The great principle of life, and of God's marvelous creation is the law of the harvest.

Planting the seed and waiting to reap the results.

Tragically, the term has been prostituted by certain TV "preachers" who have become fabulously wealthy by exploiting this age-old biblical concept. "Send us your 'seed' and watch God work a miracle in your life."

Nevertheless, the principle is there. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7

Sowing is portrayed in scripture as both positive and negative. Luke 8:11 tells us that the Word of God is the seed. When it is sown, it will accomplish its work. "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it." Isaiah 55:11. We pastors take great comfort in that truth every time we get up to preach. We are scattering the seed of the Word of God, and we are assured it will accomplish what God desires -- perhaps not immediately - but in due time.

Jesus said, "Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom." (a pouch inside the robe) For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:38

The word "sow" also pertains to life's possessions; money, land, cattle, etc. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 11:1 to "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." The bread may not return to you in more water-soaked bread, but perhaps large healthy fish.

The little lad in John 6:9 gave all his lunch to Jesus -- five small barley buns and two fish. He sowed a small seed -- but Jesus expanded it enough to feed 5,000 people. When Jesus asked Philip where they might buy food, it was only a rhetorical question. The Savior already knew the answer, He was preparing the disciples, and the crowd for a great lesson in God's vast supply. A great pastor and leader in our denomination, Don Collins, once commented on the event, "The food supply came from heaven -- the little lad merely set the menu."

There is a negative aspect to this issue of sowing and reaping. Paul told the church at Galatia, "For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Galatians 6:8

Someone once jokingly remarked, "I have sown wild oats, and now I'm praying for a crop failure." But really, it's no laughing matter; if one sows a seed to his own flesh, the results will be corruption, misery, sin, eternal death.

The ultimate illustration of the law of sowing seed is to consider the Seed God sowed. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." John 12:24. That explains what happens when the farmer plants his seed into the ground. The seed is dead -- it is in the ground -- as far as the farmer is concerned, it's gone. Furthermore, the seed is alone. But that dead seed begins to germinate, and a stalk comes forth, causing the seed to multiply itself many times over.

Faith itself is portrayed as a seed -- and in Matthew 17:20 all it takes is the faith the size of a microscopic mustard seed - yet such faith yields great results.

But the illustration is far more than just farming technique -- it is the story of the Seed of eternal life. That Seed was all alone when He was crucified. The fickle crowd who hailed Him just a week earlier with palm leaves was now calling for his death. The death of Jesus on the cross was something the disciples -- and his followers were not expecting. His death momentarily meant to them that all hope was lost. He was cast into the ground (the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea) But He didn't stay there; He came forth three days later, and bore much fruit -- millions of times over in the salvation of souls. This is what we celebrate every Easter -- the resurrection.

That is the ultimate seed which was planted.

What seeds are you sowing in life, and what kind of bumper crop to you expect to yield?

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Paul Gauntt currently serves as the pastor of First Baptist Church of Palmer.