Summary: Maybe we think we have pulled the wool over God’s eyes, that God doesn’t see what we are doing, or know what is going on inside our hearts & minds. (Powerpoints available - #209.)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #209.)
A. When you were a child did you ever have a special place, a secret place where you could go & be all alone?
ILL. I heard a story once about a boy who did. On the back of their property was an old fruit tree. It had lots of leaves, but it had produced no fruit in years. High up in its branches, hidden from view by the leaves, there was a perfect spot for a little boy to sit & dream away the hours.
There he was a space ship commander traveling to galaxies unknown. He was a Tarzan, living in a jungle world. And he was a philosopher, solving the riddles of the ages.
There, too, he would go when he felt mistreated, or misunderstood, or when he felt all alone. Little boys feel that way sometimes. That tree was his hideaway, special to him & to his best friend, another little boy down the road.
So you can imagine how he felt when he heard his father telling his mother, "I think I’ll cut down that old fruit tree. It hasn’t borne any fruit in years."
What could the little boy do? If he begged his father not to do it, then he would have to say why, & his secret hideaway would be a secret no more.
Then he hit upon a wonderful plan. Since there were a number of apple trees in a field nearby, he & his best friend got a whole basket full. That evening, while his parents were busy inside, he & his friend climbed the tree & tied the stems of the apples to almost every limb of the old fruit tree.
Well, the next morning his father went out & looked at the old tree, & was amazed to see that it was laden with big, fat apples. And the little boy waited to see how his father would react.
His father came back inside &, with a twinkle in his eye, said, "You’re not going to believe this, but a miracle took place last night. That old fruit tree is full of apples. There are fat, juicy apples on almost every branch."
His wife smiled & said, "That’s amazing." "Yes," the father answered, "& it is even a double miracle because that’s not an apple tree. It’s a pear tree."
APPL. We smile at that because apple trees don’t produce pears & pear trees don’t produce apples. When you sow apple seeds you expect apples. When you sow pear seeds you expect pears. When you sow wheat you expect wheat, because we learned a long, long time ago that what you sow is what you reap.
Listen to the familiar words of Galatians 6:7 9. Paul writes, "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.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:7-9)
B. Now this principle that the apostle Paul shares with us here has been around for a long time. In fact, Paul was not the first to say it.
1. Jesus taught that principle in His parables. You remember the parable about the farmer who went out & sowed good seed in his field? (Matthew 13:24-30) Then as he slept, an enemy came & sowed bad seed (weeds) among the good.
No one knew about it until the two kinds of seeds started to grow. One day a servant discovered that there were weeds growing among the wheat. He rushed in & told the master that wheat & weeds were growing side by side.
They concluded, "If wheat & weeds are growing side by side it means that two kinds of seed have been planted." Wheat seed doesn’t produce weeds, & weed seeds don’t produce wheat.
2. Back in the O.T., in Hosea 8:7, the prophet Hosea said, "If you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind."
3. Even further back, in Exodus 21:24 Moses says, "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, wound for wound." Moses is talking about reaping what you sow.
4. And we can even go back to Genesis 1:11 where God forms the earth & says, "Let the ground bring forth grass, & the herb yielding seed, & every fruit bearing tree bring forth fruit after its own kind. And it was so." The principle of sowing & reaping is as old as life itself. What you sow is what you reap.