My gardens are limping along, giving me a few measly tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini while I fight the weather, the slugs, the Japanese beetles and some incurable soil problem. When God said “through painful toil, you will eat” of the ground, he wasn’t kidding. My Grandpa was a farmer, and I saw firsthand the hard work of real farming. The months between sowing seed and harvest were hard work, fretting over the weather, bugs, and disease. The Bible uses many examples of sowing seed and harvest time as illustrations of God’s truth. It goes beyond “you reap what you sow.”
Reaping What You Sow
But let’s start with this well-known example. It comes from Galatians 6:7: “A man reaps what he sows.” When I planted my tomatoes, I didn’t expect to see eggplant on the vines. The same is true in our lives. If we plant sin, we will harvest the natural consequences of them. We can’t expect to harvest a good, spiritually fruitful life by planting seeds of anger, pride, greed, etc. However, if we plant spiritual seeds, our harvest will be joy-filled and productive.
What seeds of a sinful nature do you plant? We all sow something; none of us are immune.
Just like the weeds in our fields and gardens, sin spreads and creeps into the good stuff. Sometimes they even look pretty and we can’t decide if it’s a weed or not. Weeds are deceptive that way! We have to stay on top of pulling them out, otherwise, their roots grow deeper, they produce seeds for even more sin to grow, and spread into neighboring areas.
Make a habit of identifying and pulling the weeds out of your life!
A great companion verse is 2 Corinthians 9:6: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” I bought a packet of wildflower seeds this spring. I planted them all. Why would I have held any back?
The same principle applies to our lives. Jesus has graced us with so many blessings (seeds). Sow them generously! It stems from how open you are to share and give to others. We have a natural inclination to hold things back- to keep some of those “seeds” for later.
Think of the things God has given to you just today. He is such a generous giver! He promises us His gifts of comfort, grace, peace, mercy, strength, joy, wisdom- the list goes on and on! Sow these things lavishly and liberally onto others in your “field” and watch how God blesses you.
God gives us the option to sow as much or as little as we want, so:
How many seeds do you want to plant and nurture for a generous spiritual harvest? What seeds do you hold back? Why?
Harvest of Joy
“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5
So how does that work? They don’t seem to go together, do they? Grief, pain, sickness, great disappointments… Those things cause hurt- physical and emotional.
How do we reap a harvest of joy from these things?
We can’t harvest if we don’t sow, but it’s a hard place to keep sowing. We can get stuck in the circumstances. The psalmist is telling us to sow (reflect God’s glory in our words and actions) while our tears are flowing.
Sowing in tears will bring a harvest of joy when we are faithful. He promises a harvest of blessings for you.
●It may be a stronger, more Christ-like faith.
●It may be an awakening to how He dwells within us, holds us up, provides refuge and strength.
●He may provide new or closer relationships in people who help us through our tears.
● He blesses us with His peace that somehow seems impossible to have in our circumstances but helps us rest. Those blessings bring us joy and hope to get us through those difficult days.
Have you seen His blessings of joy when you have sown seeds in the midst of your tears? Sometimes we have to look back and reflect on those painful times to see how He was there, always by our side.
Planting and Harvesting
The night before my mom suddenly passed away, she planted perennials. Not annuals, perennials. The plants that last for the long haul.
She had no idea she would see Jesus in just a few short hours. She planted them fully intending to see flowers again in the spring. Her perennials grew, made it through the cold winter, and bloomed again. She didn’t see them, but I did.
We too might not always see the fruit of what we sow. Someone else may even harvest what we plant. That doesn’t take away from the need to be continually sowing.
God’s plan calls for some of us to be “planters” and some to be “harvesters.”
Paul talks about the Gospel ministry like this: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” 1 Corinthians 3:6. Paul planted the message of salvation, Apollos helped the new believers grow stronger in their faith, and it was the Holy Spirit who guided them into His truth.
He continues in verse 8: “The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.”
We all have a part to play. We are equal team members but equipped for our own special role by God. God has planted you specifically where you are today for His glory.
Look around you. Are the words, actions, and attitudes you plant reflecting God?
What are you sowing in your family, neighborhood, job, and relationships?
What weeds do you need to pull out?
How is your harvest?
Photo Credit: Kingdom Bloggers
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy reading what qualities a faithful servant has in God’s garden.
19 thoughts on “Seed and Harvest”
I loved this article. God truly does have a purpose for each and every one of us, and some people will have a purpose greatly different than others. I loved the verse included, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow” because it shows that we all have our roles/purposes in life that point to the same thing- God.
He can use each one of us so uniquely! I love how He uses seedtime and harvest to illustrate so many of his truths!
You are so right that all of God’s creation whispers the truth of God’s promises and principles. He did this so that we are without excuse, but also to demonstrate his love and faithfulness. He truly is a great and loving God.
Amen! We just need to intently watch and listen for His loving directions.
Whew, this steps on my toes so often. Weeds sprout up and so often I don’t recognize them until they are chocking out the seeds of harvest. Praying God will weed through my soul today.
What a beautiful thought and prayer Tiffany! I was thinking I need to recognize and pull the weeds when in reality, it is God that convicts me of the weeds that are growing! Some of those weeds might even be still seeds in the ground- I want to “eradicate” them!! I’ll be praying for his vision 🙂
I’m praying that as well! Thanks for reading and for the comment!
What a wonderful study of the seed and harvest! I love the way you have gathered this treasure trove of Scripture passages together and assembled them into a wonderful study to help us understand the importance of tending the gardens of our lives by planting good seeds, sowing generously, relying on God for our harvest, and being faithful to work alongside others in our work. I pray we all will see a rich and glorious harvest in eternity as work for His Kingdom and His glory!
Thank you Cherith! We work in His purpose, and I so agree with your prayer!
Loved this! We definitely reap what we sew. I love the analogies with the gardening I’d love to be able to do that but with my allergies, it’s not worth it. I wish I had more of a green thumb but mine is black. Lol. Great post.
LOL! You’re not alone Angie! I don’t have allergies, but I know they are miserable. God uses your talents and gifts in a mighty way right where you are.
I live on a farm and know exactly what you are talking about. I loved your examples and the always-needed reminder that we reap what we sow whether generously or sparingly.
I can’t imagine fighting the elements on a large scale!! But I loved my grandparent’s farm and spent almost every weekend there. Maybe that’s why God speaks to me through the thread He wove throughout scripture of gardens, seedtime, harvest, etc from Genesis to Revelation!
Gardening is my favorite hobby and God teaches me so much through it! I love this post. It is beautifully written and I can relate to every word!
Me too! Thanks so much for the encouragement Heather!
God really put on my heart how He puts seed in the hand of the sower. This is such a beautiful post! I love that you are a gardner. I wish I had more of a green thumb because I love gardens. ❤
I see his words and truth in so much of His creation. My gardens are my place to commune with Him- can’t wait for heaven when it’s a constant activity! He does give each of us specific seeds and fields to plant in, doesn’t He?
Wow!!! So many truths and fabulous analogies!! Loved this post, Ann. Thank you!
Thanks Cindy! I do love a good garden analogy! He has so much to teach us- it always amazes me!