if he needed any assistance, but the trucker thanked him and said he had already sent for help. He had burned out a wheel bearing, and another was on its way. As the preacher pulled away, his eyes caught the lettering on the side of the cab of the truck: Standard Oil Company of Kentucky, Lubricants Division. He had burned out a bearing—hauling grease.
Important also to recognize and correct that many Christians and leaders fail in their own life while seeking to minister and correct others. It is hurtful and confusing, it is not real ministry, and it is never well received.
Point: We cannot let weeds grow in our own garden while we seek to hoe them out of others.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but you do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Connection Point Two - The Principle of Persistence and Perseverance
The key passage for this study from the beginning has been Galatians 6:7-10. Other passages have added to our understanding of sowing and reaping, but it is this passage which focuses our attention on the need of perseverance with a warning, an exhortation, and a promise.
And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Anyone who has ever planted a garden knows that you can't plant it and then forget it. If so, very little will come from the planting because of the many forces that work against a good harvest. A good garden requires continuous labor and care in order to reap a good abundant harvest. In the context of a healthy spiritual life and the growth of our faith the force that comes against us is of course Satan. And because the presence of Satan and his demonic forces of evil, with every opportunity for good there is always the problem of an aggressive opposition. This is true not only in the spiritual world but in the physical world as well. Whether we are sowing the seed of God’s Word in the soil of human hearts or simply sowing seed in one’s garden in the backyard we are faced with opposition.
The sower sows the word. And these are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. And in a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they fall away. And others are the ones on whom seed was sown among the thorns; these are the ones who have heard the word, and the worries of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And those are the ones on whom seed was sown on the good soil; and they hear the word and accept it, and bear fruit, thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.
To use another metaphor, with building we are always faced with the need for battling the forces of evil. This is illustrated graphically in the life of Nehemiah when he was leading the people in rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. They had to rebuild the wall “with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon” (Nehemiah 4:1-23). This means the need for watchfulness and perseverance.
We need these kind of exhortations and personal challenges mostly because of our natural tendency to take a day off or to become discouraged or distracted because of the aggressive actions of the spiritual enemies that stand against us. Evil sows weeds right in the middle of our sowing good seed. To complicate matters, he attempts to prevent us from not only sowing but cultivating (pulling weeds and feeding the soil) through the many day to day life challenges that tend to discourage and derail us. We don't always recognize what’s happening because it takes time to grow a crop or plants. Ecclesiastes 11:1 reminds us... “cast your bread on the surface of the waters, for you will find it after many days.” When will we find it? Oh yeah... after many days. And sometimes we do not see outcomes in this life at all.
In the Galatians passage Paul used two encouragements to help us persevere and not give up. They are our last two connection points.
Connection Point Three - Do Not Lose Heart [enkakeo]
This Greek word means “to act or respond badly, wrongly,” and then “to cease, give up, lose heart, despair.” Paul is encouraging believers to avoid this kind of action or reaction - stay with it. Whatever it takes - be all in.
Connection Point Four - If We Do Not Grow Weary [ekluo]
This word is used only in the passive voice which points to the impact of something on one’s life which causes them to give up. Such as... becoming faint of soul, weary or slack, give out and give up, lose motivation or moral courage. It appears that the first word stresses the idea of discouragement, a failure of the will. The second word stresses failure in spiritual strength.
Reaping is related to the sowing, not only in the matter of the quality of the seed, but also in regard to the quantity sown (2 Corinthians 9:6). But the quantity sown is related to the concept of endurance through the long haul. While diligence and perseverance in the present will produce proportionate abundance later, Paul is challenging us to remember that "chill, casual, and whatever" right now will produce proportionate poverty later.
“For in due time” is understood as “in its own time.” This means harvest time. Harvest time has its own time - God's time. This is God’s appointment, and won't be rushed or delayed by the act of anyone other than Him - but because He said it it will come. The reference is to a fixed relation between seed-time and harvest; it carries on the idea of sowing and reaping.
A few years ago there was a story reported about a father and his two children - a boy of eight and a girl of ten years, all good swimmers, who had entered the waters of the Atlantic at one of the Jersey Shore resorts. When they got some distance from shore, they became separated and the father realized his little girl was being carried out to sea by the tide. He called out to her: ‘Mary, I am going to shore for help. If you get tired, turn on your back. You can float all day on your back. I’ll come back for you. Before long, rescue crews and boats were out on the face of the Atlantic Ocean hunting for one small girl, while hundreds of people to whom the news had spread waited and prayed on shore. It was four hours before they found her, she had been washed out miles from land. They found her calmly swimming on her back and not at all frightened. Tears of joy and relief greeted the rescuers with the little girl as they came to land. When asked how she made it she said, ‘Daddy said he would come for me, and that I could float all day, so I swam and floated, because I knew he would come.
“In due time” refers to a right, proper, or a favorable time. The emphasis is on the quality of time and the things that characterize the time as: a time for harvest
Note the contrast in the use of the Greek word kairos (kairov”), “time, opportunity.” In verse 9 it is used of the season for harvest, and in verse 10 where it is translated “opportunity,” it is used of the season for sowing. To miss or fail in one is to miss or fail in the other.
Paul also stresses the importance and nature of sowing by the use of different terms for doing good.
One - “In doing good” (vs. 9) is a combination of one word for “doing, executing, producing,” (poieo) and another word which means “good” (kalos). Literally it is “doing what is beautiful, helpful, beneficial.”
Two - “Do good” (vs. 10) combines two different sets of words, synonyms, to drive home the point. The verb means “be active, work effectively, accomplish, carry out” (ergazomai), and the noun used refers to what is intrinsically good, valuable, fit, useful (agathos).
The need is perseverance in sowing. It’s seldom easy, and sometimes we don’t see the fruit of our labors in this life. Hebrews 11:33-39 speaks of those who were severely persecuted for their faith, but they persevered because they looked for eternal rewards as sojourners and pilgrims (check out Hebrews 11:13-16). These, we are then told, “having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,” that is, in this life. A really cool illustration of this truth is found in the life of John Wycliffe (oh, we also have someone at Reunion who works for Wycliffe).
You and I have an English Bible in our possession largely because of a man named John Wycliffe. He was known not only as a builder, producing the first English text of the Bible, but also as a fighter. What a leader! When he died, his enemies burned him at the stake and took the ashes of his body and sprinkled them over the Thames River in London. “Forever, we’re rid of Wycliffe!” his enemies must have thought. They were wrong. The product of his labors, the English Bible, is with us today because he did more than fight. He stayed at the task.
Wycliffe never saw the fruit of his sowing, but he persevered in faith and we today enjoy the product of his labors. But where does perseverance come from? It comes from knowing God through the Word and leaning on His promises by faith. It ultimately boils down to faith and staying focused on the Lord and His person, plan, promises, and purposes as given to us in Scripture.
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Thy hands.
Located in Peoria, AZ, we are a non-denominational Christian church. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.
We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and YouTube