Haybales. Pumpkins. Stalks of wheat. Mounds of apples. The harvest of fall.
The realization of spring’s hopes for abundance, bounty, and blessing.
But each reaping began with a sowing. Tiny seeds in dark dirt.
If the harvest is rewarding, like harvests of good stewardship, self-control, and unity, we lift a thankful prayer.
But sometimes, harvest brings heartache.
We shake our heads and wonder how we got here.
The principle of sowing and reaping runs through the pages of Scripture. But we don’t usually think about the sowing—until the harvest arrives.
Let’s examine some key points in the sowing and reaping principle:
1. Soil Prep: Put the plow to the field. Not all ground brings forth a good crop. In the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13; Mark 4; Luke 8), Jesus mentioned four soils, but only one produced a harvest. If you want a successful harvest, you need to prepare the dirt.
Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.
What does that look like? Habits and an environment that feeds what you want to grow—and squelches what you don’t.
2. Seed Catalogs: You reap what you sow. Sounds like a no-brainer, but are you planting self-indulgence and expecting gratitude? Planting anger and expecting peace? Planting enablement and expecting obedience?
Galatians 6:7-8 reads, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
Examine what you’re sowing in light of the crop you want to harvest. Are these aligned?
3. Weeds: The enemy sows too—and he does it in our fields. Are you ready for him? He’s working overtime to steal, kill, and destroy our kids, marriages, relationships, and callings.
Matthew 13:25 reads, “But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.”
Take a page from the lawn care experts: Healthy growth chokes weeds.
4. The Law of Increase: You get more of what you sow. This can go both ways.
Hosea 8:7a says, “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.”
Proverbs 11:18b reads, “. . . the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.”
What are you sowing? Do you really want more of it?
5. Impact: Our harvests and those we cultivate in our children affect others.
2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Our world desperately needs our good work to abound. A good harvest benefits many.
Let’s talk sowing.
What goals do you have? For your spiritual walk, your relationships, your children?
What harvest would you like to see? What seed will produce that harvest?
Seedlings need sun, water, and fertilizer. You’ll need to add:
- God’s Word.
- Practical obedience.
- Community and accountability.
- Time with Jesus, our Living Water and the Light of our world.
Intentionality is key. Weeds grow without effort. Good crops take work.
Mark 4:26-29 says:
He [Jesus] also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
Tomorrow’s harvest begins today. What will you sow?
- Discuss the type of harvests you as a family want to cultivate. Brainstorm ways to cultivate that crop.
- Visit some pumpkin farms or apple orchards, whatever fits your part of the country. If you can talk to the farmer, find out what he did to prepare and when he planted.
- Celebrate the crops currently growing. Has someone shown more patience? Celebrate. Has someone been more disciplined in their schoolwork? Reward their labor. What future harvests are sprouting?
- How can your growing crops impact and bless others? Be creative.
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