Posted on : Sunday March 1, 2009

Listen Now!


By Bob Simpson, BCM/D Associate Executive Director and BaptistLIFE Editor

Bob Simpson

Bob Simpson

The cycle of nature is such that every Spring a farmer must re-seed the ground in order for there to be a harvest in the Fall. This law holds true in many other areas of life as well. The writer of Ecclesiastes says that “for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under the sun.” It reminds us that the law of sowing and reaping underlies so many human activities. And although we tend to dwell on the positive side of this law, the Bible teaches that there is also a sober down side to it.  In Gal. 6:7 it says, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”

As we move into the Spring of 2009, it occurs to me that there are some life principles worth remembering about the sowing/harvesting cycle:
(1) We must sow before we harvest. It sounds basic enough. But the order is very important. Many times we see folks who are trying to harvest where they have not sown. They assume for little or nothing put in they will be able to glean vast results. The irony in so many cases is that they often keep trying even though it is obvious to those around them that their well is clearly dry. (I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity was to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results).

(2) We harvest more than we sow. It is so like God to build into the nature of sowing and harvesting a result that far exceeds the initial expectation. If one kernel of corn is planted in the dirt, it produces a stalk of corn that contains multiple ears of corn each containing countless more kernels. Little is much when God is in it!

(3) We must never stop sowing. In Mark 4, Jesus tells the story about the farmer who planted the seed and how they fell on various kinds of soils. Some of the seeds fell on hard soil and never had a chance of growing because the birds came and snatched it away. Some seeds fell into shallow soil, took root and began to grow. But the hot sun withered it away because the roots were not deep enough. Other seeds grew but the weeds choked the life out of them. A small percentage of the seeds took root, flourished and produced a crop that Jesus said was “thirty, sixty and even a hundred times” as much as had been planted.

I have listened to many sermons in my life where the soils in Mark 4 were highly analyzed and compared. However, I have come to realize that this might be missing the whole point Jesus was trying to make. I think He was really saying, “Look, you are never going to know what happens to each and every seed that you sow. The important thing is to never stop sowing seeds.” Evangelism experts tells us that, on average, it takes seven “touches” to ultimately get a person to cross the line of faith and become a believer in Christ. Sometimes the Lord lets us plant the first seed in their lives. Later, someone else under the leadership of the Holy Spirit comes along and cultivates the seed. Then, someone else comes along and gets the wonderful privilege of harvesting the ultimate fruit.

Bottom line: Never stop sowing the seed. Just because we don’t perceive that God is at work in someone’s life, it should never stop us from sowing the Gospel seed in the first place. Sow it every day, in season, out of season. Someday we will rejoice in all that God will bring to harvest as a result of our sowing!