Summary: Message about "sowing and reaping" and the heart problem.
Note: The basic outline is from the sermon A Handful of Peanuts by Tom Lorvon
I just added some meat and focus.
Title: Principles of Sowing and Reaping
Theme: To show the principle of Sowing and Reaping
Text: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
In 2 Corinthians 9 Paul has been speaking to the Corinthians about the generous gift that they are preparing to give to the Macedonians. The Macedonians were hit hard with a famine and Paul was taking up a collection.
I. The Principle, v. 6
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
MSG 6 Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop.
Now, I want us to look again at the Law of the Harvest to see the Principle, the Practice, and the Produce we’re promised.
The Law of the Harvest is a principle stated in 2 Corinthians 9:6. I can summarize that principle in 8 words: "Plant little, harvest little; plant much, harvest much!" Unless some other circumstances take their toll, that principle will work. If you invest a little bit, you can only expect a small amount in return. We also say it another way: "You reap what you sow!" This principle will work with any resource - time, talents, or tithe; but I particularly want us to think about the advantages of investing in God’s work.
I can also give you 3 axioms that accompany this principle of sowing and reaping:
(1) You will always reap what you sow. That means you won’t get beans if you plant peas. If you want high grade peanuts, you must plant high grade peanuts. If you want God’s best blessings, then give him your best.
In just about every prayer, we ask God to bless us. But, do you know that you, yourself, determine how much God will bless you? Jesus told us in Luke 6:38 how the Father decides the measure of our blessings.
Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."
"If you give, you will receive. Your gift will be returned to you in full measure, pressed down, packed together and overflowing. Whatever measure you use in giving will be the measure used to give back to you."
Invest the kind of seed-faith offering in God’s work that you need back from him. If you need money,
honor God with his tithe even when you don’t think you can afford it. He promises, "Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things will be added unto you."
(2) The second axiom is that you always reap more than you sow. One peanut planted can grow a bush with many roots full of peanuts. One corn seed can produce a stalk with 2 or 3 ears having hundreds of grains of corn. One dollar given to God to purchase 10 gospel tracts can result in thousands of saints thanking you in Heaven. One life lived for God can influence hundreds, even millions, to imitate that life.
(3) The third axiom applying the principle of the harvest is: You always reap later than you sow. Sowing and reaping don’t usually happen on the same day. It may take months or years to see your harvest, and you may never see all of its results until you get to Heaven.
II. The Practice, v. 7
7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
MSG 7 I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.
Now, look at the practice in verse 7. This tells us how to use the principle of the harvest. Do you know how farmers decide how much seed to plant? They first decide the harvest they want to reap; then, they plant accordingly. They don’t just plant haphazardly. They have a plan. That plan begins, not with the amount of seed they buy; but, before that, they decide what size crop they want to produce. If they need a large amount of oats to feed the livestock, they get a lot of seed and plant a large field of oats.
Here, I can give you some practical suggestions about giving:
(1) Give generously. If you want to produce a lot, you invest a lot.
Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 MSG Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. (2) Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night.