Summary: This sermon shows the design of faith in the Christian life and the value of faith.
Scripture: Gen. 8:22
Title: “Sowing and Reaping”
Introduction: A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was too crowded. “I can’t go to Sunday School,” she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday School class. The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.
Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kindhearted pastor, who had befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements. As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting, which read, “This is to help build the little church bigger so MORE children can go to Sunday school.” For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building. But the story does not end there!
A newspaper learned of the story and published it. A Realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands read it. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for a 57 –CENT payment. Church members made large contributions. Checks came from far and wide. Within five years the little girl’s gift had increased to $250,000.00 – a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century).
Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.
When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300, and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of Sunday scholars, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside at Sunday school time.
In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet faced little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, “Aches of Diamonds.” ….a True Story!
Matthew 17:20 “…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
God delights in taking the little things that we give Him and turning them into GREAT THINGS!
After the FLOOD God set in place the PRINCIPLE of “SEEDTIME and HARVEST!”
Notice: Seedtime comes before Harvest! Any person DESIRING a HARVEST must FIRST plant seed. --- Without SOWING seed one HARVEST would stop EVERYTHING!
This is a SPIRITUAL as well as a NATURAL LAW.
God has a PLAN for His people to increase. God desires for His people to live in the “land of plenty.” (The Promise Land)
In God’s plan, you GIVE (sow seed) in order to RECEIVE. To the world, God’s plan for our INCREASE seems UPSIDE down.
I. THE SEED PROCESS.
a. Sowing seeds replenishes the SUPPLY. Never forget we are only one HARVEST away from having nothing to harvest!
b. Gen. 1:11 “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.”
c. God DESIGNED seed with LIFE inside them. A seed is designed to bring forth the same kind of fruit that it came from.
d. PROPER seed PLANTED in PROPER GROUND under PROPER CONDITIONS produces a PROSPEROUS HARVEST!
It takes FAITH to begin the PROCESS!
II. THE DEFINING OF FAITH.
a. What is FAITH? (really) Heb. 11:1 “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”
b. FAITH is to BELIEVE what we do not see. The REWARD of this faith is to see what we believe. ---Augustine
c. Faith in god sees the INVISIBLE, believes the INCREDIBLE, and receives the IMPOSSIBLE.
d. Faith RESTS in God, RECEIVES from God, RESPONDS to God, RELIES on God, REALIZES God, REJOICES in God, and REPRODUCES His character.