“For whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Galatians 6:7). The seeds we plant determine the harvest we reap. A farmer can’t plant beans and expect to reap corn. We reap what we sow. This simple, self-evident agrarian principle applies to our spiritual lives as well. We can’t plant the evil seed of iniquity and expect to reap righteousness. Repeated throughout the scriptures the truth of sowing and reaping is applied to several situations. Let’s explore the use of this simple truth… you will reap what you sow.
1. WHAT WE SOW, WE REAP.
A. Building on the principle that each produces “after its own kind” (Genesis 1:11).
B. If we sow evil seed, we’ll reap a harvest of evil. Consider the following examples:
i. Job 4:8 – We may not always want to quote one of Job’s friends but Eliphaz was right when he said, “As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.”
ii. Proverbs 6:12-15; 22:8 – The wise man was right when he said calamity will come upon those who “continually sowing discord” and the one who “sows injustice.”
iii. Galatians 6:7-8a – Paul warned the Galatians, “God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” If we sow to the flesh we’ll reap corruption and death.
C. If we sow good seed, we’ll reap a harvest of good. Consider the following examples:
i. Proverbs 11:24-25 (NKJV) – The wise man states, “There is one who scatters, yet increases more.” Sowing the seed of generosity leads to reaping a harvest of blessings.
ii. 2 Corinthians 9:6 – Paul uses the same principle to encourage the Corinthians to complete their portion of the collection for the needy saints in Jerusalem. “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
iii. Galatians 6:8b – Returning to Galatians again, if we “sow to the Spirit” that is walk by the Spirit we’ll “reap eternal life.”
iv. James 3:18 – Lastly, James calls for believers to sow the good seed of peace with the promise we’ll reap a harvest of righteousness.
2. WE WILL ALWAYS REAP MORE THAN WE SOW.
A. We might think the seed we sow, whether it be good or bad, may not amount to much but consider that one kernel of corn can produce a thousand more kernels. The truth is, we will always reap more than we sow.
B. Hosea 8:7 – “They sow the wind,” said the prophet, “and they shall reap the whirlwind.” The Israelites had sowed a gentle breeze of sin but would reap a tornado of consequences.
C. Matthew 13:23 – In the Parable of the Sower, Jesus said of the good seed sown on the good soil yielded “in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
D. 2 Corinthians 9:8-10 – Paul promised the Corinthians that if they would just complete the collection with a cheerful heart, God would “multiple your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
3. SOMETIMES WE SOW NOW AND REAP A LONG TIME LATER.
A. Maybe you’ve been working hard planting the good seed of peace, righteousness, generosity, and the word for the Lord and it seems it’s just not producing a harvest. Be patient, sometimes the harvest comes much, much later than we expect.
B. Galatians 6:9 – Paul encouraged the weary Galatians to not give up, “let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up”
C. James 5:7 – Just as the “farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth” so we too are called to wait on the Lord to provide the harvest in His own time.
D. Numbers 14:18 – We should also consider the opposite end of the spectrum, that the consequences of some seed we sow by us now, will be reaped by later generations.
4. KEEP ON SOWING GOOD SEED NO MATTER WHAT.
A. Waiting for a good harvest can be hard. Patience requires trust in the Lord. Trusting that in His time and in His way He will bring a great harvest for His glory. Our responsibility is to keep sowing the good seed no matter what.
B. Ecclesiastes 11:4, 6 – The world is full of things over which we have no control. There is no virtue in wishful wondering, but there is hope for those who get busy and do their work sowing the good seed.
C. Psalm 126:5-6 – We plant by faith, not by feelings. When Satan hurls all his fiery arrows against you. When life seems hopeless and you feel like quitting then remember the Lord’s words, “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!”
We reap what we sow. This principle is irrevocable; there is no escape from its consequences. It is a law of life. Therefore, let us be sowing the good seeds of love, righteousness, peace, and generosity toward others. In due time we shall reap a great reward. The Lord has promised it… Let us believe it and get to work!
1.Think of a time in your life when you have seen the principle of reaping what you sow play out. Give an example of when you sowed/reaped evil and sowed/reaped good.
2. What did you learn from these experiences? How did you reap more than you sowed?
3. Some people teach that giving money to a church (sowing) results in you getting more money for yourself (harvest). What does Paul say about the personal benefits of giving (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)?
4. What good seeds do you need to start sowing today? What bad seeds do you need to stop planting?
5. Where in your life are you sowing good seed and waiting for a good harvest but seeing few if any results? Ask a friend to pray with you for patience as you wait for God to multiply the harvest.