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Good morning. Welcome to Good News in the Morning. I am so glad
that you have tuned into the program today. My name is Brent Russett. I am the
Lead Pastor at Sunnyside Wesleyan Church here in Ottawa. I have been pastoring
there for 28 years. One of the things I love to do is show how God’s word that
was written a long time ago, connects with our world right now.
I know that some of you who are
listening have been followers of Jesus for a long time, and I know that others
of you think of yourself as spiritual, but you are not really sure of this
Christian thing, and I know others of you just curious how people of faith
think. I trust that wherever you are on yours spiritual journey, that you will
find this program interesting and informative, and I believe that for those of
you desire it, God can use a program like this to take you another step closer
This morning I want to talk to you
about the principle of sowing and reaping.
Stanley tells the story when he was a teenager about driving home late at night
with a buddy of his from another town. Close to where they were driving they
were constructing a new highway. It was still closed, but they figured, they
would make better time if they went around the barriers and took the new
said it was great. They were clipping along at 60 mph, there was no traffic.
Life was good. But then another car pulled in behind them a chased them down.
They pulled up alongside of them and motioned them over to the side of the
road. Andy pulled over.
guy got out and he told Andy that in just a few miles there was a bridge, but
it wasn’t completed. If they kept on going, like they were going, they would
sail off the end of the bridge and kill themselves.
said, I never told my mom that story. He calls it the principle of the path. If
you keep on driving on the road that you are on, you are going to get to where
that road is taking you. If it is not a good road, you may end up flying over a
bridge, or getting stuck in the mud, or crashing into a rockslide.
you keep on the road you are driving on, you are going to get to where that
road is taking you. That seems really obvious right? Then why do we have such a
hard time putting that into practice. If you keep on driving on the financial
road you are on, you are going to get where that road is taking you. If you
keep on spending more than you make, you can see where that road will take you.
It is true of you emotions. If you keep living in such a way where stress and
conflict, and guilt and fear drain more of your emotions than you have time to
deposit with acts of kindness, and good relationships and time spend doing
meaningful things – in other words if you keep on living in a way where you are
spending more emotional capital than you are depositing, you can see where that
road is going to take you.
true of relationships. If you keep neglecting relationships that are important
to you, you can see where that road is going to take you.
question you need to ask yourself, about a number areas of your life is, What road am I driving on?
way to say the same thing is the language of the scripture passage I am going
to read to you -- You reap what you sow.
Now I grew up on a dairy farm.
Farming 101 says that you reap what you sow. If we sowed corn in a field we
didn’t expect a crop of oats. If we sowed alfalfa in a field we didn’t expect
to harvest wheat. You reap what you sow.
Even those of you who grew up in a
city and know nothing about farming understand this. You reap what you sow.
This is exactly what the word of God says.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
The New living translation puts it
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot
mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.
You intuitively understand that you
reap what you sow. The bible is so emphatic on this point that it appeals to
the character of God. It would go against the very nature of God to reap
something different than you sow. God set the world up so that you get what you
give. It is part of God’s very nature and it is part of the nature of this
So if is so intuitive why does the
word of God bother stating the obvious. Well the reality is many of us try to
reap something different than we sow.
I know people who go out and party
on Friday and Saturday night and then go to church on Sunday and pray for crop
failure. Life does not work like that.
We sow materialism and we reap debt
and stress. We sow selfishness and we reap loneliness. If you sow judgement,
you reap judgement. If you sow mercy, you reap mercy. If you sow faith, you
reap the power of God.
Or another way to look at it is, you
don’t reap what you don’t sow. We fail to sow time with God and so we don’t
reap intimacy with God. We fail sow time exercising, you reap a body that is
out of shape.
Are you sowing now the kinds of
crops you want to reap a year from now, or a decade from now. We reap what we
There are a lot of people who get into emotional binds
because they have not taken note of this principle. A lot of people miss out in
all kinds of blessings as well because they don’t understand how life works.
And I think that maybe Christians
think that they are somehow exempt from this principle. After all, the way we
became a Christian didn’t conform to this rule. We didn’t get out what we put
in. We didn’t get what we deserved. We received mercy instead of justice. We
received grace, undeserved favour, instead of judgement. In other words we
didn’t reap what we have sown.
We also are immersed in a love based faith. One of the
first things that we learn about God is that God is love. In fact if you had to
boil God’s character down to two words it would be holy love. God is love. Some
of us have a hard time accepting his love, but we all know at least in our
heads that God is a God of love. And we did nothing to deserve his love.
We know that we are saved by grace, which means God’s
underserved favour, We are saved by grace through faith, it is the gift of God
not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast.
That is our faith – Grace and love. That is how we
have come to know God. This is right and that is good.
But many people seem to make the jump from there to
the idea that it doesn’t matter what I do – God is loving and God is gracious
God will forgive me. And therefore what I do doesn’t have any real affect. In
other words, the sowing and reaping principle didn’t apply to me when I became
a Christian, so it doesn’t apply to me now – right?
After all, if God loves me no matter what I do, if I
can’t do anything to make him love me any more, and I can’t do anything to make
him love me any less, then it doesn’t really matter what I do. Right?
It is true, that God’s love for you does not depend on
your actions towards God. What you do doesn’t affect God’s attitude towards
you, but it does affect you.
Those of you who have kids,
especially older kids, will get this. I am going to love my kids, even if they
do stupid things. But doing stupid things, has consequences that my love for
them does not save them from.
I went on a police ride along on a
Friday night. On that night, the officer that I was riding with arrested a 14
year old kid for stealing a phone. He took the kid back to his mom. It was
obvious that this boy had a good mom. A mom who loved him. But her love for her
boy, could not save her boy from the stupid thing he did.
God’s love for you does not depend
on your actions towards God. God loves you. But your actions still have
consequences. Even though God loves you, you reap what you sow.
MUSIC – The
Love of God – George Beverly Shea
Remember these verses were written
Galatians 6:7–8 (NIV)
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked for you reap
whatever you sow. 8 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.
Or as the NLT puts it.
Galatians 6:8 (NLT)
8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will
harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please
the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
So what does it mean to sow to
please your flesh or you sinful nature.
Galatians 5:19–21 (NIV)
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality,
impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred,
discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and
envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.
sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction
of the things on that list will be of no temptation to you. Others you will be
very much tempted to sow. Some of these things are things that you do as an individual.
Some of these things happen in within toxic groups that you are in. It is
easier to become part of dissensions and factions in some contexts than it is
whether it is individual or group oriented, you are responsible for what you
sow. And you reap what you sow.
you will notice, you can sow in different ways, but the crop tends to be the
same. Destruction. But destruction comes in different ways. If you are sowing
an “us against them” mentality, - which people do if they are living out
dissensions and factions – that will destroy you one way. It will destroy your
social group. It will destroy people’s trust of you. It will destroy the good
that can come from community.
you are sowing idolatry, well that will destroy you in a different way.
Idolatry is putting something ahead of God. Idolatry will always warp the way you view
life. It distorts what is good and what is important. So you tend to miss what
is important so that you pay homage go the gods in your life. This will destroy
you in a different way.
when you sow to the flesh, you reap destruction. I don’t know if you have ever
sown and carrot seed – but a carrot seed looks nothing like a carrot. An apple
seed looks nothing like an apple tree. Sometimes the destruction that you reap,
looks nothing like the seed that you have sown.
correlation between what you sow in your life and what you reap might not be
immediately obvious either. Like the person who gets betrayed by a friend and
plants a vow, never to trust anyone again. Then they can’t figure out why they
can’t form deep relationships with anyone. They can’t figure out why loneliness
is a predominate theme even when they are with people they like.
the person who judges others for how they look, and they wonder why they have a
problem with self-image.
the person who sows gossip, secret slander. Watch those people, you will often
see how they reap insecurity, and are easily hurt.
seed you sow, may not look exactly like the plant you reap, but you reap what
does it mean to sow to the Spirit.
22 But the fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness
whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will
reap eternal life.
some of these will come easier to you than others. Some of these because of
personality, or environment, will be easy for you to live out. But others of
these will be more challenging.
by the way are by products of the Spirit at work in your life. If you let the
Spirit lead you into the type of life that he wants for you, he will lead you
in these ways. And as you live out these characteristics, they will bring you
question is – what are you sowing? You reap what you sow. Or another way of
saying it, what you sow has consequences either good or bad, but what you sow
you live on a farm, you are hyper aware of the seasons. As a rule, you sow in
the spring, and you reap in the fall. Or in the case of hay, you sow in the
spring, and you reap in a year and three months from when you sowed. Or if you
plant an acorn, it can be a decade before you see a small Oak tree.
is always a time lag between when you sow and when your reap.
you know anything about counseling, you will know this to be true. Often the
problems that we experience later in life have to do with the undealt withproblems that we experienced earlier in life.
How we responded to the good we should have had and didn’t get, or the bad we
got from people who should have been good to us – often creeps up later on in
have some good news for you. The mercy and grace of God goes deeper than
anything that you have sown. Like we started off saying, God loves you – even
if you sow seeds of destruction.
are times when you were sowing those seeds, because you didn’t know better.
There were times when you sowed those seeds because you thought it really
wouldn’t matter. There are times when you sowed those seeds because you just
really wanted to and you gave into temptation.
you have reaped destruction – and you know it. It may take the form of
insecurity, or abandonment issues. It may take the form of walling yourself off
from others. You may feel emotionally drained or you have rejection issues. It
may show up in bitterness of Pride, or rebellion issues. Some of you are very
aware of your own issues, and some of you only have an inkling that there is
mercy of God and the grace of God, wants to deal with even those things. You
have reaped what you have sown, but he wants to deliver you from destruction.
to say I wish there was easy process for this. But in general it involves
repenting for what you did wrong. There is usually a lie you believed about God
or yourself that attaches itself to what you have sown. You need to repent of
the lie and confess the truth. You need to invite Jesus into this process, to
heal your hurts and guide you into what you are called to do.
tell you this, not because I can solve all your issues in a 20 minutes sermon –
but I want you to know that there is hope. But I also want to warn you – it
will save you a lot of pain if you just don’t sow to the flesh.
7 Do not be deceived: God
cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 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. 9 Let
us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a
harvest if we do not give up.
you catch that last verse?
9 Let us not become weary
in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give
is often time lag between doing good and reaping a harvest. And sometimes there
is the temptation to give up before we reap a harvest. Sometimes the temptation
is to give up. I want to urge you not to give up on doing good. The promise is
that we will reap a harvest at the proper time.
people who have sowed prayers for their kids coming to know the Lord, that they
didn’t see a harvest for years. But they were persistent and God was gracious.
I know people who served at the same place for years, and they didn’t see very
much fruit at first, but then they saw so much good – They reaped a harvest
because they did not give up.
morning, I want you to ask yourself, which path am I on? You can ask that or
relationships, or finances, or emotions, or career. If you keep on the path you
are on, you are going to get to where that path is taking you.
there is something deeper going on in these verses. They make us focus on the
question of what path are we on spiritually.
you moving towards God or away from God. Are you pursuing God, or are you
running from God. If you keep to the path that you are on, you will get where
that path is taking you.
You reap what you
sow. You will either flourish spiritually, or you will die spiritually. It all
comes down to what you sow spiritually.
loves you. He loves you no matter what path you are on. But what you do, what
you sow, the path you travel has consequences.
knowthat God wants you spiritually
thrive this year. Will you sow what you need to do that.
Lord, as I’ve
been talking about your word, and a lot of it makes sense why the people –people
of faith, or not—that they will get to where they’re going and they’ll reap what
that people will also consider their spiritual life. And are they sowing in a way
that will allow their relationship with you to flourish?
I pray that
you would allow them to do that. Show them ways to do that.
I pray this
in Jesus’ name. Amen.
And thank you for listening to Good
News in the morning.
This program is on the air by the
grace of God and donations of many faithful people.
My name is Brent Russett, and it has
been a privilege to bring you Good News in the morning.