Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV): “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Have you heard this saying before? “We’re not saved by what we do. What we do shows that we’re saved.”
I’ve often tried to explain why I live under the banner of love that I do. I use that saying to help explain I’m not working my way to heaven. I’m living a life based on spiritual principles.
For example: Galatians 2:16 says, “Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.”
OK, let me switch gears here for a moment.
Have you heard this saying? “No good deed goes unpunished.”
I’m not sure which word fits the best — sarcastic or ironic.
It’s basically acknowledging how often a good deed, with good intentions, can backfire.
When I looked up that saying on Google it said it was attributed to Oscar Wilde, who lived from 1854 to 1900. Part of the sarcasm was to use the life of Job as an ironic example.
I suppose if I was pressed to point to a specific point in Job’s life story, it would probably have to begin with Job 1:1.
“In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright: He feared God and shunned evil.”
Reading on down to Job 1:8, “Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright.’ ”
Well, if you know the rest of the story it’s easy to fit the phrase, “No good deed goes unpunished.”
In the New Testament Jesus shares the parable of the sower. It’s in three of the four gospels — Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15.
The main focus of Jesus’ teaching in that parable as I understand is to illustrate the conditions of the heart.
Here’s an example: Did you know Israel has one of the driest, most arid places on the planet? It’s 60 percent desert, and yet they’ve overcome a water scarcity. They’ve become a world exporter of fruits and vegetables. They have enough water for themselves and enough to share with neighbors.
How did they overcome and turn a dry, arid desert into a fruitful land?
Allow me to side step a great deal of research and simply say, “By understanding the land!”
As we are charged in the Great Commission to make disciples, we are also appointed to bear fruit. In John 15:16, Jesus said, “You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed you to bear much fruit, fruit that lasts.”
I’m convinced our opening Scriptures are key to sowing spiritual seeds. The Scriptures of Galatians 5:22-23 list the Fruits of the Spirit.
I’m also convinced you can’t give what you don’t have. We were appointed to bear much fruit, fruit that lasts. It’s those nine Fruits of the Spirit that we should be tilling the soil of our hearts with that we might be led by and guided by the Holy Spirit to sow the needed spiritual seeds.
The Old Testament of Zechariah 4:6 says, “Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord.”
Matthew 9:38 says: “Ask the Lord of the Harvest therefore to send out workers into His harvest field.” It’s the Lord of the Harvest who gives us what we need to accomplish what He has appointed us to do.
Ephesians 4:12: “to equip His people for works of Service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.”
Allow me to close with this last Scripture. May it be an encouragement and instruction for us all.
James 1:5: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”