Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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The Law of Sowing and Reaping Pt.3
In the first 2 parts of this study we defined sowing and the purpose of the seed, as well as the purpose of the harvest. In the third part of this study I would like to talk about obedience in giving and how God supernaturally increases our seed. Let's start again with the words of Jesus.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
And again using the Young's Bible Translation.
Luke 6:38 'Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed, and shaken, and running over, they shall give into your bosom; for with that measure with which ye measure, it shall be measured to you again.'
I want to point out that this Scripture is definitely talking about monetary gain and not just spiritual gain. I believe that the law of sowing and reaping applies to both, but in this case it is talking about monetary increase. In the King James translation it says that (men) will give unto your bosom and Young's says, (they) shall give into your bosom. If this were talking about spiritual blessing it would definitely not have said (men) or (they) would give unto our bosom. Because we know as James said … James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
This was talking about us giving and us receiving. You give unto men as unto God and you receive from men as from God but God uses men to bless us in this natural world. This is not only talking about just receiving, but receiving in such a way that it is truly more than we can even handle. It says these blessing would be running over, not only running over but pressed down, shaken, and then running over. This is saying your basket will be so totally and completely full that it can absolutely hold no more, then on top of that it will keep on spilling over the top. In other words, the blessing keep on coming even when all your space for receiving is used up. WOW!! I want to point out something here. Motives are important to God. If you give out of impure motives for selfish gain then you will miss your blessing. The people you are giving to will be blessed but you will not. Let me show you what the Lord Jesus said about giving and motives.
Mark 12:41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43. So He called His disciples to Him and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44. "for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.''
God not only looked at the gift, but at the motive for giving did He not? I truly believe our willingness to give is just as crucial as the gift itself. You can not give a lot if you don't have a lot to give, but your desire to be a blessing is irrespective to the size of the gift when obedience is concerned. God will not tell you to give something you don't have will He? We see throughout the Word of God that when we are obedient we will be blessed. There is a very good reason for this. Obedience brings the will of God to pass. Blessings must be God's will if He wants us to be obedient in the first place, since the outcome of that obedience is blessings, not only financial but in all the areas of our life. Our Father God wants us to be blessed or He would not have told us to be obedient in the first place, would He? If He wants us to be blessed then we should want those blessings that He has ordained for us. Have you ever thought about this in this light? If you don’t want His blessings then you don’t want His will in your life!
Isaiah 1:19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
When I was younger I was praying about a promotion at work. In the natural there was no way. I was the most inexperienced person in the group I was with at this company. I had been praying about this promotion for several weeks when one day the Holy Spirit spoke this Scripture to me and simply said it like this; the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land.
I knew the Scripture, but when I heard it in my spirit I immediately knew what He was talking about. I had been very obedient in the way I handled myself at work, literally outworking all those around me, however I had developed a bad attitude about something that had happened there. Really, something had happened that was out of my control that put me in a bad light, and I had been unfairly associated in with the group that had actually been involved. Haven't we all been there to one degree or another? In this case my obedience wasn’t in question but my willingness at work. I immediately repented and realized the Lord had provide this job, and it was He who was taking care of me. I look to Him as my source, and since I am looking to Him as my source I need to have a thankful attitude as well as do a good job at my place of employment. The very next day I was told that I had gotten the promotion. Looking back on this experience, I realize that this promotion set me on a different path that changed my life. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not have received that promotion if I had not repented and made an adjustment in my attitude. God was preparing me to receive a blessing, and in order to receive it, I had to have my basket cleaned out and not full of the kind of clutter that will keep the God ordained blessings from coming. Our motives and attitude will definitely block our blessings. Our willingness as well as our obedience will both be looked at just as the prophet Isaiah said. Let's look at another Scripture that shows this kind of blessing.
Malachi 3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, `In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. 9. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. 10. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now in this,'' says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. 11. "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,'' says the Lord of hosts; 12. "And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,'' says the Lord of hosts.
Many will argue the legitimacy of tithing in the New Testament but that is not the purpose of this study. I for one strongly believe in it. For now, we are looking at obedience in giving. This is not just talking about tithes only, but tithes and offerings as we just read. God must think this is very serious because He said we are robbing Him if we don’t give. God is throwing down a challenge to us, He said, prove Me now in this, meaning in the giving of tithes and offerings. You can not prove Him if you are unwilling to give in the first place can you? Again we see that He will bless us radically if we give. He said He would pour out a blessing that we would not have enough room to receive. Let me ask you a question. Why would God give us a blessing that we were not capable of receiving? Because He loves to bless big. It not His fault if we not capable of receiving His big blessings. You see only a big giver can be a big receiver. God will not pour out a blessing on you if you are tight fisted. You will only prove that His Word is true, but this will be the negative side of it. You see just the opposite of blessings will happen when you rob God. He will not rebuke the devourer for your sake, the fruit of your ground will be destroyed, your vines will fail to bear fruit in the field, and all nations won't call you blessed. But that is not the way it has to be with us is it? No.
This reminds me of a true story I heard a minister tell one time. He said a certain farmer in his congregation had called him up and told him that the Lord had specifically spoken to him and instructed him to pick out a certain calf and have it butchered for him. The pastor said o.k. and when time came for the farmer to bring the prepared meat over, the pastor realized he didn't have a freezer big enough to handle it all. He later went to the Lord in prayer about it and said Lord why would you have that farmer butcher that calf and give it to me when you knew I didn't have room for all that meat. The Lord replied to him and in essence said, it's not my fault you don't have a freezer big enough. I believe we need to take the time to get before the Lord and get His plans, for when the increase comes and it will if we are willing and obedient, we need to be in a place where we are capable of receiving it. The Lord was teaching this pastor a very big lesson. It should be a lesson for us all. I have seen Christians who say they believe that God doesn't want to bless us financially, yet these very same people will work like crazy and do all kinds of things to gain wealth. I could tell you some very real stories along these lines. If you truly believe that God doesn’t want you to be blessed financially, then you need to stop trying to get wealth from the world as well. Why go to the world's wealth if you think it is not God's will for you to be prosperous in the first place? Wouldn't that be contrary to the will and purpose of God? I can honestly say, thank God it is not! I am not trying to be sarcastic in this, but to make us think about our real motives in these areas. Do we really believe this way or are we just using it as an excuse to be stingy.
God's will for His children is to be blessed and for His children to be a blessing. You can't be much of a blessing if you are not already blessed yourself, that goes for both spiritual and monetary blessings doesn't it? Let me close with this.
2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
Let us purpose in our heart to be the cheerful givers that God has called us to be, and also be ready to reap bountifully because of it. I truly hope you see these Scriptures in a new light now.
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "…and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You won’t cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "… with the heart one believes to righteousness…" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God! Glory to God! Amen.