Summary: Seeds are small, but they turn into large plants. You may think a tiny word or deed is insignificant, but it always multiplies and grows into big consequences.
After this message, I have only three more messages from Paul’s letter to the church at Galatia. We started this series last September, and over the past year we’ve learned that Paul wrote this letter to a group of churches in what would be southern Turkey today. He established these churches on his missionary journeys so he felt as if these Christians were his spiritual children. He was upset that false teachers had infiltrated the churches and corrupted the pure message of the Gospel of the grace of God. They misled the Gentile Christians into thinking they must become good Jews before they could be saved. Their legalistic message was that Jesus plus obeying the Jewish Law equaled salvation. Paul wrote them this strong letter to warn them not to stray from the Grace-Way. Grace means Jesus plus nothing equals salvation.
In this passage, Paul states one of the most powerful principles in the Bible. It’s called “the law of the harvest.” It’s usually expressed this way: You reap what you sow. A prison chaplain told me he was walking by the cell of a prison trustee, an inmate with a few more privileges. This trustee was a believer. The chaplain found him using a needle and thread to repair a hole in his pants. The chaplain asked him, “Are you sewing? The inmate, who knew his Bible thought for a moment and said, “No, I’m reaping.”
Down here in Texas we don’t use the terms sowing and reaping very much so I want us to think about this law in these terms: You pick what you plant.
Galatians 6:6-8. “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. 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.”
As many of you know I grew up in L.A., lower Alabama. I actually grew up in UCLA, the upper corner of Lower Alabama. I attended a little high school with about 250 students. In my sophomore football season, we experienced a lot of rain and our football field was a muddy mess. So in the early spring our head coach, Coach Treadwell, plowed the field between the hash marks. We were too poor to lay sod, so Coach planted grass seed. Coach Treadwell was obsessive about his precious grass and he carefully watered and tended it. It was his pride and joy.
One Friday night I was staying with my buddy, Paul Spears, who lived a few blocks from the stadium. In our sophomoric wisdom we came up with the brilliant idea of sneaking into the stadium and planting corn seed in Coach Treadwell’s grass crop. So after midnight we climbed over the stadium fence and planted two bags of kernel corn in his field. In a few weeks these tall corn sprouts started appearing in the middle of the football field and Coach Treadwell was as mad as a hornet. He complained that he had been sold bad grass seed. He pulled some of them up and the next day there would be other sprouts.
Of course, all the students were laughing about it, so Paul and I couldn’t keep our mouths shut. We started to brag to our friends that we were responsible for the corn. Of course we asked our friends not to tell anyone our secret. A couple of days later an extremely irate Coach Treadwell called us into the office and told us he knew what we had done. As punishment, every afternoon after school for two weeks we had to run up and down the stadium steps until we were drenched with sweat, and then we had to walk up and down the football field bending over pulling up the corn stalks with Coach Treadwell following and yelling. He made it clear it would not go well if we dared to tread on one blade of his precious grass. Believe me; I learned the hard way you reap what you sow—you pick what you plant!
The law of the harvest is both a natural law and a spiritual law. It’s true in agriculture that you pick what you plant. But it’s also a great spiritual truth that you reap what you sow. I want to take this irrefutable law of the harvest and look at it from two different angles.
I. WHAT YOU ARE TODAY IS A RESULT OF THE CHOICES YOU MADE IN YOUR PAST
Your life right now is basically the harvest of your habits. That’s too profound to miss so let me say it again. Your life is the harvest of your habits.