Joyce Meyer - Sowing And Reaping The Principles Of Life
Welcome to "Enjoying Everyday Life." We're so glad that you've joined us today, and I've got something really special on my heart today that I want to share with you. So, I just want to start by taking a little tiny survey.
How many of you would like, let's say, more encouragement in your life? Me too. How many would like more people to offer to help you? See, wow. How about would you like a little more mercy when you make mistakes? How about patience?
How many of you would love for people to be more patient with you, maybe, you know, like if you don't understand something right away or you're not moving as fast as they'd like you to? How many would like them to say, "Don't worry about it, everything's fine." See, my husband's like that. He's like, "Don't worry about it, everything's fine." I'm like, "Hurry up. Let's go, let's go."
Who would like more money? Yeah, whoo! I knew we wouldn't have any problem with that one. How about kindness, you really would just love it if people would be a lot more kind to you? You know, there's some kind of snippy people in the world, isn't there?
It's really bad when you run into a mean christian. I really don't like that. And then last question I'll ask is, how about love? You'd just really like to have more genuine, real, pure love coming your way? Okay. And I would just imagine that everybody watching by television would probably say yes to all those things too.
Well, you know, there is a way to get all of those things that is 100% guaranteed to work. So, now I'm sure that I have your attention, correct? "Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by his precepts being set aside.)"
So, boy, if you really would take that apart and think about what he's saying, he's pretty much saying, you know, now you really need to pay attention to this because there's no way that you're gonna kind of slide by this one and just pretend like it's not there.
You know, sometimes when we read things in the word or we hear a good message about something, we kind of like to maybe think, doesn't apply to us or there's some good reason why we can't do it right.
Now, everybody else, of course, should do it but we've got a reason. But he's saying, don't even think that this is one that you can set aside. "He inevitably deludes Himself who attempts to delude God. For whatever a man sows", whatever, whatever...
So, that takes in anything that you want to think of. When we talk about the principle of sowing and reaping, we're not just talking finances. It works in finances, of course, but that's not the only area where there's spiritual law. You know, when something is a law, it's gonna work that way every time.
It's not something that works part of the time. How many of you know the law of gravity works every time? So, I mean anytime if I want to throw my Bible up in the air, it's gonna come down, and this law of sowing and reaping works every time. Whatever a man sows, that and that only, is whatever he will reap. So, this basically means that this works in every single area of our life.
Now, let me just say that if I make a mistake and I do something that I shouldn't, I've sown a seed. We know God's merciful and long suffering, and I don't think that we always get a bad result for every bad seed that we sow, but I do believe that anything that we sow regularly and habitually we can expect to reap a harvest that we're not going to really like.
So, sowing, you know, you put your seed in the ground and it takes a while for the harvest to come up. So, I think sometimes what happens is let's just say we sow a good seed, but we don't get a harvest, we don't get a harvest, we don't get a harvest. And so then sometimes we just kind of throw the whole thing out the window.
We stop believing because we think, well, you know, this isn't working. And what you should do is sow a good seed, and then sow another good seed, and then sow another good seed, and another good seed so when you start getting a harvest, you're gonna get a pretty consistent harvest because you've continued to put good seed in the ground.
And likewise, I think a lot of times if somebody sows a bad seed, let's say they're being judgmental and critical towards somebody else. I know none of us have any problems with that, but let's just say somebody watching out there today has a problem with that.
So, I wonder how often we talk bad about somebody and then maybe 6 months later, we hear that somebody's talking bad about us. And now we're all mad at them and we might even say, "You are gonna reap what you've sown," but probably we're reaping on what we've sown at some other time in our life.
So, this waiting for the harvest, I think, sometimes can get us into a little trouble because we either forget that we sowed a bad seed or we give up on our good seed.
Now, I'm about to do the only amount of gardening that I probably will ever do in my whole life but here it goes. Got some gardening gloves today. What do you think? Okay, got my gardening tool here. Now, got dirt, soil.
Now, how many of you know that if I plant carrot seeds that I am not gonna get flowers? You aware of that? Are you pretty sure that if I plant carrot seeds, I'm gonna get carrot seeds? I mean how sure are you? Convince me. Are you really sure? So, see, we know that. We get that.
And here's cabbage. So, how many of you know that if I plant cabbage, there is no way for me to get tomatoes if I plant cabbage. That's not gonna happen. Likewise, I got some flowers here. Now, if I plant flowers, i'm not gonna get a tree, I'm gonna get flowers.
And so, we see this principle at work in the earth and the Bible says in Genesis that as long as the earth remains, there will be seedtime and harvest. In the very beginning of the book, he instituted that principle and we see it all over the earth but it works spiritually also.
And I honestly believe that God put this on my heart to share today because some of you could radically change your life if you would understand this principle and just start saying, "I just need to sow better seed and I need to sow it consistently."
Now, I'm really excited about this sowing and reaping principle and I'll tell you why, and I think you will be too if you see this. I believe that this gives us a certain measure of control over our lives. I kind of like control of myself.
Matter of fact, I like it so much, God's had to deal with me about it. But we know God's sovereign and really without Him, we don't control anything but when He gives a principle and says, "Now, if you operate by this principle, you do this, this is gonna happen," then it is giving us a measure of control in our lives because that's saying, now, if you do this, this is the result you're gonna get, and if you do this, this is the result you're gonna get.
And so, I really should be smart enough not do the bad stuff and consistently do the right stuff. I even think that this is a great thing for a believer to just even test. I think it'd be fun to just play a little game with God and say, "Okay, I just want to see if I can get more encouragement by sowing more encouraging seeds."
And then just set yourself to make sure that you encourage somebody several times a day and just do it consistently, consistently, consistently, consistently and if I'm gonna believe the Word of God, then I have to stand here and say, "I believe that in due time, I will find that that harvest will start coming back to me."
So, let us not lose heart and grow weary in doing what's right, but let's keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up.
Now, in Galatians 6:8 it says, "If you sow to the flesh, you'll reap from the flesh ruin, decay, and destruction. But if you sow to the Spirit, you'll reap from the Spirit life and life eternal."
So, another really simple way to say that is I've got two ways I can live. I can either do what I feel I'm not gonna like the results. Or I can do what I know is right. I can do what I really believe that God would approve of and then I'm gonna reap life and life eternal but that's not just talking about a trip to heaven.
You know, I want to have a real life while I'm alive here on the earth and eternal life means life as God has it. It's not just a breathing life but it's the kind of amazing life that God offers us. Now, this works in so many areas. Let's just take mercy.
Matthew 5:7 says, "Blessed," and this is what the word "Blessed" means, "(happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous... with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions). Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy!"
Sowing and reaping. How many things, instead of making a big deal out of it, should we just say, "I'm just gonna let that go. I think I'm just gonna let that go." And I thought yesterday about the scripture about how love covers a multitude of sins. And, you know, that's showing mercy.
When we could make a big deal out of something, but instead we decide to just be quiet about it. I don't know, you know, maybe Dave leaves the light on in his closet and I'm tired of turning the light off in his closet, but I always have to tell him that he left the light in his closet on again and again.
But what if I would just turn it out and say, "God, I'm a sow a good seed"? I'm a be merciful here 'cause I don't like it when people are hard on me. And then my goodness, Matthew 6:14 and 5, this whole forgiveness thing.
I wonder how many Christians watching right now are mad at somebody or offended. It's the same thing, you know? The Bible says, "Leave it, drop it, and let it go. Leave it, drop it, and let it go." That's the amplified translation. I love that. Just drop it, leave it, let it go.
I've had Dave say a few times to me, "Would you just let it go? Will you just get off that and just let it go?" And that's exactly what God wants us to do.
Matthew 6:14 and 15, "For if you forgive people their trespasses their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their trespasses their reckless and willful sins, leaving them, letting them go, and giving up resentment, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses."
Now, to be honest, this is a scripture that we probably don't teach on enough because we really always just talk about the mercy side of God and the forgiveness side of God and that, you know, God always forgives.
And I believe that God starts the ball rolling with forgiveness and I'll explain what I mean by that. When you want to come into a relationship with God, all sin is dealt with at that moment. Freely, by His grace, you're forgiven. But then God also wants to teach us how to live. And so, He always wants us to take what He's given us and give that back out to other people.
So, if I'm taking all this mercy from God but I won't be merciful to anybody else, and if I'm taking all this love from God but I won't love anybody else, or if I'm taking all this forgiveness from God but I won't forgive anybody else, I mean we could go to Matthew 18 right now.
We don't have time to, where a man demanded that somebody pay him back what they owed him and it was a little tiny bit compared to what he owed to somebody else and yet he wanted to be forgiven his debt while demanding that this other person pay their debt. And the master said, "You will be in prison till you pay your debt."
Well, I wonder how many Christians are in a spiritual prison where they have no freedom, they have no liberty, they have no joy, they have no peace. They're going to church all the time, they may read their Bible, they may give into the offering, but they're still not forgiving, or being merciful, or doing some of these other things and it hurts us.
It hurts us. It doesn't even matter if the person that hurt you, they could not even want your forgiveness and from your standpoint, you're still wise to give it 'cause that way it sets God free then to deal with them. And to be honest, this scripture, I don't know what to say about it except just to read it to you 'cause I mean I'm not real crazy about it either.
I'd like to find some way to wiggle out of this "If you do not forgive their trespasses their reckless and willful sins", that means they did it on purpose, it wasn't even an oops. "If you don't leave them, let them go, and give up the resentment, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses."
Now I don't know, maybe some doctrinally smarter person than me will come along and say, "You're not teaching that right," but that's what it says. And this is taken out of this, by the way. And then we can get into just financial blessings.
When I said, "How many would like more money?" Man, nobody hesitated at all. Some of the others, you hesitated on briefly. But nobody hesitated on that. Well, you know, God has a real special heart toward the poor. I mean, God loves everybody equally, we know that but He really, He's got a soft spot for people that are really underprivileged and hurting, and don't have their needs met.
And He expects us to help them. It's our job to help them, that's one of the main things that a christian should be doing if they're gonna show the fruit of their spirituality is to help people.
Proverbs 19:17 , "He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given," He, he being God, "Will repay him." Anything that we do to help the poor, and the poor really can be anybody who has less than you do.
And can I just say that everybody that you give to doesn't have to be desperate? Sometimes a person might need the blessing even more than they need the thing that you're Proverbs 11:17 says, "The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself."
So, really, you're helping the poor but you're actually helping yourself more than you're even helping the poor person because you've gotten into this area of sowing and reaping. "The merciful, kind, and generous man benefits himself for his deeds return to bless him," sowing and reaping.