Sowing and Reaping

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"Do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers"

Galatians 6:6

The concept of sowing and reaping is found throughout the New Testament, and today Mark drew our attention to this in the context of Galatians chapter 6, verses 1-10.

In verses 1-6 the Apostle Paul is urging the Galatian believers to do good to one another and, in particular, to restore anyone within the church who sins against them. The tone within the church family today should be to seek to forgive and gently restore a person who sins.

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows"

Galatians 6:7

Sowing and reaping is a law of nature; a universally accepted principle of life that expects there to be no gain where there is no pain or where you get out what you put in. The principle communicated here is that a man or woman reaps what he or she 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"

Galatians 6:8

Paul applies the law of nature to the spiritual formation of the Galatian believers by tuning their hearts and minds to the spiritual battle, the internal tug for their affections.

This spiritual battle continues in the lives of believers today (Cf. James 1:15). What we plant in the soil of our hearts eventually produces a character, so that we must ask ourselves where we are sowing in our everyday lifestyle choices – are we sowing to the flesh or to the Spirit?

Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny – Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Let us not become weary in doing good … let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers"

Galatians 6:9-10

In verses 9-10 Paul offers courage to the Galatian believers for the road ahead by inspiring them not to give up but to keep going, so that in God’s timing they will enjoy the spiritual fruits that come from sowing in the ways in which he has been instructing them.

In the same way we should not become weary of meeting together online, in small groups, for meals or in other ways at this time. Use the opportunity gifted to you by lockdown to be intentional about getting to know church family members and neighbours or others in your community. Sow to the Spirit by doing good to those around you – you reap what you sow.

Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.

Matthew 11:26

If anyone is to know the father, they need to know Jesus – it’s all about Jesus. The son presents the most amazing offer ever, “Come, draw near”.

It’s to come to Him: it’s personal, it isn’t a place or institution, it’s for all people.

Most who heard him originally were weighed down already, especially those who were struggling under the strict religious laws of the day. But Jesus offered them a refreshing alternative when he said “come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest”.

The causes of their weariness are very different from the causes of our weariness and pressures of our modern day expectations, but the core is still the same.

Some suggestions:

  • Discuss with others
    • What stood out for you from Galatians 6
    • What questions do you have from the passage?

 

  • Reflect personally
    • What have I sown in lockdown?
    • What am I going to sow this week, this month, this year?
    • What is it that I want to reap in the future?

 

  • Take an audit
    • What does my ___________ reveal about how I sow (e.g. time, talents, treasure)?
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