Sermon:
Introduction

Plant a pot with beans using seeds from a "pod tree"

The problem with my vegtable pot is that Iíve failed to follow the most basic rule of gardening: Youíve got to plant what you want to harvest.

Proposition: The same basic rules that apply in the garden apply in the soil of your soul.

Transition: As we consider this passage with an agricultural theme, Iíd like to simply look at things in order, the beginning middle and end. In your garden and in your life you begin with planting...

I. First you must sow the seed

7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

You and I are planting seeds every day. If we have put our trust in Jesus for salvation then we should be sowing the seeds that the Holy Spirit supplies. That is not to say by doing good works we somehow make ourselves acceptable to God and earn eternal life. In his letter to the Ephesians Paul puts it this way

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faithóand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godó9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are Godís workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph. 2:8-10)."

It is clearly by grace that we are saved, but having been saved we have a purpose--those good works which God saved us to do.

Those who have not put their trust in Christ plant different seed. Rather than that which pleases the spirit they plant seed to please the sinful nature, to gratify the desires that rage within them. Those who plant this bad seed are concerned not with the harvest, they have their eye on the seed time, theyíve gotten the seed thatís easy, the seed thatís expedient, and theyíve planned a big party for planting day, but the party has become more important for them than the harvest.

It is possible I believe, for even believers to sow these seeds of the flesh, and while Godís grace is in Godís hands and I believe he is anxious to forgive us even when we fall as his followers, the seeds that we plant will often have an earthly time of harvest, more about that in a few minutes

Youíve got to decide if youíre going to sow with your soul set upon the harvest or your flesh caught up in the season of sowing.

When the seed is planted youíve got another job...

II. Next you must tend the plants

9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

How many know that there are a few things that happen between the planting and the harvest?

Weeding, watering defending against disease and bugs. Sometimes it seems the harvest is a long time in coming, and sometimes the effort becomes overwhelming. But Paul says to us, we will reap a harvest if we donít give up.

ILLUSTRATION: Norman