I was born and reared on a small farm in North Carolina, where we had dairy cattle. Every morning I would get up early to do the milking, and then in the afternoon I’d come home from school and milk those same cows. My father planted corn in the spring to get enough feed for the cattle during the wintertime. Every fall we harvested.
The Bible has a great deal to say about sowing and reaping. First, we must sow to reap. All walks of life have sowing and reaping. Lawyers and doctors and scientists and professors spend long years in study. You reap excellence if you sow effort, but you have to sow to reap.
We read in Jeremiah 4:3, “Break up your fallow ground …” In Psalm 126:6 we read, “He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.” Evangelism is like that. We are to go out and sow the seed of the Word of God; then we will come in, bringing sheaves. Hosea 10:12 says, “Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord.”
It is time to seek the Lord. Many of your lives are in pieces. You are all mixed up; you are confused. You need Christ to put your life together again.
Second, if you sow, you will reap. The Bible says, “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7) and “Be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).
I heard a story about a man who told his son, “Don’t go into that watermelon patch. The melons aren’t ripe yet.” Then the father drove into town. The boy went out to the watermelon patch and found one melon that he knew was ripe. He pulled it, broke it over some rocks and ate it. He knew he had done wrong. He knew he had disobeyed his father, but he hadn’t been caught.
Several weeks passed. As the father was driving a cow up from the pasture, he saw a strange thing on the other side of the fence. He saw little watermelon sprouts by some rocks. He dug by the new plants and saw the old rinds with seeds sprouting. He knew what had happened. The boy was caught.
The Bible teaches that Satan is a great deceiver. God is Lord of the universe, but there is also a force of evil in the universe called Satan, who is also called the devil. The Bible warns us in Galatians 6:7-8: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.” If we sow to lust and drugs and alcohol and all of these things, we are going to reap corruption. In Proverbs we read, “A wicked man … devises evil continually, He sows discord. Therefore his calamity shall come suddenly; Suddenly he shall be broken without remedy” (Proverbs 6:12, 14-15).
God knows the thoughts and the intents of our hearts. All of us have sinned, and we all need the mercy of God. That is why Christ came and shed His blood for our sins. He died on the cross and rose again. God loves us in spite of all our sin, and He will forgive us if we come by faith to His Son, Jesus Christ, confessing our sin.
Cain killed his brother Abel because he was jealous of him. But then he said, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.”
Samson fell by lust with Delilah, and the Philistines put out his eyes. Haman erected a gallows to hang Mordecai, only to be hanged on those gallows himself. Daniel was thrown into the lions’ den, but God shut the lions’ mouths and they didn’t hurt Daniel. The next morning when the king ordered the accusers of Daniel thrown into the den, they were killed by the lions.
Whatever a man or woman sows, he or she will reap. That is a law of nature, and it is the law of God.
Third, we will reap what we sow. Job 4:8 says, “Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.”
We see people every day who have been sowing wrong deeds–lust, jealousy, lying, drinking too much, taking drugs, shoplifting or cheating on their income tax. Some people live by the philosophy that you can sow your wild oats all week and then go to church on Sunday morning and pray for a crop failure. But Scripture says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13). Notice we have to confess and forsake our sins. Then we will receive mercy.
But we can’t think, as many people do, that going to church on Sunday is enough. Opening the Bible to read a couple of verses during the week or nodding toward God with a little prayer during the day is not enough. We think we are all right, but we’re not.
The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). There is a high price to pay for low living, and sin is no respecter of persons. The only way for sin to be taken away is at the cross.
Fourth, ignorance of what you are sowing won’t keep you from reaping. Leviticus 19:19 says, “You shall not sow your field with mixed seed.” The devil sows tares. That is his business. The Word of God is proclaimed, then the devil comes along and sows tares.
There is a devil; there are demons; they are real; they are dangerous. Jesus said, “He who sins is of the devil” (1 John 3:8). All sin originates with the devil. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).
We can live a Christian life only with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes into our hearts when we receive Christ. He lives the Christian life through us and produces the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. No one can live the Christian life on his own. If we try to do it by ourselves, we will fail. Satan is too strong. The devil is after all of us daily. That is why it is important to read the Bible every day. When Jesus met the devil and the devil tempted Jesus, it was a real temptation. He tempted Him to turn stones into bread and feed all the hungry people. Jesus could have done it, but He was here to take people to heaven, to give them eternal life. And He could do that only by going to the cross and taking their judgment and their hell. From the cross He was saying, “I love you. I love you, whoever you are.” He would have died on that cross if you had been the only person in the whole world. He loves you. You are important to Him.
The Apostle Paul said, “God … commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has [chosen]” (Acts 17:30-31). Jesus Christ is Savior, but someday He will be Judge. He came in order to defeat Satan in your life if you will let Him. Are you going to yield to God, or are you going to yield to the devil? The devil makes a lot of promises. He will promise you everything in the world if you will follow him and bow down to him.
But the Bible says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). When you come to Christ, you have a power within you that is greater than the power of the devil. That power is the Holy Spirit.
Fifth, you will reap more than you sow. “They sow the wind, And reap the whirlwind” (Hosea 8:7). Have you ever seen a hurricane or a tornado? The wind starts with a gentle breeze. The clouds gather, and the wind picks up.
In John 4:36 we read, “And he who reaps receives wages.” The things that you are sowing now as a young person or a middle-aged person, you will reap when you get older. Then you will ask, “Why didn’t I change the direction of my life?”
Do you know Christ? “He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:8). Come to Christ. Let Him forgive your sins. He arose from the dead. He is alive. He has His arms wide open for you, and He wants to tell you, “I love you. I forgive you. I give you eternal life.”
Are you sure that you know Christ? If there is a doubt in your mind or heart that you really know Christ, ask Him into your life now.