Luke 6: 38

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

If you have been reading this devotional for any period of time you know that I believe in this principle. I very much believe in the principle of seed, time and harvest but it is so easy to lose our conviction as we await our harvest. I shared the story of my overseeding my lawn this year and how I was beginning to wonder if anything was ever going to happen. All of a sudden, grass sprung up all over my yard. So the message there is, “Don’t give up on your seed.”

Recently I saw the truth of give and it will be given to you in striking reality and I want you to know that it really does work. Someone I know gave a significant contribution to a ministry. There were no strings attached. She is just a cheerful giver. The next thing she knew was that she received a gift of greater value than the donation she made. The gift was completely unexpected. It fairly came out of the blue.

Later she called me with her testimony. She realized that God led her to give. You see, God had in mind all along the blessing He wanted to get to her so He had her sow a seed which He then multiplied into something larger. God is so good and that is the way He works. And, it works all of the time. Even when you don’t see it working, those little seeds are in the ground sending out roots and growing. Before you know it you have a crop. Yahoo for harvest! 

So this isn’t theory, it isn’t empty theology. The Bible is a “How To” manual and it tells us how to reap a harvest … plant a seed. If you give, God will take that little seed and turn it into a full harvest. Just think how many tomatoes one tomato plant yields. That is God’s economy at work. Whatever you give to Him, He multiplies back to you many times over. So, if you have a financial need, give. It is the most counter-intuitive thing in the world but it works gang. Give and it shall be given unto you. Don’t believe me? Run your own experiment. See what God will do when you become a giver. I’m telling you, you will never have to worry about finances again.

Eyes of Expectation

2 Chronicles 15: 7       NIV

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.

Sometimes you work and work, you give and give and yet you see no fruit from your effort. It can be very frustrating. Well, God has a word of encouragement for you today. “Don’t give up.” He sees your effort and He is guarding every one of those little seeds you are planting. You will have your reward.

The farmer plants the field and goes to bed. Each day he checks the field to see if any sprouts are sticking their heads out through the soil. One morning he gets up and finds that the seed has sprouted and there a young plant is growing. For days and days when the farmer checked his field there was no evidence of the work he had done. We sow the seed but then it is God’s job to cause the seed to germinate and send forth fruit. It often looks like nothing is happening but God is working on something. Sometimes when you least expect it fruit will appear. You may have planted a seed twenty years ago. Perhaps you have even forgotten about it or given up on it but God is watching that little seed. He is guarding it and watering it. Then one day, out of the blue, here comes your harvest.

Your job is just to plant seeds. God provides the harvest. There is nothing a farmer can do to make a seed transform into a plant. That is the miracle that God brings forth. Just keep faith in the seed and the one who keeps the seed. Approach every day with a great sense of expectation. I planted grass seed this fall. I put a lot of work into preparing the soil, putting out the seed, watering, and fertilizing. Almost every day I would walk around my yard and look for any signs that my effort was going to take root. Day after day I searched for any evidence of grass. Sometimes I could see the little seeds laying there. They looked dead and parched. Day after day there was no sign of success until I had begun to wonder if my seed was bad. Then one day a few blades became visible. The next thing I knew, there was grass sprouting all over the place. The lawn took on a general green cast like the green of spring and I was ecstatic. The work did pay off. God didn’t let me down. There was a sense of expectation that those little seeds would produce grass and I checked almost daily in anticipation but I almost gave up when I didn’t see the fruit of my effort when I expected to. Don’t do that. Just keep your eyes on Jesus and expect him to bring in the harvest. Every morning let your anticipation be renewed in the light of Jesus. He has not fallen asleep and he has not forsaken your little seed. Just hang in there. God is working under the soil where you can’t see it. All of a sudden you will reap a harvest and it will be an occasion of great joy and celebration.

Life in the Word

John 12: 47 – 50           NIV

“As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

Jesus’ words bring life to those who find them. Jesus tells us that his father’s command leads to eternal life. Moreover, Jesus said that everything he said came from the father so everything that Jesus ever said leads us to eternal fullness of life. Everything we want, everything we need is fulfilled through Jesus’ word.

It sounds simplistic to say that everything we need can be obtained through the Word until we remember that God created the entire universe with the spoken word. Now He has given us His words. With them there is nothing which is impossible to us. If we are not where we want to be in life, then we need only go to His Word and get more life. Jesus said that he came to bring us abundant life and we know from John 1: 1 that Jesus is the Word. So the Word came to give us abundant life.

Conversely, if we are not living the abundant life, then we have not allowed the life of Christ to fill us and we need to put more of Jesus inside of us by ingesting his word. The Word of God is the seed and the soil is the heart. When we plant his word in our hearts it yields a harvest. If we fail to bear fruit then Jesus need not judge us for we are already judged. The word that he has given us produces life so our lives will show whether we have accepted or rejected Christ’s word.

Do you remember the story of the talents in Matthew 25: 14? The servants were not tasked with safeguarding the master’s assets. The mission is to use the talents God has given us to produce a crop. He has given us his word and it is our job to do something with it. Prepare the soil; till it and pull out the weeds. Then plant the seed. If you will be diligent and faithful at reaping season you will have a bountiful harvest.