Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sowing and Reaping

"And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity]. 11Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous, and [your generosity as it is] administered by us will bring forth thanksgiving to God." 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (AMP)

I love this verse. I've shared it in the Amplified version this morning, because it adds just that little extra bit that makes it even more encouraging to read. I love how straightforward it is too. It says straight out that it is God who provides what we need. In this case, that is represented by seed for sowing and bread for eating. As a gardener, I just completely relate to any mention of seeds and sowing. I love thinking that God provides the seed that I sow in the spring. So much. Because seeds are things of beauty, you plant this tiny little thing and then you care for it. You nurture it by removing weeds and adding fertilizer, and with time, that seed becomes something truly awesome. In the case of a tomato seed, that one seed can become dozens of tomatoes to be eaten. In the case of a tree seed, that seed can become a tree that lives for hundreds of years and produces its own seeds somewhere in the millions in number.

It is God who provides those seeds.

Seeds can also be used to describe our giving. When we give to a ministry, or give an offering to our church, it is a seed, which God may see fit to multiply as it is put to good use. But first, we have to be willing to sow the seed. Sometimes that can be so hard! Sometimes, as we're looking at expenses, and wanting to give as well, not being a miser can be terribly difficult. When I think about gardening though, if I just hold onto those seeds, what good do they do? You can't eat seeds, they must be given to the earth in order to bear fruit- fruit which can multiply in an unbelievable fashion. So what good does it do to just hold onto money? By sowing a seed into something that tugs at our hearts, we never know if that is going to be the seed that God multiplies in a magnificent way. But wait, let's look at that verse above now.

"And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing"

Now I'm getting excited! The same God who provided that seed in the first place will continue to provide and will multiply our resources for sowing. So according to this word, these verse written in 2 Corinthians, if I step out in faith and sow that seed, God will multiply our resources. So if I go ahead and give that offering to that ministry in need, even if it's only a small seed, God will see that and, according to my Bible, will perform some multiplication on our resources.

And you know what? He's doing just that.

I shared our blessing list the other day and how we're keeping track of the blessings and how God is providing for us. Let me tell you how cool this is. Yesterday morning I had to mail out a payment on something that HAD to be paid. It was difficult for me to do, because it is the end of the month, which means end of the month expenses. If I didn't send this check, we would have just enough to pay these expenses. I really needed to send this check though, so I stood there, debating whether or not to put it in the mailbox, and then decided to go ahead and do it. I simply said "okay God, you figure out how this is going to work, I''ll trust you." Not even two hours later, Andy gets a phone call from someone about a tree job that he will be doing today or tomorrow. It will more than cover that extra check I had to write.

But it gets better.

Just a few hours after that, Andy's boss calls. He was wondering if Andy would be available for a half day of work today. Now, that may not be a lot of money for just half a day, but its something completely unexpected! It also totally blessed Andy, because of all the people in that company, he was the one called to take care of this odd bit of business. That means a lot to Andy and shows the favor that God has placed on him.

We are totally reaping what we have been sowing. In faith, we have given where our hearts felt we needed to give. We agreed together that when God placed on us a desire to give, that we would give and let God provide for our needs. Our faith seems to be deepening every single day, and honestly? Right now I'm getting itchy and excited for any other opportunities to give. Where will that come up? When will it come up? We sow joyfully, and we reap joyfully.

And while I'm talking about sowing money here, I should also add that there are times where we don't have the resources to sow actual money. I don't want anyone reading this to suddenly have regrets about not having physical money to sow, because God sees our hearts. He sees those desires to be able to give, and it's important to remember that sometimes those opportunities come up to give something other than money. We can give our time to help someone do work at their homes. We can give our time to help clean at church, or volunteer at an organization for a few hours. We can also give from our own resources- clothing that isn't being used, groceries from the pantry, or loan someone the use of a vehicle for a few days. There are always opportunities available, sometimes though, we need to ask God to reveal those opportunities to us.

So let's try that in the days to come. As we're coming upon the season of Thanksgiving, let's truly give thanks for what we do have, and ask God to reveal opportunities to share what we have. And then be ready for Him to do some revealing. Because when He does, you'll have your own opportunity to sow some seed, and then watch in amazement as He performs some multiplication.

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