In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Deuteronomy 28:1-14
Memorise This Verse: Galatians 6:7 'For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up'
Afterwards Talk About This: In what ways does God bless us.
Something To Do Before Next Time: List all the ways that God has blesses you since becoming a Christian.
Written Diploma Work: List all the benefits described in Psalm 103.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Psalm 103:2
Having seen then that the bible draws the illustration of sowing and reaping and applies it to how a Christian should deal with their finances, consideration will be given in the pages that follow to both giving and receiving (i.e. sowing and reaping / seed time and harvest). The two scriptures below are the foremost New Testament scriptures which apply the illustration of sowing and reaping to a Christian's finances, and the context in which they are written is a financial one. Consequently, when reference is made in this book to the laws of sowing and reaping / giving and receiving / seed time and harvest, it is done based on the scriptures.
'Do not be deceived:God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows'
'Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously'
2 Corinthians 9:6
A further clarification of terms as consideration is given to the idea of sowing and reaping in a financial context, needs to be applied to the idea of receiving / reaping a harvest having previously given / sown financially. Sadly, people can think that if they give a few pounds in the church offering they automatically expect to have a large cash sum given to them within 2 months or else they will conclude that they have been cheated out of their money! Clearly this is not the case, and set out below are some qualifications as to what is meant in regard to receiving / reaping a financial harvest and seeing the laws of sowing and reaping working in our favour, as they are mentioned in this book.
- God sends the harvest
Ultimately it is God who releases his blessings into the lives of Christians and since he knows all the thoughts and hidden motives of everyone, he alone will determine if someone is eligible to receive his blessing.
- The harvest is not guaranteed
Leading on, as will be dealt with in later sections, it is possible to give financially and then lose your harvest and as such the harvest is not guaranteed and automatic once we have given financially. Such things as bad stewardship, lack of faith, financial unrighteousness, wrong motives and ungratefulness can either block or cause us to loose our harvest.
- The timing of the harvest
There are no time limits that we can expect to receive a financial harvest within once we have given financially as the bible says, 'For at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up'. For example, if a child gives from an early age it could be that they reap their harvest much later in life when they land the dream job that God has given to them once again the timing of any harvest is in God's hands.
- The form of the harvest
The harvest can come in many different forms and under no circumstances must we expect it to be hard cash in our hand / bank account. For example, it could be in the form of a promotion at work, the rise in the value of a house or piece of land. God might send a buyer to buy something that one of his children wants to sell, a job nearer to home meaning less travelling, someone's business landing a big order and being given an item of value such as a car.
- The method of the harvest
The harvest isn't always receiving something good in our life but it could be the prevention of something bad. For example, a farmer may reap his harvest through the blessing of God being on his animals who do not suffer any disease whatsoever when other farmer's are suffering sickness in their herds, such as the recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Britain.
- The quantity of the harvest
Finally, since the bible never limits God to the method of the harvest, there are no guarantees as to the quantity of the harvest – God may release different sizes of harvest for the same amount of money sown to different people, as we are all at different levels of our stewardship. For example, if you have given £100.00 cash you simply cannot expect £200.00 in cash to be given you in the next 2 months as there is no biblical basis for this.
So as we look more deeply at the area of sowing and reaping the above qualifications have to be borne in mind when reference is made in this book to receiving / reaping a harvest, blessings, and seeing the laws of sowing and reaping work in our favor. Since the bible gives no firm promises or guarantees as to the timing, form, method and quantity of any financial harvest that can be expected once someone has given financially, then neither does this book. The reader's attention is draw once again to the above scriptures from Galatians 6:7 and 2 Corinthians 9:6 and the words of Jesus in Acts 20:35 who said 'It is more blessed to give than receive'. If someone starts to be a giver the bible never says they can demand or expect the timing, form, method and quantity of blessing, as God alone will decide what is best for someone and it is possible to loose a financial harvest.
For example, Job 42:12 shows that Job was blessed God with camels, however, if God wanted to bless someone today who lives in the middle of New York, camels may not be his chosen method of blessing someone. When reference is made in this book to receiving / raising a financial harvest, and activating the laws of sowing and reaping in our favour, having previously given financially etc, it is done so with the 6 qualifications above and with fact that the blessing of God can take many different timings, forms, methods and quantities. Listed below are just some of the things that God blesses in the bible
- Zechariah 8:12 Seed, Vines, Crops
- Proverbs 3:9 New wine
- Deuteronomy 28:1-14 Children, Livestock, Sufficient rain to water the ground, All the work of your hand,
- Malachi 3:11 Pests prevented from devouring crops.
- Exodus 23:25 Food, Water, Prevention of sickness, Extension of life span.
- Leviticus 26:4-5 Fruit, Grapes.
- Joel 2:24 Grain
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Bulgaria
8,225,045 people, Christian majority but 11.87% Muslim
Church scarred by Communism, disunity and strife are hindering church growth.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.