Wednesday, January 21, 2009

SeedTime & Harvest

“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest…shall not cease” (Gen.8:22)

After the Flood, God promised never again to annihilate life-form on earth. And from biblical inference, we find that final judgment will be reserved until the return of Christ. That meant that life, and all its functions will perpetuate from then, now, and into the future, until the end of the world. Supporting such a system is the divine principle that God instituted after the Flood: the Law of Seedtime and Harvest.

In life, there is hardly anything entirely within our control. But if there’s one thing in which we have some form of decision over, it is the kind of harvest we can reap. If you decide you want a good healthy harvest, then the way to help it happen is to get down to the planting fields today and start sowing good seeds. It works this way: we reap whatever we sow. For example, if we sow time and energy into our family, we reap a wonderful and warm home for ourselves. If we reap sincerity, faithfulness and love in relationships, we reap sincere, loving friends around us. Diligent sowing can do so much for a person. It rewards him with abundance because he tended to his entire field by scattering good seeds in every acre of his life.


“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (3 John 2)

Yes, the kingdom of God does not consist only of eating and drinking, but the wellness of the body certainly depends very much on the kinds of foods we consume. What we eat and drink today will make a statement for us tomorrow, through your physical fitness. Keeping a tab on our diet is like having a large stake in determining the kind of health and lifestyle we will have. By opting for healthy food, or yielding to its opposite, we either choose between years and years of glorious health or years and years of life’s most tormenting diseases.

It is difficult to imagine the day coming when anyone of us loses our physical capacity to diseases like cancer, heart-attacks, diabetes, arthritis (just to name a few), but we can almost promise there will arrive a moment of reckoning when the mortal body eventually decides it can take no more and crumbles under the overload of unhealthy food. When that happens, years of pain and therapy will set in on what could otherwise have been an active and delightful life.

Of course, tragedies like what we mentioned above do not just happen unexpectedly. They operate by the law of seedtime and harvest that we talked about earlier. The number of medical patients is increasing, and a good majority of them will tell you that it was owing to the lack of a healthy diet and exercise that landed them in such an accounting. Our food diet can either create an environment for health boosters or a breeding ground for sicknesses and diseases. All our handlings of our body are like seeds sown. There will come the time to reap what we have sowed for yourself. So be very careful indeed, in the way we treat ourselves. Observe good eating, sleeping and exercise habits - start sowing quality seeds into your life and then watch as the harvest comes forth to honour your sowing. Where seedtime is observed, the harvest follows.

Sow good seeds for your body, for it is the temple of the Holy Spirit of which we are stewards. Treat it well and it will serve you for a long time to come.


“They sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind “ (Hosea 8:7)

A very grave warning is actually contained in the prophet’s words here. Hosea was pronouncing the reality of the law of Seedtime and Harvest. In doing so, Hosea was saying that, Israel, who had sown nothing but the wind (i.e. invested in meaningless activities of no significant value), was reaping a widespread punishment into their race. Israel had established marital connections with foreign masses and ended up in pagan practice. However you would read that they never went into it with the intention of departing from God - they had wanted to establish themselves in a land where they would be the sole reigning race. Nevertheless, in seeking self-preservation apart from God, Israel directed her own destruction. With no reliable counsel, she went out to war against the Assyrians, and reaped the pains of a crushing defeat.

Every day, in the decisions we make, we are sowing into both soul and destiny of our lives. We can sow to develop godly friendship that will buttress our faith in God and support our walk with Him (Prov.27:17; Heb.10:24-25), or we can sow into ungodly relationship like the Israelis, for the sake of pleasure , and end up reaping the whirlwind. Perhaps these qualities are of such intrinsic nature, so we feel if nobody sees, then no one probably knows so we don’t really care, but the principle of sowing and reaping remains the same wherever we may be - we shall reap in like capacity, what we have sown.

“Even as I have seen, those who plough iniquity and sow trouble reap the same” (Job 4:8). Those with a negative attitude or perspective towards life, often grow up into bitter and sorrowful people. Surrounding them are cold, hard walls with no-entry signs printed big and clear. These people never seem to enjoy life and their surroundings - you scarcely find them with half a thankful heart, but you notice that they are constantly nagging and complaining. Very often, they are also usually abrasive and very judgmental. Peace and joy far behind the queue, the negative results of insecurity and bitterness often torment them. “who sows iniquity will reap sorrow…” (Prov.22:8). Sow the practice of self-centredness or self-pity and the repercussions of sorrow will follow, perhaps not immediately, but certainly.

Righteousness, Peace and Joy

The same applies for those who are careful in how they conduct themselves. Beware of how you spend your time therefore. Life has hardly any warning for those who are casual with it, but once a foothold is gained, the consequences will chase hard after them.

“For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom.14:17)

Many will want to experience the glorious feel of living as if God’s kingdom already reigns right where we are. It is not impossible, but there is seed that needs to be sown before we reap such a glorious harvest.

“Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (James 3:18)

To reap righteousness, the seed must be sown in peace. Of course, people and the environment we are in may make it difficult to maintain peace while we learn to trust in God. However, that is exactly what we must try to do - letting the peace of God keep us whole as He lets us undergo trainings in righteousness while preparing for us the harvest of righteousness at the same time.

Like how a farmer who would look out for ideal conditions to grow certain kinds of crops, we should identify the fertile ground for our personal development. The man who wishes to reap a harvest of righteousness: would he succeed in an atmosphere of petty quarrels and bickerings? Obviously not, for the harvest of righteousness must be sown in peace. Righteousness will only come to us when we sow its seed in peace.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God , which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6 -7)

So, to reach righteousness, the way is peace. And we must add that peace is itself a harvest that people reap through prayer. It is not meant to discourage anyone, but peace, and therefore also, righteousness, do not usually come to anyone in the wave of a wand. If the brother sitting on your left in Church appears to be comforted even in the worst economic depression by an unshakeable innate peace, and the one on your right looks like he’s got righteousness running in his veins, you must realise that it is not because something magical happened between them and God that you were unfairly left out of. Like how we’ve all got to work for the good things in life, so the more excellent things in the Spirit do not come unmerited either. Remember, only salvation is free: the kingdom of God comes with a condition, and that is to follow Christ.

Peace - that’s what we were talking about. Peace is reaped through the cultivation of prayer. That is to say, the more you pray, the more the peace that comes to you. If you look around you, you would notice that many stressed and anxiety-stricken Christians abound. After relaying their woes to you and you ask “Have you prayed to God about it?” you can almost always expect a “No, I haven’t” for an answer. And when you probe further and ask why, it is usually “I can’t pray, my mind is in a mess, I need peace before I can pray…”

What mistaken idea! For peace will not come unless through prayer and trusting Him! Being wiling to pray to God only when you already feel the peace is like being willing to shower only after you are already clean and washed! People suffer needlessly when they worry about situations that have not been prayed over. In the eyes of God, our problems are as superficial and negligible as tiny specks of dust. And the good news is, you need not detail every situation of the concern to God, for He is aware. Speaking to Him is not to make Him understand, as He already does. Rather, it is to enable us receive the peace from Him that will keep us when you ask. Many Christians suffer unnecessary anxiety and stress because they have not really believed in God even though they pray. If you can imagine, our problems in life are like tiny specks of dust in God’s eye. They are insignificant trouble to an infinite God that doesn’t register on Him as much as they do on finite men and women like us. After bringing it to God, the problem always feels only half as heavy as it used to when we first faced it.

Let us encourage you to therefore sow diligently in prayer and reap the harvest or peace; and with that peace, sow faithfully and reap the harvest of righteousness. Then, sowing in righteousness, we believe that you will reap all things in the great mercy of God (Hosea 10:12).


“If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things” (1 Cor.9:11)

Paul speaks of himself as having sown spiritual things for the Christians in Corinth. By that, he was probably referring to the works of preaching the gospel and teaching them eternal spiritual truths about God and His kingdom. And because he had deposited everlasting benefits into their lives, it would therefore be insignificant even if he had in turn reap material blessings from them.

Paul was not being arrogant in making that statement. Rather he was pronouncing the truth of God in Matt. 6:33: “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”, for in seeking His kingdom first you are sowing into the spiritual realm and thus “all things shall be added to you”

When a worker works for an employer, he is salaried for his service to the company. When we are faithful to what God has called us to, we shall be remunerated with the provision of our daily needs, according to Matt. 6:33. In fact, we not only reap while on this earth, but are heirs to an even greater reward in heaven!

If you are convinced therefore of the law of seedtime and harvest, let it work for you from the time that you start living your life in active consciousness of its existence.

Sow good eating habits together with a healthy lifestyle, and good health will follow. Sow seeds of right attitude with integrity and godly relationships will be formed in every circle of contacts around you. To live the abundant life that Jesus promised, sow eternal perspective through a life of prayer and meditation of God’s Word, seeking His will (1 Tim.4:8).

Life Of Christ

Jesus had sown a life of sacrifice and today there are more than we can count of men and women who will give their lives for Him. He had sown unconditional love, and many in turn love Him regardless of state or circumstance. Sown much in prayer and service, the Lord today has several faithful servants in His courts who would serve and pray towards the advancement of His holy kingdom.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are the household of faith” (Gal. 6:7-10)

Weariness is the enemy identified above, and it must be defeated. If not, it can stand in the way of our harvest and reward. To be weary is to be physically or mentally lethargic. If we allow that, we can lose our interest or hope in the kingdom of God. But God says to bring ourselves together and take heart - do not let your hearts be weak and do not be fearful of anything: “…do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified…” (Deut.20:3).

You’ve just read the short paragraph above, but did we miss something God was saying there? Do you see the choice of choosing between faith and anxiety in God’s wisdom above? By saying “do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid….”, God is saying that there are people who let their hearts be faint and who are constantly fearing something or another!

It is our choice to make, and that decision we make will determine our destiny next. Take hold of the truth about the law of seedtime and harvest. Continue to sow good seed in every aspect of life and we shall reap our harvest and reward in due season. Some seeds bring us the harvest overnight while others may take years to bear fruit. Whatever you do, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart”(Prov.3:3).

We pray that this lesson of sowing and reaping will become living consciousness for every one of us. As we ponder over choices and pore over options every occasional moment, may the Holy Spirit remind us of how our thoughts and actions will take us to the eventualities of life. And may the Lord of the heavens “Teach us to number our days and recognise how few they are; (and) help us to spend them as we should” (Ps. 90:12).

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