Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seed is for Sowing

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. (2 Corinthians 9:10-11)
The Bible has a lot to tell us about seeds and sowing, more than I can do justice to in this short blog, but here are a few that have somehow come to mind. (For more, see Sowing and Reaping.)
Faith is like a seed. Jesus said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20).

The kingdom of God is like a seed. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32).

The kingdom of God is like one sowing seed. Again, Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come” (Mark 4:26-29).

In Galatians 6:7, Paul reminds us that what we sow is what we will reap. In 2 Corinthians 9:6, he reminds us that how we so is also how we will reap; if we sow sparingly (stingily, holding back) we will also reap sparingly, but if we sow bountifully (generously, freely, “with blessing”), we will also reap bountifully. In 2 Corinthians 9, particularly, Paul is actually talking about finances. He was preparing to receive an offering to help the believers at Jerusalem who were in distress, and he was encouraging the believers at Corinth to be generous with their “seed,” which is to say, their financial resources.

It is in this context, then, that Paul makes the statement that appears at the top of this post. It is a benediction*, a word of blessing, and it expresses what God wants to do for us and how He wants to work through us. He wants to give us all the bread we need, but He also wants to give us seed for sowing bountifully. Because sowing seed is as important for us as the bread we eat.

God not only supplies seed for us to sow, He also multiplies it and causes it to increase. It becomes a blessing to others and results in us being enriched, made wealthy, in everything and in every way so that we can be even more generous, to become even more of a blessing. That results in thanksgiving to God because of how we have let Him work through us. It is win-win-win: for those who are blessed by our sowing, for us doing the sowing and for God who receives the praise for what was sown.

You may only have one small seed to begin with. No matter. If you sow it in faith (because faith is like a seed), you will be proclaiming the kingdom of God (because the kingdom is like the seed and the one who sows seed). It will display the generosity of God and prophesy the prosperity of God.

*For more about the pastoral prayers found in the New Testament, see Praying With Fire: Change Your World with the Powerful Prayers of the Apostles.

The Focus of Our Faith
The Focus of Our Faith
Paul’s Letters to the Jesus Believers at Colosse
Bite-Size Studies Through Colossians
by Jeff Doles

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