Tag Archives: harvest

EFFECTIVE SOWING

sowing

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.

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HARVEST

reap

The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! (John 4:36 NLT)

Aah yes! Harvest. That thing that so many of us are working towards, pressing into, declaring.

Harvest. Finally the fruit we have been waiting for. Joy and blessing in abundance. Celebrations unequaled.

The whole concept of harvest is a major New Testament theme, central to the Kingdom, yet so often misunderstood. Preachers of the Kingdom life often use the term freely in their quest to encourage their hearers to be Kingdom minded, to grasp the things of the Kingdom, to experience the Kingdom here and now. Sadly the end result is far from what is taught by Jesus. The principles of sowing and reaping in our personal lives emphasized to the point where true Kingdom harvest is forgotten.

And so too many miss out on this abundance that God has on offer.

Kingdom harvest is about one thing only – bringing people to eternal life.

The principles of sowing and reaping do stand. However this is not a crop we have planted. It is not a harvest grown from our seed that we sow. This is a crop that has sprung up out of the incorruptible seed that died and was buried. This is God’s own seed that He gave and from which has come forth life.

The harvest therefor belongs to the Lord. Jesus calls Him the Lord of the Harvest.

It is not a harvest we work for, says Jesus, but a harvest in which we share by grace. It is however a harvest that we are called to work in. We are taught to ask the Lord to send us out to be a part of bringing it in, to work as harvesters who have had no previous activity in bringing the crop to a point of readiness. The harvest is there for the reaping just waiting for us to step in.

It is not a harvest that meets our needs but a harvest that glorifies its Lord. The angels celebrate, all heaven rejoices and the trees of the fields clap their hands with each swing of the sickle. The Kingdom celebrating each person brought in.

And we the workers go out in joy. The joy of the Lord being our strength and our portion. His joy at each salvation shared with us. The pure pleasure of  seeing the lost found, the prodigal returning, the dead rising and the blind seeing. The eternal gratification of having been used by God for the fulfillment of His purposes. The privilege of taking people by the hand and bringing them into the presence of God. Salvation belongs to the Lord but He lets you do it.

The reaper sharing the joy of the sower as if it was our own harvest to rejoice in. Our wages paid without fail. Blessing upon blessing.

Let us look around. Look at the world and begin to see true Kingdom possibility. People all around us just dying to be saved. The Seed planted and the age prepared for every knee to bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. See in this depraved world a harvest white with readiness.

And pray the Lord of the harvest will send in workers to bring it in. Make yourself available for Him to use. Jump up and down in front of Him shouting your willingness out to Him. Your prayer not that others will do it, but that He will use you.

Shout out the availability of your finances. Give that the work can be funded. Give it unto the Lord. Let Him use it. Give to those that go. Feed the preachers. Put shoes on those that walk to the far end of the fields. Take care of the families that camp out in the fields. Make sure those who go have no cares or burdens.

Shout out the testimony you have. Be as the sun to the sunflower making the heads of the lost turn towards you that they might see Jesus and be plucked into His grace.

Shout out your time. Use every moment ensuring that none are lost due to your slothfulness. Catching each ripe soul before it rots.

Shout out your authority. Intercede. Pray for protection and strength to ward off the thief who tries to steal the harvest.

Walk out into the harvest. Parade yourself in the fields as sons of the owner. Picking each one as if it was your own. Urging others on to work while there is time.

True harvest. Kingdom harvest. Lasting harvest. Swing the sickle for the Harvest is ripe.

OH WHAT JOY WE SHARE!!!!

 

 

 

 

Psalm 20 – Victory party

When you win, we plan to raise the roof and lead the parade with our banners.

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What can I get out of it? How will I benefit? What will God do for me?

Self interest has been the downfall of man since Eve took advice from a serpent. It is what makes a person miss the mark. It is what drives and motivates most people.

The teachings of God’s Word tells us that when we turn to God by believing in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, this ends. We turn away from self. In fact our confession is that we have died to self. That self is buried with Jesus. It is no longer I that lives but He………..

Why then is so much of Christianity still focused on self gratification. People seek out churches that bless them, suit them, do what they like. Going to church to get blessed. Listening to preachers that bless them. It is about my healing, my prosperity, my blessing. Many travel great distances and go to great lengths to get something for themselves.

Even in giving many are only doing so in order to get. Making deposits into their heavenly account. Sowing for their harvest. Start a ministry that dispenses blessing and see people flock to it. Stretch out your hand and speak blessing and see the deposits in your bank account. Preach stuff that excites and promises gain and watch the cash pile up at your feet. Not really to bless you but to purchase blessing for the giver.

Start an evangelical ministry, invite helpers and see how you work alone. Step out to preach the Gospel, look for support and some might pray for you. People are not so generous if they are not going to get something back, not so quick to attend if they might have to do something.

Sound familiar?

Yet that is certainly not the heart of God. The love Jesus teaches lays down its own life for the sake of others. The motivation for Christian life is to glorify God through working His works in the life of others. Following Jesus is not in order to gather blessings when He sees us but to get others to see Him as we touch their lives.

Faith is not about getting. It is about giving. When I no longer seek on my behalf but on His. When it is no longer for my benefit but for,the benefit of others.when the harvest I sow into is yours. When your giving is for the spreading of the gospel because your heart’s desire is the salvation of all men. When ministry is not for the blessing of the saints but the seeking, the reaching out to, the drawing in of the lost.

The angels have a party in heaven everytime one soul is saved. The cloud of witnessess cheer as Jesus heals and sets free. Satan might roam the earth looking for people He can decieve but Jesus came to seek and save the lost.

What are you doing?

Psalm 8 – You!

GOD, brilliant Lord, your name echoes around the world.

Norman preaching

Two New Testament commissions”. GO MAKE DISCIPLES and BE MY WITNESSES.

The first is through the Word and the second is by His Spirit.

The authority of God transferred to your mouth and the power of His presence installed in you.

The perfect echo maker.

How many will read this and immediately shout Amen? Glory! Hallelujah! Yes Praise God.

And then sit back waiting for others to do it. How many will say it’s not their calling? How many will say it is not in their nature? How many are too shy and nervous? How many look to their Pastors and other leaders to do it on their behalf?

And yet these commissions are not given to just a few. They are given to all. The gifts of the Spirit may vary and the gifts to the church may differ but they serve one purpose. To form and build up a body that will carry it’s head in the world.

Again and again it must be remembered that the echoing of His name in all the earth does not have it’s source in man. Man does not initiate or define the sound, that comes straight from God. It is His brilliance, His Glory, His power, His love, His grace. It is He who is so magnificent that He continues to bounce His reflection, echo His Name off man.

Man needs no human qualification. Man needs no human authority. Man needs no recognition from other men. No special calling, no special gifts, no personal revelation, no spiritual growth, no courses, God cannot use any of those things to His glory unless God can use the man.

God wants YOU!

Many people don’t know where to start. They need instruction. Well Jesus has given you all the instruction you need. He gave a new commandment that summed it all up. LOVE THE LORD YOU GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART.

The one who does this will, without any prompting, begin singing the praises of God. His Word will be in your heart and on your lips. His authority will glow around you as you bask in the love relationship. Having the Word dwelling in you is not as much for personal growth as it is to live it out before the world.

AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF. How can you look at your neighbour, see him lost, see him sick, see him in bondage and leave him like that when you are filled with the power to change and save his life. Being filled with the Spirit is not as much for your personal enjoyment as it is to be able to echo God into the lives of those you love – all men everywhere.

There are evangelists, church planters, doers of good works who go to the ends of the earth focusing on spreading the Gospel. There are preachers and ministers of grace who teach. There are those who dedicate their lives to the healing of the sick and working the miracles of God, but only you can echo His name where you are.

How loud is the echo of His name off your life? Do those around you know what you believe? Do you allow Him to live through you? Do those in your proximity experience grace and love and power when you are around?

How loud is His echo in your neighbourhood? Are you part of the local church? Do you add yourself to be used as part of the body? Active in the ministry of the church? Serving the community?

How far can the  echo be heard? Are you going to the ends of the earth in person, through prayer and by financially supporting ministry that does?

God wants you. You are strategically placed and equipped to be the perfect echo.

Psalm 7 – Reap what you sow

God is already in action- Sword honed on his whetstone, bow strung, arrow on the string,
Lethal weapons in hand, each arrow a flaming missile.
Look at that guy! He had sex with sin, he’s pregnant with evil. Oh, look! He’s having the baby-a Lie-Baby!
See that man shovelling day after day, digging, then concealing, his man-trap down that lonely stretch of road? Go back and look again-you’ll see him in it headfirst, legs waving in the breeze.

seed

It’s all about the seed. You can dream, you can prophecy, you can proclaim any harvest you want to but you will only harvest according to the nature of the seed you sow.

The quantity of seed will determine the size of the harvest. The sowing will determine the quality of the harvest. The nature of the seed will determine the nature of the harvest.

There is a lot of talk about “your” harvest. I hear people everyday speaking about their harvest. It does not help that you concentrate so much on the harvest but pay no attention to the seed.

What you sow you will reap.

The harvest is ripe. It is time for it to be brought in. The thistles were not uprooted but harvested together with the wheat. On the threshing floor the harvest will be sorted and only the wheat will be kept. The rest will be thrown in the fire. The Lord of the harvest will be watching carefully as the workers bring it in, ready to cut out and destroy the smallest weed.

Does this upset your understanding of grace? Is this fear mongering? On the contrary it is the perfect picture of grace. It is ensuring peace. It is protecting the harvest.

The harvest is not the end. It is the beginning. It is the starting point of the finished product. When the harvest is brought in the best is selected to be processed into the finest products. By grace it is perfected. By grace it is pure. By grace the imperfection has been removed. By grace the corruptible has been transformed.

The grace of God does not allow unrighteousness to enter or remain in the Kingdom. Grace protects the Kingdom and protects the righteous. The earth that the righteous will inherit will be after the impure and unrighteous have been removed.

On the one hand be moved by sorrow as you know the fate of those who sow unrighteousness. They will reap unrighteousness. The violent will reap violence. The racist will reap discrimination. The sinner will produce more sin. The oppressor will reap oppression. Have a holy fear for them as they are headed for the fires of Hell. Instead of gloating and speaking their fate, use every moment to persuade them to change their seed.

The plant produces seed based on it’s own nature. You can only sow out of your nature. Out of what’s in your heart. For the unrighteous to change their seed they must have a change of heart. A heart after unrighteousness will produce seed that will have a harvest of unrighteousness that leads to death. The heart that is after God will produce a seed that cause a harvest of the nature of God and leads to life.

So change the harvest by changing the seed. Change the seed by changing the heart.

On the other hand you should praise God for being such a perfectionist at harvest time. Praise Him for removing the evil and unrighteous from among you. Praise God for bringing you into His most Holy presence where you live forever separated from unrighteousness. Praise God that you are born of an incorruptible seed that produces exactly what God chose to harvest.

Always looking at the harvest can make you build false expectations. Concentrating on the seed though will give you confidence for the harvest. The supernatural harvest will only come out of the supernatural seed