Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back (Luke 6:38 NLT)
Sowing, the the act of putting seed in place with the expectancy of reaping a harvest from it. An agricultural parallel the Bible uses when talking of the giving of finances, showing of grace, judgement etc. In fact it is used in both a positive and negative sense talking about our interactions with others.
Not to be confused with law or works the summary of this principle is whatever you give will be multiplied back to you. It works. It is a principle stated in many ways outside of the Bible as well and proved by the prosperity of the generous, whether Christians or not.
It is clear that the outcome expected is directly controlled by the input. Your sowing determines your harvest. It is vital then to pay attention to effective outcome influenced sowing.
What you sow. The nature of the seed. Love, joy, peace, hate, judgement and of course money. Many would advocate naming the desired harvest and hope that any seed would produce it. Others get very specific about the detail, sowing a chair to harvest a lounge suite sort of thing. We can be sure though that the nature of the seed will determine the nature of the harvest.
Where you sow. Jesus gives us a good example of what happens when we proclaim His Word, showing how the seed falls in different places that each effect the harvest in some way. This will always be true for much of the seed we sow. When it comes to scarce resources such as our time and money we need to be a lot more diligent about where we sow. Taking the same example we need to be sure that in order to receive the maximum return, all our seed should fall on fertile ground.
This is where things go wrong too often. We look around searching for such ground and see the harvest fields others are enjoying. Unscrupulous men will call us to sow into their ground. Claiming their field to be the most fertile. many promote themselves and their ministries as being successful and call others to sow into their success in order to harvest their own. So much of the valuable and much needed seed is sown into a field already being harvested.
The problem of sowing into a ripe field is that your seed just gets swallowed up in the harvest. The owner of the field is harvesting and at the same time gathering your seed, counting it as his harvest. What seed that does make it into the ground might grow, but you will only see the fruit in his barn. Sure you will be blessed as you sow. Sure you will think of being a partner in the harvest. But????
Who says the soil is still fertile anyway. It may be drained of goodness and about to become fallow.
Fertile ground is where ministry is producing Kingdom fruit. Where God is using people to bring in His harvest. Where the leader of the workers is not seeking His own harvest but concentrating on the Kingdom. Sow into that field where the ground is being worked and cared for and you will see your seed produce fruit and you will share in the harvest.
How you sow.Galatians 6 sums this up wonderfully:
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 (NIV)
Your purpose, your heart, your reason for sowing really determines the nature of the seed, allows the Spirit to show you the fertile ground and when it causes blessing it will bring back that blessing multiplied.