Friday, November 21, 2008

Sowing and Reaping

I know God is able to provide everything we would need to accomplish His will, so I asked Him early in the journey how I would get the resources for the trip to Brazil. God told me to sow a seed.

The Bible speaks much about the law of sowing and reaping. Proverbs 11:18 says, “…he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.” Hosea 10:12 adds, “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love…” The Apostle Paul confirms this principle when he exhorted the Galatians, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Galatians 6:9-10). And of course, who wouldn’t be encouraged by the promise of a generous financial harvest as expounded once again by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15?

Since I started on this journey to Brazil, my journey of faith, God has given me various opportunities to sow a seed—a seed of the word of God, a seed of encouragement, a seed of good deed, a seed of generosity. And as I obeyed Him in sowing where He directed me, I am assured of a harvest of blessing and a realization of how God designed us to work together to accomplish a goal for the glory of God.

For instance, I realized that months before Littworld in November, I had been receiving prayer requests from friends and a relative for the approval of their visas in order to study abroad or go on a mission—from Hungary to Norway, from the United Kingdom to the United States, from Kuwait to South Africa. So I prayed for them and in doing so, I expected to receive answers to my own prayer for my trip abroad.

Months before, God gave me a chance to sow a seed of hospitality. What’s striking is that one particular morning, I was thinking about my accommodations abroad. In the afternoon, my daughter excitedly called from school, and asked if she could come home that day with a young Korean girl who visited their school and was on a mission exposure, looking for a Filipino family to stay with overnight. I readily said yes! Even with only a couple of hours left, I dashed to Makro to buy kimchi and prepared dinner for our little young missionary in the making. Also last week, a friend and his companion visited us on their way to Boracay, a famous beach destination in Aklan that’s easily accessible from the Batangas City pier. Fresh from a tour of three countries in Asia, they gave me traveling stories and tips while I shared with them a hot lunch and free rest stop.

Often too, God would gently nudge me to give to someone in need. At times, I had the money on hand to give, but at other times I didn’t have any extra and had to give sacrificially. One time, while looking at my bank account, I thought, This isn’t yet enough to buy me a ticket to Brazil. Quickly, God showed me John 6, where Jesus fed the five thousand. The only available food was five small barley loaves and two small fish from a hungry boy. Jesus took whatever little there was, prayed for the loaves and fish and asked the disciples to distribute them. And behold, all were fed and there was even a left over!

Prompted by that powerful Scripture, I offered to God from my savings, a portion, which He has impressed in my heart and sowed that seed to someone who was greatly in need. What’s amazing is that, my husband and I came to know about this person’s great need on the day I was asking God to whom I should sow a seed. Would you believe, this person’s need was almost the same amount I needed to raise for the trip to Brazil? I had no doubt God wanted me to share to this needy person. And so I did. About two weeks later, I received a call from someone asking me to pray with him as he help raise funds for the trip. Within a few weeks, I received enough funds to cover my round trip ticket!

When we sow, we reap. When we give, we receive. More so, when we sow generously, we reap generously. When we give generously, we receive generously. When we help others, we are helped in return. It's like passing on a favor. You'll never know, one day it will come back to you.
I learned that when God wants to accomplish something, He uses a person, a willing individual, someone who’s daring enough to place his confidence in the Almighty God. But He carries out His plan and provides for the fulfillment of that plan together with and through others who are also like-minded. When we do the part that God wants us to fulfill and when we also help others reach the goals that God has for them, God blesses us and we realize how great God is.

I also realized that the law of sowing and reaping is a great motivator for us to be like Jesus Christ. The grace of giving liberates us—it brings us to a deeper level of trust in God, and it makes us more selfless like Jesus Christ who gave Himself to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus reached the point when He found joy in sacrificing His very self (Hebrews 12:2) because it resulted in the salvation of our souls. May we all experience overflowing joy and abundance today as we sow seeds as God leads.

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