“You Can Bear It” Series #3
TEXT: Gal. 6:7-10; Luke 8:5-15
INTRO: The very first thing you notice in the Bible about the creation of man is that shortly after God made Adam and Eve He instructed Adam to "work" the garden and have dominion over the earth. God made Adam to be a farmer ... one who would sow seeds! It is the very nature of our humanity, even in our fallen state, to be farmers and sow seeds.
Unfortunately, our fallen nature has caused us to seed more than just "good seeds!" We are still farmers, but now we can sow seeds for both good and bad things!
We are thus always at a place in life that we are sowing new seeds, and we are at the same time reaping harvests from our past plantings! One of the most persistent laws of God is that of sowing and reaping! This principle works in the natural realm, in the spiritual realm, the emotional realm, and the intellectual realm.
There are thus two areas of bearing seed that we need to be concerned with:
1. What we are sowing in our own lives
2. What we are sowing in other people's lives!
PROP. SENT: The Bible teaches us that we should sow the seeds of righteousness in our lives, and to sow the Word of God in others ... we are called to be seed bearers!
I. SOWING & REAPING Gal. 6:7-10
A. Identical Gal. 6:7-8
1. It is impossible to change the laws of God ... and one of the laws that God created was the nature of sowing and reaping, you get exactly what you sow in the harvest!
a. You can't plant tomatoes and get peas!
b. It is impossible to fool God! This is the meaning of the statement here in this text! Gal. 6:7a "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked."
c. You can fool others, but God will never be fooled! A transsexual can outwardly change his/her appearances, but still their DNA will remain the sex as they were born.
2. We are smarter with natural crops than we are about spiritual ones and emotional crops ... somehow we think we can sow wild oats and not reap a harvest of corruption ... yet no farmer would ever believe he could plant in his fields a crop of dandelions and get alfalfa instead!
3. What we sow eventually comes back in an identical way as the harvest!
ILLUS: A little boy once went to his mother and said, "Mother, there is a boy out there in the woods and he is mocking me! Everything I say he says over after me. I said, 'hello' and he said 'hello!' I said 'who are you?' And he said, 'who are you?' I said, 'what is your name?' And he said, 'what is your name?' I was mad and jumped over the fence and went into the woods to find him, but he wasn't anywhere! I said “I'll punch your head” and he hollered back “I'll punch your head!” His mother smiled and explained that it was just his echo he was hearing, it wasn't someone else threatening him or talking, it was the exact same thing coming back that he had said. She then said to her boy, "if you had yelled, “I love you” he would have yelled back “I love you.” You get back what you give! – source unknown
4. You can't sow to the fallen flesh and hope to reap spiritually healthy things!
a. This is Paul's point here!
b. Even if you succeed at fooling others, you will discover that God cannot be mocked or fooled!
5. Our lives today are the harvests of seeds planted long ago in our lives ... and even of some recently planted seeds!
a. What kind of "fruits" are you experiencing in your lives right now?
b. What kinds of seeds are you putting in the ground of your lives right now?
6. Like farmers, we need to take a long view of life and realize that we will receive in our lives that which we are sowing all along its pathway!
B. Investment Gal. 6:9-10
1. The one nice thing about this law of sowing and reaping is that if we are realizing a bad harvest because of poor seeds sown, we can plow up that field and “replant,” almost sounds the same as “repent.”
a. This is the essence of salvation and repentance!
b. It is sometimes referred to in the Bible as "plowing up our hearts" or "breaking up the hard ground." (or fallow ground)
2. The biggest difficulty about this principle is the "WAITING" period!
a. It takes time for the harvests to come after planting!
b. In this way it is both a blessing and a curse!
(1. It is a curse in that when we sow "wild" oats it might be some time before the painful harvest shows up ... thus we can think we are getting away with sin!
(2. It is a blessing in that there is time to plow under the things starting to grow that we don't want in our lives, and then plant over again!
3. Part of the frustration of the "waiting" time between seeding and harvest however is the sense of continuous work with little reward for some time!
a. This is why some people get discouraged and quit too soon!
b. We can become weary in doing good things ... waiting for the fruit can be draining sometimes!
ILLUS: How many people have you known that were real excited about putting a garden in the springtime, they go out and purchase good seeds and new plants that will promise them an abundance of good fruit sometime late in the summer or early fall. At first they water and weed and nurture the new plants. As summer passes, the need to pull weeds and water become a greater and greater burden ... until they finally tire of all the hard work involved in just getting some harvest from these plants. Before long, the weeds have won, and the attitude becomes ... "it was just too much work for what I wanted, it is easier to go to the store and buy a can of beans! I don't have the time or the energy to keep up with it!" Another year passes and the former spot where the garden stood slowly is reclaimed by the grass as the dreams are given up about harvests! The weariness took its toll on the commitment! – Source Unknown
4. "In-the proper time" ... each type of crop has its own time table for coming to maturity!
a. This is true with spiritual things as well!
b. This is even true of emotional and relational things!
c. How sad when we give up because we are tired or weary before the real harvest is able to be realized!
d. There are some Christians who have lost out on some of God's best things because they have quit too soon or given up through weariness!
5. Some things become more valuable the more time and efforts we put into them!
ILLUS: A newspaper clipping from 1972 noted that a bar of iron left plain as it is, is worth $5.00! However, if the same $5.00 bar of iron is invested into making horseshoes, it becomes worth $10.50! If that same $5.00 bar is invested into making iron needles it will fetch $4,285! And if that same $5.00 bar of iron is used to make balance wheels for watches, it will fetch $250,000! – Source Unknown
6. As we have "opportunity" Paul states that we should "do good to all people" ... especially those of God's household!"
a. This is because of the future returns that come from sowing good seeds!
b. Who better to have enjoyed good fruit than to share that with other farmers!
c. Sharing those fruits from good seed will inspire more of the good seed to be planted and thus even more good fruit will result all over the place!
7. Sowing good seeds in a wonderful investment opportunity that promises the best returns of God's best ... much better than Wall Street!
8. The "proper time" simply refers to the fact that different seeds have different times frames in reaching maturity... and we need to hold steady for different crops and allow for the various lengths of time to pass while we continue to work!
9. Good gardeners always have a variety of crops that are planted, crops that mature at different times so they can enjoy a constant crop of something coming in ... each a different season for different things!
II. SOWING & RESPONSIBILITIES Luke 8:5-15
A. Individual Luke 8:5-8
1. Notice that Jesus assumes we all are sowers, this parable is about spreading the Word of God around ... and it is about all of us being sowers!
a. This parable assumes that we all will be farmers going forth to sow.
b. It is apparent too that the farmer sowed seed everywhere ... even though some fell on apparently not too great of soil conditions!
2. It becomes apparent here too that the sowers job was simply to spread the seed, the seed is given to him.
3. The farmer cannot make the seed, it is provided to him ... and no farmer can guarantee the perfect conditions for every seed!
a. He can work some to assure good conditions, but he can't know that every single seed will find the right mark!
b. His job is to scatter as widely as possible the seed provided for him!
4. This is an individual responsibility.
a. God has given us the best seed ... His Word, the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
b. The area to cover is the whole world ... some of which has good ground, and some places it is not so good!
c. We have the job of scattering the "good seed" everywhere and hope for the best!
5. The conditions will determine the quality of the harvest!
a. Seed on a hard path becomes an easy quick target for the birds of prey to take away immediately ... the seed penetrates nothing and is left exposed!
b. The seed that falls on the hard rock might actually germinate quickly in the warmth of the son and the moisture that condenses on it at night ... but with no roots possible, it will be quick lived and give no harvest! Since rocks do not absorb anything the plant can rely on, they will quickly wither and die!
c. Some will grow up among the weeds and thorns ... where it will live a long time, but never produce any fruit because the plant will always be competing with the demands of the weeds, thus keeping it from growing strong and reaching maturity!
d. Some however will find good soft soil, and it will grow and go on to maturity and reproduce itself over many times ... even hundreds of time over!
6. This same principle is true with good seed and bad seeds ... at harvest you will receive far more than you planted!
a. Good things will multiply if good seed is used!
b. If wicked seed is used and the conditions are right, a larger harvest of wickedness will result also!
7. The only thing that will guarantee a good harvest is good seed, use the right stuff and you are more assured of the right harvest!
Colson in one year's guidepost (January issue) shared about an unusual prison he
B. Interest Luke 8:9-15
1. Jesus explains to His disciples that they have been given this good seed, and when spread around, it will find a variety of soil conditions to fall upon.
a. Some of which will produce no life.
b. Some of which will produce brief life.
c. Some of which will produce weak life.
d. Some of which will produce huge harvests!
2. Jesus explains to them that they have been called to SOW ... everywhere!
3. There will be a variety of responses to the good seed of the Gospel ... but no matter what kind of response we should keep on sowing!
a. There will be those who embrace the Gospel for only personal gain, not to serve Christ...
ILLUS: Like the man who came before the judge over a crime and after finding out the judge was a born again Christian he stated, "I am a new man in Christ judge, it was the 'old' man in me that did the crime, not the new man!" to this the judge responded, "since it was the old man that did the crime, we'll sentence him to 30 days in prison ... and inasmuch as the new man stood by and allowed the crime to go on he is guilty of complicity, and therefore he is to serve another 30 days in prison following the old man's 30 days for a total time of 60 days!" – Source Unknown
b. Then there are those too busy with this life's stuff to allow spiritual growth to reach maturity!
the man in old
c. And then there are those who produce a mighty harvest from such small seeds!
the business man from
4. One thing is clear ... if we don't sow, there will be no growth no matter the soil conditions! Thus we are called to be sowers to the world of the seed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ ... only this can bring life!
* These two questions remain:
"What are you sowing into your own life?"
"What are you sowing into others?"
CONCLUSION: There is a clear call in the Bible that everyone is a "seed bearer" ... either for good or bad! There are 2 spheres of "seed bearing" ... what we plant in ourselves, and what we plant in others! Two things determine the harvest we get; the seed we use, and the soil conditions it finds! What's growing in your life, and what are you seeding in others? By the way, you can tell what you've sowed ... just look at your harvest!