Author: Daniel Veenhuis - Lead Pastor
The Bible talks about sowing and reaping a lot, and it talks about a harvest even more. Today, I want to pose a question to you. Are you sowing for a harvest?
Do you want to reap a harvest in your life, whether it’s naturally in finances or spiritually in salvations and souls won for the kingdom? Think about your life to see if you are really sowing for a harvest, or if you are sowing for something else.
If you aren’t sowing for a harvest and especially a harvest in the kingdom, I want to challenge you to begin to start sowing into a harvest today.
I first want to talk about sowing and examine what it is and why people do it.
If you know the basics of farming, you’d know that sowing is basically throwing seed into the field. Why do farmers sow? To reap a harvest.
Now there at are a few things I’d like to clarify from the beginning, so that everyone’s on the same page, especially for those who did not grow up on a farm.
To begin, farmers sow $1,000 of seed in a field, not to harvest $1,000 of crop. Farmers sow $1,000 of seed to reap $10,000 or more worth of crops.
Second, farmers do not expect to reap a harvest right away. Farmers know their seed will take time to grow, and they must be patient in order to receive their harvest, but that it will be worth the wait.
Third, farmers know that for their seed to grow it must be planted in fertile ground, watered, and nurtured, to reap the best harvest possible.
First, I want to go over sowing and reaping in terms of our actions and the spiritual aspects and repercussions of it, then I am going to finish off talking about the financial kingdom principles of sowing and reaping.
The Bible talks about sowing and reaping a lot. Let’s quickly read a few verses and then jump into it.
Galatians 6:9 says, "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
Proverbs 11:18: "A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward."
Hosea 10:12: "Sow righteousness for yourselves, reap unfailing love. Break up the unplowed ground for yourselves, for it is time to seek the Lord, until He comes and showers deliverance on you."
These verses are pretty clear. Sowing and reaping is a principle in the kingdom. Whatever we sow, whatever we pour out, and whatever we give to people, we will reap. It will not happen instantly, but we will eventually reap whatever we have sown.
“Whatever we sow, whatever we pour out, and whatever we give to people, we will reap.”
The Bible is pretty clear that we must sow righteousness. But what is righteousness? It all comes back to love. If we love one another, we are practicing righteousness. If we love God and love others, we are obeying the commandments.
The question you have to ask yourself is, “What do you want to reap?” Do you want to reap love? Do you want to reap joy? Do you want to reap God and man treating you well and giving you favor? Then you must sow that.
You don’t sow a carrot seed expecting an apple, and you wouldn’t expect to reap an orange when you sow a corn seed.
In the same way, we can’t expect to reap goodness and kindness when we are sowing negativity and sin.
I find it funny sometimes when people who I know that are very negative and are not kind at all are always complaining about how mean people are. But the truth is they are reaping what they sow.
We must sow righteousness in order to reap unfailing love and to reap a reward in heaven. How do we know what sowing righteousness looks like?
Well, I believe Galatians 5:22-23, which says “The fruit of the spirit” gives us a good idea about what we must be sowing in order to reap the return we desire. It also says “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; against such things there is no law.”
When we are faithful and practice the fruit of the spirit, we will be acting in righteousness and we will reap the same things we practice in our lives.
At the same time, some of us may think that we can get away with sinning. We may sin and not see immediate repercussions, so we think we can just continue sinning and get away with it. But remember, the harvest sometimes comes long after we have sown. Later, in Galatians, Paul warns people of this.
Galatians 6:7 says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Trust me on this, you do not want to reap the harvest of sins. So, if you have been thinking you can get away with it, take some time and repent now. I believe the Holy Spirit will convict you and show you your sin. If you don’t know what sin is, the Bible is pretty clear on the subject.
Galatians 5:19-20 says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
So, let’s work on sowing the fruit of the spirit. Let’s ask ourselves if we are acting in love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. If we’re not acting in these ways, let’s change what we’re doing it and make it line up with the fruit of the spirit. If we do this, we will reap the harvest that will bring us life and eternal treasures.
Now, let’s talk about sowing and reaping finances.
Before I begin this part, I want to let everyone know that I am teaching you this because I want you to know how the Kingdom of Heaven’s financial principles work so that you can put them into practice and reap the benefits of it!
We do not want your money! We as a church tithe 10 per cent and are going to sow as well because we fully believe in these principles. Miruna and I have experienced blessing personally from applying these principles to our lives.
As Christians we need to be good stewards of our money. Just as the parable of the good steward says, God entrusts us with His things and His money so that we do good things with it, multiply it, and bring it back to Him with interest.
Luke 16 talks about the shrewd manager who wastes the possessions of his rich master. To save his reputation, the manager goes to each person who owes his master money and settles the debt for a substantial portion of what they owe.
He is commended for this by his master because he recoups most of the money instead of losing all of it. How much more will we be blessed if we give God 100 per cent or even a tenfold return of what He has entrusted us with.
It begins with tithing. We can sow all we want, but in order to reap the full harvest of whatever we sow it all begins with the tithe.
First, we need to realize that everything on earth belongs to God. Everything is His. He created it all. All our wealth, all our friends, our families, everything on earth and in the universe is His.
“We need to realize that everything on earth belongs to God. Everything is His.”
In order for us to show that everything is His, there is a spiritual law that God put into the universe that allows us to put a check mark to the question “Do you understand everything belongs to God?”
When we give God our first fruits, then that box is checked off and we answer “Yes, we do understand that everything belongs to God!”
Some of you might say, “That’s Old Testament,” or tithing is an Abrahamic or Jewish principle and it doesn’t apply to today, but I’d challenge you on that.
The story of Cain and Abel is a good example of the right and wrong ways to give. Abel gave God the firstborn of his flock and their fat portions, while Cain gave God a lesser offering. So, God blessed Abel’s offering while giving Cain’s offering no regard. Abel gave his best and was rewarded.
We need to realize that when we tithe, we are not actually giving anything to the Lord. We are simply returning what is rightfully His. When we realize this, it makes it a whole lot easier to tithe.
Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Now there are many different interpretations of what the storehouse is, but I believe this means God’s house, which today is the church. But God says here that as the body brings the tithe to the church, He will open the floodgates of heaven and the blessing.
This is the rain that we need on our seeds. We need the rain and the blessing of heaven so we can in turn reap a great harvest!
I have heard so many people say they have been tithing for years, so where is my harvest and where is my blessing? And there are others I know who have tithed for a long time faithfully, yet they are still living on the poverty line.
Let me say it again, tithing is not what brings you your harvest! Yes, I believe the Lord blesses you also when you tithe. But tithing is what opens heaven to bring the rain on your land. It gives you an open heaven of ideas, innovation and opportunity to make and create wealth. Sowing is what you must do in order to reap a harvest.
Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish from lack of knowledge” and I think this is a huge verse that relates to the system of the Kingdom in terms of finances.
If you don’t know how to apply the principles of the kingdom, you will not be able to operate in that kingdom.
The main key to receiving blessing is to sow. Sowing is intentionally blessing and giving in order to receive a harvest from the same type of seed that you sow. We can ask for a harvest 10, 30 or 100-fold just like Jesus talks about the harvest increments in the parable of the sower.
“If you don’t know how to apply the principles of the kingdom, you will not be able to operate in that kingdom.”
For example, if we want to buy a new church building for $1 million, we would sow into that. So as a church we would sow $10,000 and ask for 100-fold. We would find another church that is looking to buy a building and give them $10,000. Then we would tell God that are sowing this seed into this ministry and we are praying for a 100-fold harvest.
Or, it is like believing for a financial breakthrough, and giving someone $50 randomly. Then we would pray and tell God we need a financial breakthrough, saying we are giving this $50 seed and praying for a 10-fold harvest of $500.
This sounds crazy, but I am telling you this is the way the Kingdom works! I could tell you countless stories of God giving people the exact harvest that they sowed into. The best thing about this is that I am not telling you to give the church money. This does not benefit the church in any way. This only benefits you.
I’ll give you an example. When I was younger, my parents gave a car to the Teen Challenge ministry. I still remember the tow truck coming to pick it up. They sowed into Teen Challenge, and about a dozen years later I went to that ministry and God used it to save my life.
Here’s another example that comes from Miruna and I. When we first heard a message on tithing, I was doing part-time admin work for Catch The Fire and selling used cell phones on the side.
I was earning $250 weekly with the phones and we were living in an apartment. Miruna was working for CTF World. They were doing weekly calls with all the world pastors and teaching them basic things on how to pastor their churches better.
Miruna came home once after Duncan Smith spoke on sowing and reaping. She was super excited and told me all about it. At first, I was like hmmm ... sounds like prosperity gospel to me. But then I thought about it, and it struck me that they weren’t asking for money, they were saying to sow into someone who wants the same thing you want.
At that time, we really wanted to own our own property - house, condo, apartment, whatever. We just didn’t want to rent. So, we decided to sow $100 hesitantly into a friend’s house fund (I did not have much faith, don’t judge me). We gave it to them anonymously in an envelope because we knew this man and his wife had been praying for a house, and we asked God for 100-fold harvest. I am a businessman and wanted a good return on my investment.
Remember, before this I was making about $250 per week selling phones. After we sowed that $100, every week I made over $1,000 from the phones. We sowed it in late July, and by the end of September we had $10,000 saved up. We were both amazed and in awe of how God gave us our harvest so quickly.
Then we started looking for houses and during the time we were looking I slowed back down to making about $250 per week on the phones. Then we started realizing that $10,000 would not be enough for a down payment so what did we do? We sowed another $100 and asked God for another 100-fold harvest. By December, we had $20,000 saved, and by the end of December we had bought and moved into our condo.
The reason I wanted to write about this topic is because our life has been changed because of it! We have been super blessed by knowing these principles. I cannot even tell you the number of times Catch The Fire churches have been blessed because of these principles.
These principles work, you just need to start applying them to your life. I hope that this blog post really blesses you both spiritually and financially.