Posts Tagged harvest

Seed Supplier

2 Corinthians 9: 10

Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

The first thing any of us needs to understand about God is that He is love and that everything He does is out of love. One of the next things to understand is that He operates by the principle of sowing and reaping. Your life and your understanding will be so much easier once you grasp that truth. So now, let’s apply this simple truth.

As you see, God is the one who provides seed to the sower. Who is the sower? You better hope it is you. He sows into our lives so that we can sow into other lives. If we are not sowers, why would God give us seed? When your harvest comes in, you give Him 10% of it, the first 10%. That is called the tithe.

Your own finances, you will find, work in much the same way. You are given your seed. You sow into the kingdom, return ten percent back to He who provided the initial seed and you get ninety percent to work with. However, you, like your father, are a giver so you continue to sow seed into the kingdom. That seed comes back to you. In the same way that we give ten percent of our harvest back to God, your harvest comes back on every wave. From the Father’s initial seed, the harvest is multiplying.

The seed that you sowed into your church or other ministry is invested into the Kingdom where another crop is produced. That ministry returns ten percent to the Father and sows more seed into the Kingdom. This is the sheer beauty and force of multiplied seed. It can cover the earth in a short time but what happens when someone clogs up the works?

Did you know that the Garden of Eden was a seed garden? Adam and Eve’s job was to take the seed from the garden and multiply it across the entire earth. It was a big job but a simple one really. When they didn’t perform their part of the equation, they broke the whole machine. Actually, the whole fight between Cain and Abel was over the tithe. Cain didn’t want to tithe. He was rebellious. Abel was joyous in his tithe and we know that God loves a cheerful giver, so Cain was jealous and committed the first murder.

God gave the first family all the seed they needed to populate the entire earth with plants and vegetables. The entire earth would have been an Eden, a utopia. Instead, they lusted after the one thing that was God’s. That tree, I believe, represented their tithe. They, like so many of us, ate their tithe. In that meal was death and estrangement. It is the very same for us today. We commit the same crime of Adam. We don’t give what we should and we consume what we should not. In so doing, we break the system that was meant to prosper us. The machine works if you work it or we can be like Adam, Eve and Cain. We clog up the flow of God’s provision and then we wonder why we are not more blessed. The only one in the family that joyfully blessed the Lord was killed so there was no good example left in the earth, only selfish, greedy people. Surely we can learn from their example and not make the same mistakes again, and again, and . . ..

Forget Me Not

Isaiah 17: 10 – 11             NIV

You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants . . . yet the harvest will be as nothing.

This is a very good commentary on how to run our business, how to operate in our lives, and indeed how to function in every area of life. The seeds of failure are sown when we ignore the God of the Harvest. Let’s look at how we avoid this ruin.

You may have been taught to dedicate things to the Lord. That is a good first step. What should be dedicated? Everything; your home, car, business, job, recreation, family, relationships, etc. Literally everything should be placed on the altar as you dedicate its function and purpose to the Lord. Putting these things in the Lord’s hands, giving them to Him, gives Him permission to function therein. Let us not stop there.

As you see from today’s verse dedicating your job or your business to the Lord is not the end. Many have done so but promptly forgotten Him. He has a role in your business. He has a function. If you cut Him out, it will be to your detriment. Think about it. What is the incentive in cutting Him out of the operation. Does He require a paycheck? Does He ask for a raise every year? You should be tithing on all business income already. The raise He gets is when He causes your business to prosper and His 10% gets larger.

Christians fail because after they dedicate themselves and their businesses to the Lord, they subsequently forget about Him or they just have not figured out how to incorporate the Lord and His wisdom into every day operations. So, we need practical advice on how to keep God in the middle of your business life.

One of the clearest ways to do that is to communicate with Him about your business. This necessarily means that you will need to have developed the skill of hearing His voice. If you lack confidence in this area, you can search the Word of the Day on our website (www.iveyministries.org) for “voice” or “hearing.” You will find a number of articles which will help you in this regard. Also, check out Four Keys to Hearing God’s Voice by Dr. Mark Virkler (www.cwgministries.org). He teaches a simple way to develop your inner ear such that you can hear God’s voice anytime you choose to.

Then, make it your daily habit to spend some time with the Lord before you begin your day. You don’t have to spend two hours travailing over what to do. Just have a cup of coffee with the Lord as you would any business partner. Discuss ideas, plans and necessary tasks. Check in during the day with Him for any further wisdom He may share. It is that easy. Just don’t forget Him. Don’t forget that He is your partner and is willing to be with you all day long. Keep God in your thoughts and in your business and your harvest will be plentiful; more than you can contain.

No More Famine

Ezekiel 34: 29

And I will establish for them a renowned planting place, and they will not again be victims of famine in the land, and they will not endure the insults of the nations anymore.

Do you want to understand how God and His kingdom work? This verse shows us when we stop to pause and consider. Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a seed (Mark 4: 30 – 31). When God restored the nation of Israel He didn’t promise to feed them. He prepared for them good ground where they could sow seed and it would produce such a crop that they should never hunger again nor be at the mercy of other nations.

God is always working through seed. That is why He tries to get us to sow our money seed. It is not that He needs the money. For goodness sake, His driveway is paved with gold. God does not need our money. He is, instead, trying to get a harvest for us. He has provided good ground so that we will never hunger. We should never be at the mercy of the Philistines either because our seed ought to produce a crop.

This is God’s remedy for us, to provide the means by which we will always have everything we need. He prepares the ground and then protects our seed. Our two obligations are sowing and harvesting. This is how the kingdom of God operates. God does not intend that His kids should experience famine. This is the method through which God intends to meet your need. Talk with Him about what seed you should plant and where that fertile soil is which He has prepared for you. Then do not be bashful. Sow generously and harvest bountifully.

Bad Seed

Job 4: 8

According to what I have seen, those who plow iniquity and those who sow trouble harvest it.

According to what I have seen, this verse is true, alarmingly true. Sometimes when bad things happen it is, unfortunately, because we have sown bad seed. It is almost frightening at times to think about what kind of seed we might have in the ground. Whatever we have sown will produce a harvest. Galatians 6: 7 couldn’t be more clear, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” This may sound like pretty bad news but we have heard that the Gospel is supposed to be good news, so, how can this verse inform our lives for the positive?

First, if you are living in a deluge of bad things happening, frustrations and just generally unsettled waters, inquire of the Lord if any of it is the harvest of seed you have sown. We certainly don’t want to hear God tell us, “yes,” but even if He does, at least we can develop a strategy for overcoming it. Remember that Jesus made us overcomers. If the answer is yes, there is an answer because Jesus made a way for us. You can ask your Father what the seed was, and then it is as simple as repenting. What is repentance? It is a change of direction, a change of heart, a change of mind. If you will just tell God with a sincere heart that you are sorry and that is not what you want for your life He will shower you with the fruit of His forgiveness.

Next, ask Him to redeem the bad seed. Ask Him to kill it at the root. You can also ask Him to reveal to you any other bad seed and the two of you can uproot it. You do not have to live with the produce of your errors but you do have to be sincere about your change of direction if you want Dad to destroy the bad crop.

Look, everyone makes mistakes and we are all learning and growing. Sometimes we let that old dead man out of his grave and he always sows bad seed. No worries. Jesus is the master gardener. Humbly ask him to help you and he will hoe new ground shoulder to shoulder with you.

Lastly, if you are sowing discord, grief, or any negativity into the lives of others, please be advised. It is going to come back to you. And the great and horrible thing about a seed is that it produces much more harvest than its size. There is forgiveness for this but you need the help of the Father. Humility and honesty will avail much. Prostrate your ego at the feet of Jesus and he will help you.

Generous Growth

Proverb 11: 24 – 25

There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more and there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want. There generous man will be prosperous and he who waters will himself be watered.

How is it that the one who gives generously shall increase all the more while the person who hordes shall experience lack? It hardly makes sense. This, however, is the law of sowing and reaping that Jesus taught his disciples and is still teaching us today. This is how the Kingdom of God works. You cannot reap a harvest without putting some seed in the ground. When the Israelites were being fed in the desert by manna from heaven, they found that when they tried to store away extra, it rotted. That is what happens with our resources. I am all for saving but not at the cost of being tight fisted and stingy. The Kingdom goes to those who learn how to give.

I have noticed that the people who get the most disturbed about Christians and especially ministers having substance are those who are not givers. The reason might be that they simply do not have a revelation yet of how generous Father God is yet. They seem afraid to release anything that belongs to them. Once they find out that there is joy in giving then they will no longer be afraid of loss. Then, perhaps, they will not begrudge others having material wealth because they will understand two important principles. First, they will not fear that someone else having wealth means that they will somehow be deprived and second, they will understand that those people acquired their substance through their own generosity as the scripture says. Once we understand how the kingdom of God works and have experienced God’s generosity in our own lives then there really is no place for fear of lack or jealousy.

Multiplication

Mark 4: 8

Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.

In this passage and its accompanying verses, Jesus explains how the Kingdom of God works. It turns out that God multiplies. Why is this important for you and me to know? Consider the story of the widow in 2 Kings 4. This widow went to Elisha complaining of her financial need and telling Elisha that the creditor had come to her door to take her two sons so that they might be his slaves in order to satisfy the debt. This woman was broke. She had no funds to give to the creditor in order to save her sons. And yet Elisha’s response to her was, “Tell me, what do you have in the house?” I bet she wanted to say, “I don’t have anything you old fool. That is why I am here.” But she didn’t. Instead she answered; I have nothing “except a jar of oil.” So, Elisha said, “Ok, go get every kind of jar, pot and vessel that you can borrow and don’t get just a few.” So she went to her neighbors and borrowed every kind of container she could. When she had obeyed that command, Elisha had her pour out her little bit of oil into the first container. Behold, after the first container was filled, there remained oil in her jar so she poured out into the second container. The oil remained until every vessel was full. The miracle was only limited by her obedience to collect many pots. Fortunately she did obey and she ended up with enough oil to pay off the creditor and live on the proceeds after that. 

The widow in 1 Kings 17: 12 had a little bit of flour and a little bit of oil. She was gathering sticks to make a fire. Then she was going to make a pancake for her and one for her son and then they were going to lie down and die. She was really destitute. She didn’t know about the law of multiplication. She didn’t know it but she was wealthier in seed than Elisha’s widow because she had some flour and some oil. The prophet Elijah told her; make me a little bread before you carry out your plan. See God often has a different plan than ours. She did as Elijah required and God multiplied her bowl and her jar so that from then on she ran out of neither flour nor oil. 

Maybe you need a breakthrough in some area of your life. Well, you need some seed. Maybe God is requiring you to sow some seed. Like Elisha said to the widow, “What do you have?” Maybe you need to give into someone else’s life so that God can multiply your seed thirty, sixty or a hundredfold. Maybe you don’t have much. Maybe you are like one of the women in these stories but understand that God gets your miracle to you by multiplying the seed that you sow. You’ve got to give him something to work with. Then he will make your miracle.

Abundant Supply

2 Corinthians 8: 14

At this present time your abundance being a supply for their want, that their abundance also may become a supply for your want, that there may be equality.

This is God’s idea of provision. My idea used to be that I would hoard all of my provision for my needs and wants and you would stockpile all of your earnings and take care of your needs. Wow! How wrong was that? Dad’s idea is that I take care of you and you take care of me. So, how am I doing? 

Paul had a global perspective on this economic system. He could see how it operated across all the new churches and the whole of the territory. Lack in one area need not end in lack for those inhabitants because other regions were not only experiencing abundance but they also shared their abundance. Therefore, there was no lack.

Of course this is exactly what Jesus taught us about how the Kingdom of God operates. He said that if we wanted to understand the Kingdom then we must understand the parable of the seed (Mark 4: 13). We begin with seeds. Now you know that a seed produces far more fruit than one could ever guess from such a small beginning. That is the point though. We sow a few small seeds into the lives of others and then the harvest into their lives and then to ours turns out to be an entire crop. However, if I keep my seed and you keep your seed, guess what; there will be no harvest for either of us. We end up eating our seed and there is no growth in our portfolios.

Man, this is the simplest of all parables and it is the one by which Jesus said we would understand all parables. None the less, it is one that seems to elude modern Christians. We need to get a revelation. When we all plant our seeds, then there is a bountiful harvest which we all get to participate in. Why do we not use Dad’s economic model? I think we fail because of fear. Yes, there are perhaps some people who are just stingy but I believe the bigger reason is that people are just afraid. They think they won’t reap even if they sow. Therefore, they hang on to their little seed with a tight fist. Maybe they think that others won’t do their part, so that the sowing will be all one sided. My answer to that is that at the very least if we do our part we will be in obedience. Secondly, perhaps, just maybe, Dad will come through for us. He is the one who makes seed grow. He is the master of the harvest. Verse 15 says, “He who gathered little had no lack.” God’s system works. That is why both Paul and Jesus taught it. I don’t think either of them was trying to lead us astray.

Here is the bottom line – everything in God’s Kingdom functions through the operation of seed. Until we grasp this most basic of concepts we are going to struggle. Eventually we have to understand that Dad is in the business of providing but that He does so through multiplying seed. When you truly get a hold of that idea, you will begin to see how to operate all of the machinery in the Kingdom of God. Unfortunately the converse is true too. You will never operate in Kingdom principles if you don’t grasp the first law.

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