2 Cor 9: 6 -11
6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[a] 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”[b]
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity[c] in you.
11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous.
God’s laws of increase have been set by God for our increase. The question that afflicts many Christians is why God has not blessed them despite being “good”. Why has God been partial to others, even non Christians in this area?
God’s Laws are dependable. They even think that God makes some decision based on lottery or probability theory and decides to bless someone some day; (unfortunately their turn has not yet come and may never come!).
God is not like that; if that were so there is no point in preaching! God can and will bless anybody: it is just like a car is not partial to anybody: it will run for anybody as long as there is petrol in its tank: the driver has to ensure there is enough gas in it.
However Christendom has this great misunderstanding that God’s will is done in everyone’s life automatically, and some are blessed and some are not!
On the contrary, the kingdom parables are primarily recorded for everyone to understand how it works. However for the same, we need to understand God’s laws. The law of sowing and reaping- the law of harvest has been taught.
Sow little: reap little; (therefore let) everyone purpose in his heart!
Trust God’s system. Many Christians are sceptical of God’s laws, but gladly give their money to banks and sign against the instrument that claims a 13.5% return; deposit their life’s savings. Despite the fine print that could bring their money to zero, no one bad mouths these schemes. However giving to God is viewed skeptically! God’s schemes are more trustworthy than any other financial scheme: giving to God comes back in times of recession, inflation or famine: the Guarantor is God! In a world of crookedness, these straightforward principles are worthy to be trusted. It is boldly declared because it is true.
Give gladly and without compulsion. There is no pressure to write the cheque today. In the kingdom of God there can be no compulsion: no one must be pressured to give: they must be taught to give and they must be allowed to make a decision in their own time. Due to bad experiences, many hearers feel pressured and brace themselves for the offering soon after such and such verse is even referred to!
God will give you in abundance for your needs and to give to others. God is not trying to take from you so you will have less, but trying to increase you so you can have more, (so you can give). Your giving is not for God to increase: He has no need of your money; He only wants to ensure you will have much more.
1. The seed must be planted
2. The seed must be rendered useless to you.
3. Plant what you expect to harvest. (it is not your need but the seed acc to the chief parable)
4. Your harvest is established when your seed is sown (not on the day of his harvest: it is a decision of faith not an emotional one)
5. Your seed must be planted in good ground.
Look closely at the parable of the sower: the seed fell on 4 types of ground; only one yielded a good harvest: the good ground. The three types of unprofitable grounds were wayside, stony and thorny grounds.
The Good Ground. Good ground is of great importance in farming as well as in the kingdom of God. It is necessary for increase. Sowing may be possible in all types of grounds but there is no guarantee of increase! When you plant in good ground we get a good increase!
How does one identify the good ground? There is an unmistakable characteristic of a good-ground ministry: they will vigorously attempt to accomplish God’s instructions to them.
Vision? Is special training required to identify if anyone is doing anything? Who has a vision? Who has a purpose? Who is vigorously trying to accomplish their purpose? Do they put everything into it and work all the time to accomplish what God has called them to do?
Merely Exist? Many ministries merely exist. They conduct services every Sunday for the sole purpose of existing: they may be purely in the maintenance mode. They have been from granddaddy’s days: the people have been there for three generations…
Dwindling? Their income keeps declining, and they always chide the people for not giving. They have a difficult time to maintain themselves. Sell this; rent that; make some money; be in a selling mode. They think there may be no money tomorrow; let us rent the church so we will run this place for the next 100 years.
They have nothing to give: so they do not expect anyone to come. They have nothing (to give) so nothing will be given to them! There are plenty of places that exist; merely struggling to keep themselves afloat: no great vision, no purpose…
Anything Goes? They may be even some who are willing to do whatever anyone wants them to do: fundraising, start a school, start a bible college, run a charity… they would do anything as long as someone is willing to fund it. They have no primary vision; never determined about what they want to do: no purpose, no vision, no faith and no effort since their heart is not in it: useless ground; it it like casting one’s seed on wayside, thorny and stony ground.
Good-ground ministry vigorously what God has called it to do, with fervour attempt to fulfil it: you better identify and think before you do these things!
Let God Move You. God will give you unction over these things: one must never be moved emotionally before you give. If you do not give today, the program will go off air tomorrow… never be moved by extreme appeals.
How should you give as a Christian? The Spirit of God will move you. Let not anyone force anyone. When the Holy Spirit moves on your heart, you give cheerfully. Otherwise your giving will cause you to think wistfully: my money is gone, I should not have come today, and the pastor put his number on me!
Give Cheerfully. A cheerful giver is one inspired by the Holy Spirit: you love what is being done for the kingdom; the HS has spoken to you, and your heart is in it and you know if you had more you would have given more!
I want to have more in the future for me to give more.
Do not get manipulated. Do not be emotionally forced in to a situation where you have to give.
“I am depending only on you” Surely I will not give you, because I am not God. “All my hope is in you only” Next time, God will reveal to me and I will make sure I am not there when you come around.
We have to have some judgment concerning this. Some quote “judge not that you may not be judged” However the bible admonishes us to judge certain things: false prophets etc.
Judge good ground and wait for the HS to speak not your heart concerning when and how much to give.
6. There is always a period of time between planting and harvest.
Mk 4: 26, 27
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
It does nto happen as soon as you sow; there is awaiting period. Sleep and rise … for many days. The faith factor is a key for sowing and reaping. Wherever faith is, there needs to have patience too: it is in its combination that you inherit the promises of God.
Heb 6: 12
12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Faith and Patience. Be alert; exercise your faith and patience along with faith. Both are necessary, for some these are mutually exclusive. Some may give up after 3 months after launching into a ministry in a new place! Great faith, but alas! less patience!
The world of instant sambar and instant soup: even sudden butter chicken! Ask any farmer: do you want a sudden crop?
The kingdom and the way it operates are like the farmer’s crop! Endure to taste the crop: you will never quit thereafter!
Family, business, or any enterprise is established after persevering for a period of time: months or years. Some may have it sudden for everyone in business or ministry can have victory for persevering! Faith and patience!
If you have a dream, you must have faith for it and you must work relentlessly with faith towards it! (Even though you may see nothing immediately)
This applies to the area of financial sowing and reaping too. It has to be done with faith and patience.
Eccles 11: reads
1 ¶ Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
However it is often misquoted, cast your bread upon the water, it will come back. After many days is so real.
Heb 10: 36
36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
You have to do the will of God and have to wait patiently for the answer. There is no instant result but we have to keep on doing the will of God till we see results.
3months-3years-30years. For a minimum of three years you would usually see nothing: but keep doing the will of God and one has to wait! It is the same in the matter of giving too. You give because the Holy Spirit guided you and you obey the will of God as you see it in the word of God. Then wait patiently because sowing and reaping surely works.
Lack of patience cancels out the harvest. Suppose you deposited money in the bank as a cash deposit for 3 years: if you tried to withdraw after 3 months you will scarcely see an increase. You can see an increase only after a period of time.
You can tell people’s impatience through their talk! I have been giving but am yet to see a return… I have given liberally but I do not think God will come through this time! Your talk can cancel your harvest for in the spiritual world, words mean everything. There are words of faith and words of unbelief. So many have lost the best harvest owing to their mouths: look at Israel: they complained about the wilderness, lack of leeks and garlic… how many houses also have such dialogues.
The bible tells us to put our hand over our mouths when tempted to speak this way.
Job 40: 3
Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
It is better to be quiet than to speak sometimes! You have sowed but do not see a harvest; put your hand over your mouth! Just smile… even if you don’t smile, shut up!
Sometimes you may feel like complaining to God;” what have I done?” On such occasions, just shut up! The blessing tuck is just around the corner; the bounty ship is just entering harbour; if you bad mouth it, it may just turn around and sail away! Just keep quiet and you will draw the harvest towards you since faith and patience is the couple that will attract the blessings of God like a magnet!
Obey Gods’ laws and keep doing the will of God. Be patient.
7. You must maintain your crop so you can enjoy a good harvest.
The farmer sows according to the harvest he desires; he watches it sprout. However, he cannot sit back and wait till the harvest: he has a lot of work till the harvest ripens. Financially too, when you expect a harvest, a lot of maintenance is required in the mean time. Just like the farmer, what do we do after we give?
(a) Put God and a godly life as a priority. We have to continue to live for God. God’s principles work for those who live godly. Allow Jesus to be the Lord of your life and make sure you live for Him. Seeking his righteousness is to live just like Him. Keep devoted to Him, love and serve Him as lord in your life.
Sowing a reaping is not a magic scheme! You cannot say: I have sowed, so till the harvest comes in, let me live a wild life! It is all lined with our relationship with God; faith must grow out heart must be right, live for Him
(b) Evangelisation must be a top priority. To prosper, people hearing the gospel must be your top priority. Abraham was blessed to be a blessing.
In you shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Through Abraham, Jesus was to be born as a descendant, live and die for the salvation of mankind. Whoever would receive Jesus’ work on the cross, would be blessed with the Abrahamic blessing!
When he lived on earth, Abraham was God’s man for blessing the world; therefore no famine or king or event could do any harm to him! On the contrary, famine came but Abraham grew rich through it! If he had died in the famine, the Saviour would die in him!
Just as in Abraham’s time, Isaac faced famine and God showed up again and gave him a 100 fold harvest!
Now or later, even in a global recession, we will not go under since our aim is to preach the gospel. Recession or not we have to increase! God of Abraham will show up: He will bless you and cause blessing to come your way since you have to spread the gospel to the whole world!
God need not wait till 2020 till when India will be a super economy for the gospel to be spread with better means: God is blessing you because you care about taking the gospel to the ends of the world: he will bless you or Abraham or anybody for this reason!
To Joshua who was ready to crossover, God said
no man will be able to stand against you all the days of your life.
If you are finished, My purpose will also finish with you! Therefore no one will stand against you! I will not fail you; I will be with you…
If you are in the business of heaping up for yourself, than you are not on God’s program; and the world’s entire program is yours: recession, inflation, unemployment, uncertainty…
Get on God’s Program. Make sure your program is God’s program! God loves the people the world; so keep scheming how you can get the good news to the whole world!
Will it cost a lot of money? Never worry about the money since you will get whatever it costs! How will you get the money? If God’s program, God pays for His program!
Greatness for a Cause. God told Abraham, I will make your name great.
To do His work, He will make you big enough! He would make him famous without a poster or Photoshop or advertising on FB! Everyone would know who Abraham was: God would invest in Him since Abraham was God’s man.
We do not need to dabble in advertising ourselves for it: God will do it for you and take you higher, higher and higher! Only keep the goal of preaching the gospel a priority. You will be blessed for the gospel sake: the reason why Jesus died is made famous through your telling everyone!
Therefore what the newspapers worry about does not apply to you: what the bible promises is yours!