17-Wealth and Riches – Reap What You Sow

   The Bible is the foundation of all principles.  It teaches us what is right (Jesus’ way) and what is wrong (Satan’s way).  Today, we will look at some of these fundamental principles as it applies to wealth and riches. These are important principles that only a few people have mastered today.  What is this principle?  It is the art of sowing and reaping.

Will Make You Rich

          The art to sowing and reaping — which is a God given principle — will make you rich in abundance, but most of us do not practice it.  It is God’s gift to mankind.  Some nations such as the Jews have mastered this art and are reaping the benefit now.  Others are trailing behind.  Follow me through these facts and I guarantee that at the end, you will see that God wanted you to be wealthy, or have as much as you can handle without falling into temptations that also followed this gift.

Jesus reaffirmed God’s kindness in Matthew 6:32 when he said, “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Most people who are rich will not give up their riches and follow God, because their wealth comes first. You know the experience of the Rich Young ruler. This is why Jesus said in Matthew 19:23, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  Wealth and riches bring many temptations that most humans cannot resist.  The disciple Paul said to Timothy in 1st Timothy 6:9-10,  “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”   It is important to know God first, because many people in their quest to get rich put God second or last in their plans.

I must also reassure you that there are rich, Godly individuals in the Bible:  Solomon, Joseph, David, many Kings were Godly.  Genesis 39:2 said, “The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned.

Be Fruitful and Multiply

          In the beginning, right there in Genesis 1:28, after God created man; it read, God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.  These foods and material things God gave to us for consumption. We are to use them, increase in wealth, and enjoy them; they are gifts from God.

Now look around you, can you identify something with its base material that God had given to us that did not come from the earth or animals?  Books, plastics, cloths all came from plants.  Water, electricity, sound, you name it and it can be traced back to nature — God’s gift to mankind.  The principle of reaping and sowing is more evident in nature.  It is a gift from God that everything we plant with the aim of reaping will multiply.  If you plant a grain of corn, by God’s word multiply, you expect to get not one grain to reap, but hundreds of corn grain. You put in one, and you get out hundreds. This is God’s gift.  This is the principle I would like to teach you. God says you should try it.  If you sow, God will multiply it.  Again, if we plant a small piece of yam, it multiplies and grows into a bigger yam.  Plant an ugly flower seed and it grows and blooms beautiful, radiant flowers.  Sowing, God multiplying, and you reaping come in many of the forms; let’s investigate some of them.

Other Forms of Sowing

          Spending four years in college studying to be a professional (which is the sowing), but when you graduate, you will spend many more than four years working and making an earning (that is the reaping).  The more years spent sowing, the bigger the potential income.  For the singles: you spend a few months or years dating someone (the sowing), and when you tie the knot, that is getting married, you spend a lifetime being married to that person. Clue: if you spend more time dating, you spend longer time being married.  The same principle applies to wealth and health: investing money in a business venture is sowing, and reaping is the profits that multiple from the amount sowed.  Another example is friendship.  In your workplace or at home, if you want to reap some friends, you have to sow some loves and kindness. One five minute of affection and appreciation goes for many days of returned gratitude. There are many other examples where God’s gift of sowing and reaping can be seen in our lives.  Each one reflects and action of sowing, multiplying, and reaping.

Abstention Opposes God’s Command

          The act of destruction and abstention opposes God’s principle, command, and gift to multiply.  Remember he commanded us to “be fruitful and multiply..” If we do not act so as to realize the verb to be, we oppose or abstain from God’s gift. Look at this story told by Jesus in Matthew 25:20. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received the one talent came.’Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 

“His master replied, ‘you wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more and he will have abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'” 

If you noticed in the example, the one that did nothing was destroyed.  If we are not doing anything with our lives, we will meet the same faith at this person.  Or if it is not happening to you now, it will soon happen.

Why I am So Poor

          God will punish those who do not appreciate the gift that he has given to us. Do you frequently ask the question, “why am I so poor?”  Well the answer to this question is in the story of the talent. If you don’t get up off the couch and do something, God will take the opportunity and insight from you and give it to others:  the investors, the most educated, the rich and wealthy.  No wonder it is said, the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer.  Being poor and being in “outer darkness” are evidence the principle of sowing and reaping not being applied in your life.  Through God’s grace and His mercy, I am here today mentioning this principle to you; now its up to you to do and be wise.

So, the principle is simple: if you need love, you must show love and kindness; if you need more knowledge, you must spend the time and read and study; if you need more friends, you must be friendly to others; and if you need more money, you must invest your time and effort in money making ventures.   Imagine wanting to reap corn, but sowing orange instead.  You must sow money to get money.  Also, having a job (i.e. being employed) is a form of sowing, and getting paid is reaping what you sowed.  If you stop sowing (stop working), then you would also stop reaping (stop getting paid).  By continuing to go to work the next workday after a payday, you are following the principle of continued sowing and reaping.

Techniques in Sowing and Reaping

          Now there are different techniques that are involved in the art of sowing and reaping.  First, let’s look at sowing:  not everything you sow will grow, but the big thing is, you expect it to grow.  Notice the parable of the sower told by Jesus in Matthew 13:3 saying, “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop–a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”. Do you notice the number of time and places the seed went?  This is the effort it takes to sow a seed, but also notice the result at the end.  Eventually some seed fell on good soil, and those produce far more than what was loss in the bad soils.  God’s gift is good. He multiplies it, a hundred fold.  The parable teaches more than one thing; however, it also teaches us about sowing.

We must hold the story of the parable in our mind when we sow: beware of thieves and opportunist who are like the fowls that eat up the seeds you sow.  Be mindful of bad investments and business venture were your effort can lodged on stony ground and will get you discourage and going nowhere.  Here, you need more planning and better insight similar to the seeds that need more earth to grow.  Beware of conflicting business interest and wicked business partners. They are like the seeds among the thorns.  However, the effort will eventually pay off.  Continue to sow and try more than one venture just like how the sower scattered the seeds.  Some will fall on good soil and those will yield more than the ones you loss.  The question to you now is, “how many investments are you working with today?”  If the answer is one — a job, then when the crop is out, that is you loose your job, you will suffer some hardship if you did not store up some grains in the barn (i.e. savings in the bank).

Nurture Your Investment

          In closing, I must advise you to spend time and study this principle of sowing and reaping.  This is how God has provided for us.  He gave us the resources and the command to use them; he also gave us the method to follow. If we follow it, he guarantees us a gift by multiplying what we sowed.  The gift is sitting there for you to take it, if you don’t the gift is still there, but someone else will benefit from it.  So, when you invest, do like how a farmer would do: prepare the soil, plant the seeds, water the plants, care for the plants, and reap the harvest.  Remember, if you are not resourceful, how can you meaningfully help others that are in need.  Put yourself in the position to help the poor and the needy by being wealthy.  I leave you with a word taken from 2nd Corinthians 9:9-12, as it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

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