Summary: We see the principal of reaping and sowing played out in our lives every day. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are today eating from the harvest of the seeds we planted in the past. And while we can not change the past, we can choose to plant good
Planting Tomorrows Harvest, Galatians 6:7-10
I read a story recently about a little four year old girl named Deborah, who was helping her father in plant seeds in the garden one sunny afternoon. As the little girl worked alongside her father in the garden, he explained to her about sowing and reaping. “From two or three beans that we put in the soil,” he said, “we’ll probably harvest dozens of beans,”
A few weeks later the little girl’s grandmother sent her a pair of hand knit mittens. It was too warm for mittens that day, but the little girl insisted that she wear them. Later in the afternoon when she came inside, her father noticed that she was not wearing her mittens. “Deborah, where are the mittens Grandma sent you?” her father asked.
“I planted them,” was the excited reply, “and when they come up in the garden, I’ll have lots of mittens!”
Many times we are just like the little girl in the story. We misunderstand what it means to plant and harvest in our lives. Whether it is in finances, relationships, or spiritual life, we plant seeds for sour grapes and are surprised when we don’t get a harvest of apples.
This morning I want to talk to you about what it means to plant tomorrow’s harvest. I’m hoping and praying that you will leave here this morning, reminded of God’s goodness and reminded of the importance of planting the type of seeds that will bring an excellent and bountiful harvest in your life.
Did you know that many fruit bearing trees do not yield a crop for several years after they are planted? In fact, from seed to harvest the avocado takes seven full years. If you want to have fresh avocados from your backyard garden you had to plant the tree seven years ago.
Where we are today is for the most part a result of the choices and decisions that we made yesterday… a month ago… a year ago… and even in decades past. The choices we make in our life are just like seeds.
The seeds we have planted in the past will determine what kind of harvest we will reap today. We reap what has been sown.
Reaping What Is Sown
A young man came to a 90 year old man and said to him, “How have you managed to live so long and be so well?” The old man took the youngster to an orchard, and, pointing to some large trees full of apples, said, “I planted these trees when I was a boy, and do you wonder that now I am permitted to gather the fruit of them?”
We gather in old age what we plant in our youth. Sow to the wind, and you reap the whirlwind. Plant in early life the right kind of a Christian character and you will eat luscious fruit in old age, and gather these harvest apples in eternity.
The bible is chalked full of agrarian imagery. That is, in context, the Bible was written to a people whose lives were centered almost entirely on agriculture. That is why there are so many references to agricultural ideas in the Bible.
In understanding the Scriptures it is crucial that we remember to read them in their cultural and historical context. As we do that, we can take the message of the Bible and apply it in real and relevant ways in our lives today.
We see the principal of reaping and sowing played out in our lives every day. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are today eating from the harvest of the seeds we planted in the past. And while we can not change the past, we can choose to plant good seeds today.
Planting Seeds of Faith
Perhaps the best place to start is by choosing to plant seeds of faith in our relationship with God. As we do that… we are filled with the power and strength of God for each day of our lives.
If we don’t plant seeds of faith in our life, our spirits will become weak, dry, and withered. Far too often we find ourselves abandoning faith in favor of the supposed wisdom of the world.
Fred Allen wrote, “Most of us spend the first six days of the week sowing wild oats, then we go to church on Sunday and pray for a crop failure.” In 1 Corinthians 2:5 Paul tells us, “Not to let our faith rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (Paraphrased)
In Matthew 17:20 the words of Jesus said to them, “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (ESV)