Seedtime and Harvest
This week's message is Seedtime and Harvest. Choose your connection speed to listen: dialup - broadband - transcript
He Hasn't Forgotten
In Genesis 8:22, God gives us this promise: "While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease."
Today we take a look at how this amazing promise applies to our lives today, in areas from "global warming" to the message of the cross.
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True Riches and Poverty
When we look at Seedtime and Harvest on the outside, it looks like God is simply saying that everything will continue as it always has. But today we take a deeper look, and explore four types of Seedtime and Harvest.
1. Earthly Cycles
He says, "Cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease." The earth has always gone through cycles of heating and cooling, and as long as it remains, it will continue to go through cycles of heating and cooling. If we all bought a private jet and flew non-stop, except for fueling and supplies, for the next thousand years, summer and winter, hot and cold, wouldn't cease. The seasons and cycles of the earth would remain. And there's nothing we could do to make God's promise null and void.
When 650 of the world's top climatologists stood up at the U.N. Global Warming conference in Poland and said that man-made global warming is a media-generated myth, they were unknowingly reminding us of God's promise.
The earth's temperature peaked in 1998, and has been falling ever since. The Arctic ice is back to its 1979 levels. And while CO2 levels continue to rise, the earth continues to cool. This is just another testament to God's promise.
2. Spiritual Crops
Galatians chapter 6, verse 7 says this: "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life."
What do we sow? And if we do sow to the Spirit, do we also sow to the flesh? Anyone who sows weeds with his crops can expect a pitiful harvest. But most of us do this very thing. We go to church, and may even read our Bibles and pray during the week. But we also sow to our flesh. We watch things we know we shouldn't watch. We listen to things that glorify the flesh and the world's ways instead of glorifying God and his ways. And then we wonder where our spiritual crop is.
If your storehouse is full of the harvest of corruption, what will you give the hungry man who come knocking at your door? It is not for ourselves alone that we much sow to the Spirit and not to the flesh. It is also for the ones around us who have never even tasted the Bread of Life. And if we carefully guard our hearts, sowing only good seed and rooting out that which is of the flesh, then we will reap everlasting life, and when we see a starving man on the street, we can open our storehouse and give them the bread from heaven.
3. Giving and Receiving
Luke 6:38 says, "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."
This applies to friendships, marriages, children, and honesty and integrity. What you sow, that is what you're going to reap.
Do you lack love, patience, mercy, compassion, or kindness? Then reach beyond yourself and into the power of the Holy Spirit and the realization of what Jesus did for you, and sow love, sow patience, sow mercy, sow compassion, and sow kindness. And you will reap the same as a deposit in your heart from God, as you see these fruits of the Spirit grow in your life.
4. Harvest of Souls
Psalm 126:5-6 says, "Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
If working in the harvest were something that was easy and rendered instant gratification, there would be no shortage of workers. But to be a true harvester of souls is not an easy job. To bring in the harvest, to reap in joy, you must sow in tears.
It is a continual going forth, not just something you try every once in a while; for it is the one who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, who doubtlessly comes again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
God sent his only begotten Son into the earth to seek and to save the lost. Jesus sowed his blood so that he could reap the harvest of souls. And he has entrusted us with the Gospel of Peace, the Good News that man, separated from God by his sin, could have that sin nailed to the cross and could be made right with God, his soul finally and eternally at peace with his creator.
We, being made ministers of reconciliation, are called to sow the message of Salvation in tears; for how can we, who have become partakers of Jesus' suffering, death, and everlasting life, hold back our lives from working diligently in his harvest?
May the Lamb who was slain receive the reward of his suffering!
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