On January 4, I preached my first messages from the pulpit of Cleveland Baptist Church for 2015. In my study leading up to that first Sunday, I was directed by the Holy Spirit to Galatians 6:7-9. In that passage, Paul talks about the law of sowing and reaping and gives us both the negative side of that law (“he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption”) and the positive side (“he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting”).
Interestingly, the word “corruption” in this text speaks of rotting garbage. When we allow our flesh to dictate our life and allow sinful aspects to overrun us—mark it down—it is like stinking up a life, and nothing stinks worse than rotting garbage. The garbage dump is definitely not a place where I want to live. However, too many people have sown to the flesh and find that they are living on the garbage dump. What sounded so attractive and seemed so inviting has turned ugly and has brought a terrible stench.
The last several years I have read the book of Proverbs through once every month. In that book, sin is dressed up like a provocative woman. She is called a strange woman; she is decadent and appeals to the eye. She is inviting, offering herself and a good time to those that will respond to her. However, as Proverbs 5:4-5 points out, “But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.”
The other admonition that Paul gives us is that sowing to the Spirit is profitable—a person that sows to the Spirit will reap life everlasting. The problem is that our flesh doesn’t like the Spirit; it resists and rebels against spiritual things. That is why Paul makes the statement in I Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
Galatians 6:9 is basically an admonition not to quit in the matter of sowing the right kind of seed. Because there is a period of time between sowing and reaping and there isn’t instant gratification in the realm of the Spirit, it is easy to get discouraged and weary in well doing. Yet we are told to keep on because we will reap if we faint not.
Let me give you a few reasons not to quit sowing the right kind of seed!
- I think I shouldn’t quit because of where I want to be in my life. I need to look at the end of the road! Where does the path I want to travel take me? Things that are inviting up front can end up bringing corruption to a life. Things that are less attractive to the flesh but are promoted by the Spirit, bring joy and gladness when we obey. The end of that path is life eternal. The Bible never speaks of the flesh in good terms; however, the Spirit is always spoken of in positive ways.
- I ought not to quit because of the promise of reaping what I sow! There is the promise of reaping the benefit of what you sow. The law of sowing and reaping is an inevitable law; it cannot be altered—whatever you plant you will eventually reap.
- I shouldn’t quit because of those that are coming behind me. I have too many eyes looking at me. I need to live in such a way that my testimony is clear and I don’t cause others to stumble because of what they see or don’t see.
- I shouldn’t quit because Jesus didn’t quit! He finished His course and despised the shame, but He purchased salvation for us. He now says to run your race and don’t quit!
It is obvious that God is faithful, and He will reward those who are faithful too! I want to hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” As you go through 2015, keep in mind that you are sowing every day. Make sure you are sowing the right things in your life!