Sowing the Seeds Through Sacrifice

By   •   January 18, 2011

Invest Your Time

These days, almost everyone is short on time. We have more modern-day conveniences than ever, yet we seem to have busier schedules than generations before us. It is easy to fill our lives up with non-essentials to the point that we can no longer tell the difference between essential and non-essential.

This can sometimes give us excuses for not investing our time for the sake of the Gospel. Unless we put our faith into practice–in the form of action–the world cannot see that faith. Even if you have sound doctrine, your faith is not beneficial to the Kingdom of God unless it moves you to action.

Read what James told us about this in chapter 2:14-19 of his letter:

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

It is easy for us to say we’ll go on that mission trip, or go spend some time working on the local project the church is doing at the soup kitchen. But what if there is no organized group activity? Are our hearts in such a condition that we seek out opportunities to do things that are inconvenient for the sake of the Gospel–even when we don’t have the accountability to participate?

Here are some self-examination questions for us to consider:

  • Do I go out of my way to serve the people who cannot do anything for me?
  • When is the last time I did something in the name of Jesus that truly cost me–be it time, money or social status?
  • Do I serve to feel better about myself, or is it done out of love for Christ?

Invest Your Resources

Perhaps this is what comes to mind when most people think about sacrificial giving–resources, or more simply put–money. One of the most popular examples of sacrificial giving in the Bible is the story of the widow’s mite. Luke 21:1-4 sets the stage for us:

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”

It is human nature to feel justified when we mark off things on our “spiritual checklist:”

  • Read the Bible. Check.
  • Pray. Check.
  • Go to church on Sunday. Check.
  • Pay my “dues” in the offering plate or in the mailed envelope to the ministry I support. Check.

Make no mistake–God is honored when we do those things with the right heart. But, are there sacrifices involved when we do them? Rest assured, there is nothing sinful about having possessions. What matters to God is our heart toward our money and our possessions. Do we see them as ours, or as His?

Regardless of how much we give to Kingdom work–whether it is $10 or $10,000–Jesus makes it obvious to us in Luke 21:1-4 that He is most pleased with those who had to sacrifice to give that $10.

What is your “mite?” Are you sowing sacrificially from your resources?

Sow seeds of the Gospel today

Your gift of any size can bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to someone. Will you help?

Invest in Your Own Heart

The greatest thing others need from us is our own personal holiness. We can give out of our wallets until it hurts. We can spend all of our vacation time going on mission trips. However, if our hearts are not pure before the Lord, constantly seeking Him and nourishing our relationship with Him, we are not equipped to be His hands and feet.

Proverbs 4:23 explains this principle very simply: Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.

The most valuable thing we can sow into the world’s soil is the love of Jesus. How present is it in your life? We cannot pass on to others what we do not already possess. Invest in your heart through cultivating purity. This could mean making a stronger effort to be in God’s Word on a daily basis. It may mean inviting others to hold you accountable for your spiritual growth. Perhaps you feel a tug to spend more time in concentrated prayer over a particular matter.

God calls some to go on the mission field. He provides a material abundance to others so that they can give more resources to the Kingdom. But He calls us all to have holy lives–the most effective way to sow seeds of the Gospel.

All Scripture references are taken from the New American Standard Bible.

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37 Comments

  1. Dwight says:

    Thanks you for a message that all of God's children need to hear. Excellent!

  2. kesha says:

    WOW! I really needed this. What is comforting is that you look around and always think you are the only one who is struggling with a certain issue, well I'm glad to see that I'm not alone as I take this journey with the Lord and “Commit thy works unto the Lord and my thoughts shall be established”.

  3. Ann says:

    I needed this. Thank you for giving me a wake up call. God bless you!

  4. Umar says:

    This is also just what I have been praying for!

  5. PREMKUMAR says:

    CONFESS THE WORD, LIVE THE WORD, ACT ON THE WORD. THE WORD OF GOD WILL PREVAIL. GET INTO YOUR CLOSET AND SEEK THE INTIMACY WITH GOD AND SEEK HIS FACE. THE DEVILS STRATEGY IS TO BRING SO MUCH BUSINESS IN THE CHURCH PEOPLE WILL FORGET GOD.THIS IS WHAT GOD IS TEACHING ME.

  6. Cheryl says:

    Amen. God is so good and faithful to help.

  7. Donna says:

    Thank you for this message, I like others have been working with these things in my life. I realized I was not making time to be close to God because I stay so busy and just thus week made a pledge to myself and the Lord that I WOULD designate a time for him each day because I wanted that closeness and guidance! God sacrificed his life for us, so coming out of our comfort zone for him should be “easy”.

  8. William says:

    Good Message, like it…people should not be selfish, we must always try to do o best in helping otherS that are in need…. Because for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, so that whosoever believed in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  9. Deanna says:

    I have felt God telling me to step up and step out to help those in need, I truly want to help those who have been incarcerated and help them to discover the True God of Second Chances, I pray He will help me change the way people look at one another, and not see the criminal but see the person God made in His likeness. Help me be a part of the solution, not the problem. I will stand up for what is right, even if I have to stand alone!

  10. Linda says:

    Definitely a word to pay attention to , it is so easy to become overwhelmed and lose sight of the small everyday things that can make a difference..lets also consider being an encouragement to those we come in contact everyday…whenever and whereever