Here in Nebraska we all know about the natural law of seed time and harvest. We know when it’s time to plant and when it’s time to reap. We know what to plant to get the desired results. We know the rule. You will harvest corn only if you 28 kidding ourselvesplant corn. You will harvest beans only if you plant beans. You will harvest wheat only if you plant wheat. God’s laws are just the same. Ken Boles observes, “God’s moral and spiritual laws work in the same way. You cannot sow sin and reap righteousness, or indulgence and reap health or strife and reap peace. You cannot sow ‘the works of the flesh’ and reap ‘the fruit of the Spirit.’” As obvious as this sounds I find I’m often sowing one thing and actually expecting something else to sprout. It doesn’t! My Dad used to say “Don’t kid yourself” a lot to me. This is exactly what Paul says to us in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Part of the struggle in growing up is realizing and learning to live by this truth.

We grow exactly what we plant. We plant corn we reap corn. But there is something else to consider regarding the laws of sowing and reaping. There is a direct relationship between what we plant and what we sow. But notice that there is not a direct relationship between how much we plant and how much we sow. One grain of corn returns hundreds of grains at harvest time. We always reap more than we sow. In 1 Corinthians 9:6, Paul says, “…whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” The unfortunate thing about this truth is that it works for both good and bad crops. This is Paul’s point in Galatians 6:8. He adds, “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.”

The return is always more than the investment. You may have heard the saying, “…sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” It comes from Hosea 8:7, “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” The phrasing “sow the wind and [NASB, NRSV, RSV, “and they”] reap the whirlwind” is found in the NASB, NIV, NKJV, NRSV and RSV; the NLT has “They have planted the wind and will harvest the whirlwind.” But notice the return on sowing to the Spirit. The harvest will be “eternal” life. The flesh instinctively sows to the flesh; selfish self-gratification. It destroys people and rots relationships. But the Spirit instinctively produces a fruit of love which expresses itself in selfless love and service. The produce of love is life: real life, genuine life, abundant life, and eternal life. It sprouts a full and meaningful life today and eternal rewards in the life to come. Listen! Don’t kid yourself!