20 November 2011

Seed Time, Harvest Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot…

There is a universal principle of the power of sowing and reaping…

It works for anyone who uses it, without favourtism or partiality. Throughout our lifetime there are seasons of seed time (sowing) and seasons of reaping (harvests). A season is an unknown time period with a specific purpose ordained by God. There is no greater feeling than the joys of harvest time!

Genesis 8:22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

Every seed is a tiny beginning with a huge future. A tomato seed has a hidden set of instructions on how to grow tomatoes. They are precise, specific and detailed.

The only condition is if the seed has the right circumstances for it to grow. Likewise, our conditions are Faith and total obedience to the Word and specific instructions from God in order for our seeds to grow.

‘Seeds’ are best sown into people. Your love is a seed. Your time is a seed. Your finances are seeds. Your prayers are seeds. You are a walking warehouse of seeds! Change the seeds if you don’t like the harvests you are producing.

Your seed is any gift, skill or talent that God has given you for you to sow into the lives of others around you. The soil is the person you are helping. You need somebody to help you sow the seed you already possess to reap your harvest!

Isaiah 55:10-11 The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

God receives much glory when something small and insignificant becomes abundant and extraordinary. God’s greatest seed sown was Jesus – the Word became flesh. Jesus legacy of three years of ministry in 33AD with 12 average disciples, turned the Roman Empire to Christianity by 312AD! Today, over a billion people confess the name of Jesus as their Saviour.

Harvests can be anything too – financial increase is a harvest, reconciled relationships is a harvest, salvations from friends/family is a harvest, new opportunities is a harvest. A harvest is any person or good thing God sends into your life that blesses you.

You are responsible for your life, your seeds and your harvest, no one else. God’s abundance, open heaven and riches need to go to someone…. why not you? So, what are you doing with your seeds?

The Process of Reaping a Harvest

Matthew 13:31-32 Jesus [said]: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plants; it grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”

1. Planted – Sowing into the House of God, People (Psalm 92:12-13)
2. Death – Dead to self, your agenda (John 12:24)
3. Moisture – Feeding your soil with the Word, Worship, Prayer (Matthew 13)
4. Weeding – Removing sin, cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches (Mark 4:19)
5. Support – Remaining in Christ, fellowship (John 15:4; 7)
6. Pruning – Cutting off things that hinder us, addictions, mindsets (John 15:2-3)
7. Fruitfulness – Harvest time!! (John 15:16)

Growth itself transforms us. We change in shape, attitudes, and priorities as we grow. A seed is a possibility. It is not a guarantee of anything. A seed is potential of a great plant. It has the potential of creating a thousand more plants by becoming fruitful. Cutting things off our life that are hindering us is short term pain, but long term happiness and life!

All of us have been given a garden, a field to tend to. We have a field of souls to harvest. We have a field of ministries to harvest. We have a field of money to harvest. We have a field that will yield nothing to us unless we tend to it.

Still not convinced? How about the seed of the living and active Word of God that was sown into your heart? You now have Jesus. You now have Eternal Salvation. It changed your life forever. That was good seed sown...

EXAMPLE – Isaac’s Harvest

Genesis 26:1-3; 12-14 Now there was a famine in the land … The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live” … Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him…

Harvests come when you sow in the right fields… the House of God. Scripture is clear that those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish (Psalms 92:13-14). There are many churches for us to go to but there might only be one right for you.

Isaac reaped a harvest while sowing in a famine because he was obedient to where God had called him to be. The blessing is in God, not your geography, circumstance, economy or family situation. If you remain in God, He will remain in you.

We have to constantly 1) Remain 2) Dig again and 3) Push through. Don’t let go of God to lay hold of a job, relationship, options. Never underestimate the power of remaining in God. His blessing falls on a person, not a piece of dirt. The only issue you’ll have is not everyone is going to be happy that you’re blessed!

Harvests take hard work, careful discipline, much prayer, great Faith and endless patience to last for years! How many people have enormous potential yet fail to achieve anything? Having potential alone is not going to make you successful.

It’s never natural talent or skill that unleashes full potential. Its discipline, hard work, following sound advice, being teachable, getting organized, planning your work and working your plan.

Galatians 6:7-10 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

God’s Word says we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Get a paradigm shift, nothings impossible with God. If God says He will do something, He will do it. There is nothing more powerful than the word of God. Do good, sow your seeds, be patient and expect your due Harvest!