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P r a c t i c a l L e s s o n s f o r U n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e Wo r d o f G o d

The Principle of Sowing and Reaping
KEY PASSAGE: Galatians 6:7-10 | SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE: Numbers 32:23 | Proverbs 22:6 | Ezekiel 18:20 Romans 6:23 | 1 Corinthians 4:9-10; 15:58 | 2 Corinthians 4:1, 9-10; 11:23-28 | Galatians 5:16-23

SUMMARY:
Every choice has a consequence.
If we make wise, godly decisions, we can expect the Lord to reward us for our faithfulness. If we make rash or sinful choices, we can anticipate negative consequences. The fruit—good or bad—is usually not evident immediately. But one day, we will either be rewarded for righteous living or reap the consequences for rebellion against God. In Galatians 6:7-8, Scripture states the principle of sowing and reaping:“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” In other words, you reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow. Although the principle uses agricultural terms, it applies to spiritual things—and almost every other area of life—as well.

it must have seemed that he was getting away with mocking God. But at the end of his life, he committed suicide. Atheism could not bring him peace, hope, or joy. What does it mean to mock the Lord? It is like turning one’s nose up at Him. Mocking Him includes laughing or sneering at His laws and being arrogant and rebellious towards Him. Some think that if they don’t believe in God, it doesn’t matter what the Bible says. But spiritual principles apply to all people, whether they accept them or not (Num. 32:23; Ezek. 18:20).

Clarification of Terms
Let’s define a few terms in Galatians 6:7-8. Flesh—The part of us that wants to live independently from God. When we trusted Jesus Christ to be our Savior, He pardoned all our sins and gave us His Spirit, who dwells within us. But a part of you and me still wants to live independently from God. We call that the flesh (Gal. 5:17). The flesh includes “immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these” (Gal. 5:19-21).
I I Sow to the flesh—To yield to cravings and sinful desires. In other words, a person fails to resist sensual, immoral, or ungodly attitudes or entertainment. For instance, people might overemphasize their appearance, focus on becoming rich, or allow themselves to watch a pornographic or otherwise immoral movie. I

SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES:
The Warning
This passage begins, “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7). The most common deception people have is that they can rebel against the Lord and get away with it. Ernest Hemingway, the well-known author, was an atheist who boasted of his unbelief. He went so far as to write a blasphemous version of the Lord’s Prayer. As he indulged in worldly pleasures,

Corruption—Decay, ruin, and destruction. Ultimately, sin leads to death (Rom. 6:23). Over
LIFE PRINCIPLES NOTES | LP100307

However. children. grandchildren. Paul would say. My friend. and co-workers. When we plant righteous and godly seeds. he continues to pastor his congregation faithfully. knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Gal. ET | M-F LIFE PRINCIPLES NOTES | LP100307 . many people think they are getting away with sin. like telling someone God loves them.m. which became part of the New Testament. His heavenly reward will be great. Somehow. faithfully attend church. Or think about godly CONCLUSION: Do you usually seek to please the Spirit? Or do you often indulge your flesh—the part of you that acts independently of God? Perhaps you fluctuate between the two choices. pray diligently. offering to pray for a person who is sick. always abounding in the work of the Lord. believers have come to expect material rewards for obedience to God. struck down. Your crop is coming in.org. 6:10). Although his basic needs were provided during most of his life. millions of believers have been encouraged and instructed through his letters. and it will be worth it all. it is only possible during our earthly lifetimes. He rarely gets a “thank you. and imprisoned (2 Cor. integrity.” much less any sort of material reward. year after year. 4:9-10. immovable. But because the consequence doesn’t happen instantly. But they can’t point to any great accomplishments in life. sharing your testimony with someone. rebellion against God destroys a person. whipped. let us do good to all people. and making godly choices. “Don’t become weary. All of us have the chance to sow seeds into the lives of other people—our friends. stoned. The Promise Those who continue to sow to the Spirit can expect God to reward them:“Let us not lose heart in doing good. shipwrecked. and you will reap a harvest of eternal rewards. The apostle Paul had been persecuted.“While we have opportunity. I pray that you will make a decision today to sow seeds of love. Seeds can even be small acts. remember that God sees all the little things you do. I Sow to the Spirit—To do things that please the Lord. Sow to the Spirit. 6:9). They read the Word of God. we will harvest quality things—such as peace.intouchbookstore. That’s why Paul wrote. he also experienced intense persecution and eventually was beheaded.intouch. for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal.org CUSTOMER CARE: 8:00 a. just as a fatal disease slowly takes a life. and as such. patience. But he encouraged believers to “be steadfast. and always tithe their income. 100307 CONTACT US: 1-800-789-1473 ® www. people who make very little money. The promise in Galatians 6:9 reminds me of those who faithfully serve God with little or no earthly recognition. 15:58). please visit www. and truth. When you are tempted to become weary and give up. family. 11:23-28).m. and healthy relationships—that have permanent value. giving out tracts. Obeying God increases the Spirit’s influence in your life. Take the time to plant seeds of righteousness.” The Opportunity Sowing to the Spirit is an act of faith. Is that what Paul received? No. To people like these. Even worse.–8:00 p. or encouraging others to listen to radio or television broadcasts. Imagine a pastor who shepherds a small church. I Eternal—Long-lasting. and the crop you reap will be of an enduring and divine nature. or showing kindness to a stranger in need. Examples include reading God’s Word. you will reap what you sow—there is no escaping this eternal principle. Perhaps his salary is low. the congregation doesn’t seem to want to grow spiritually. To purchase the message The Principle of Sowing and Reaping for these Life Principles Notes on CD or DVD.time. Yet. Sowing to the Spirit includes talking to people about Jesus. high quality.