Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Can a farmer plant one acre of crop and reap 100 acres worth? Quote: "If the farmer only cultivates one acre, he can only reap what one acre can produce." Today we examine the 5th law of the harvest to the aspect of our "doing." "We reap in proportion as

Can a farmer plant one acre of crop and reap 100 acres worth? Quote: "If the farmer only cultivates one acre, he can only reap what one acre can produce." Today we examine the 5th law of the harvest to the aspect of our "doing." "We reap in proportion as we sow." This law identifies the quantity of the harvest to the proportion that has been sown.

• Law 1 We reap much we did not sow

• Law 2 We reap the same in kind as we sow

• Law 3 We reap in a different season than when we sow

• Law 4 We reap more than we sow

• Law 5 We reap in proportion as we sow

• Law 6 We reap the full harvest of the good only if we persevere; the evil comes to harvest on its own

• Law 7 We cannot do anything about last year’s harvest, but we can about this year’s

At first glance one might think this law is the same as law 4, "We reap more than you sow." The 4th law can be viewed as "God’s part" and the 5th law has to do with "our part" in relations to how we sow.

I. Biblical Basis for this Principle

Principles govern our lives. Principles are eternal and fundamental to life. This law like all the others, is based upon the principles found in God’s word.

2 Corinthians 9:6 “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

Here’s another way to look at it:

If you want to be rich … GIVE

If you want to be poor … GRASP

If you want abundance … SCATTER

If you want to be needy . . HOARD

The law that “we reap in proportion to what we sow,” like all the laws of the harvest, operates both negatively and positively. If we sow abundantly to the Spirit, we will reap abundantly in spiritual blessings and consequences.

But if we sow abundantly to the flesh, we will reap an abundant harvest of the consequences of fleshly living—a life full of the weeds of unrighteousness.

David is a case in point: Because David continued to sow to the flesh, his sin snowballed. He went from coveting Bathsheba to one sin after another. He sinned abundantly and reaped abundant consequences.

However, the primary motivation and emphasis of this principle and promise in the Bible is toward the good. It is a spiritual law of life that is inherent in the nature of God, but one that is contrary to the nature of man.

So God encourages us through a number of passages to live as children of God according to this principle and promises that our generosity will not be forgotten:

Proverbs 11:24-26 “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.”

Matthew 19:29 “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

Acts 20:35 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ’It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"

II. Foundations for This Principle

A. God’s Character

God’s divine essence, His character, forms the foundation and motivation for operating by this principle in life. We need to remember who God is, what He is like, and what He has promised. It is God’s nature to bless and give. The gift of His Son is the supreme illustration of this. Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.”

B. Man’s Part and Need

Obviously, since bountiful sowing is the result of what we do, we need to say a bit about our part and what is needed in us if we are going to act on this principle of sowing bountifully. Bountiful sowing is always to be the result or the outworking of biblical insight, values, commitment, and the Spirit-filled life.

2 Corinthians 8:3-8: “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.”

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