Winter is already here, but spiritually now it is the autumn season and the harvest is at its peak in Zion. God has entrusted His loving children with the mission of gospel harvesters to save souls by preaching the words of life to them, and also has given each of us a sharp sickle (see Mk 4:29; Joel 3:13).
The effort of sowing should precede in order to reap an abundant harvest. If we only desire fruit without making efforts to sow and reap, we can gain nothing. When we sow the seed of the gospel diligently in the hearts of people, it grows and bears fruit, doesn’t it?
This is God’s providence over creation. A seed is to grow and bear fruit once it is planted, just as God said, “As you sow, so you will reap.” As the gospel workers, we should diligently sow the seed of the gospel and reap abundant fruits, so that we may please the Lord of the harvest (Lk 10:2).
Let me tell you an interesting story that occurred at a university in Korea. Students were gathered in a lecture room to take the midterm exam. They expected to take the written exam as usual, but their professor suddenly said that the written exam was replaced by an oral test. Then all the students became very tense and nervous.
During the oral test, the professor asked his students to get into pairs and converse in English by imagining a situation that might happen during overseas travel: One was to play the role of a traveler, and the other the role of a native. The professor asked the first team to talk to each other in English, letting one of them play the role of a traveler to America and the other play the role of a native. At this unexpected situation, they were bewildered and at a loss for words. However, because their talks were directly linked to their grades, they thought they had to say anything. After a long silence, the student who was assigned the role of a traveler said to the other student.
“Can you speak Korean?”
“Yes, I can.”
From that moment, they started to talk to each other freely in Korean. “I’ve come here to see the Statue of Liberty. How can I get there?” “Take the green bus and get off at the fourth stop.” They continued their conversation in Korean like that. The lecture room, which was filled with a tense atmosphere, suddenly burst into laughter.
It was an absurd situation, but viewed from another angle, their conversation was not against the rules or directions for the exam, because they might be able to meet a Korean overseas. The professor uttered empty threats to the rest of the students by saying that he would give them an F if they copied the first team, under the pretext of “copyright protection.” Then he gave an A+ to the student who played the role of a Korean traveler and an A to the other student who played the role of an American, saying, “It is natural for a Korean to speak the Korean language well, but isn’t it strange that an American speaks Korean fluently? That’s why I gave you an A instead of an A+.”
Although this is an amusing anecdote that shows the wit of the two students and the generosity of the professor, we can also find the following principle here: Only the person who sows can reap. If the students had just hesitated because of their poor English, they would not have received good grades. It is the same for us. Although we are not fluent in preaching the gospel, if we try hard like the students, we will be able to obtain good results.
Among our brothers and sisters in Zion, we often see some members, who are lacking in the knowledge of the Bible and are not fluent at speaking, bear the abundant fruits of the gospel by trying hard just as God told them to do. Even though we are lacking in many ways, if we trust in God’s word and try to preach, our heavenly Father and Mother will be moved by our efforts and help us.
We should sow much in order to receive the crown of life that shines forever and God’s overflowing love and blessings as well when we go back to heaven. Unless we sow, we can gain nothing, but if we sow diligently, we will see the fruits of our efforts.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Co 9:6
We all want to reap the fruits of the gospel abundantly. However, it is not proper for us to expect much fruit after sowing sparingly. God assures us that we will reap as much as we have sown.
In the parable of the talents, the man who didn’t sow reaped nothing. The one who had received the five talents diligently put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money, so he gained nothing (Mt 25:14-30).
If one has received the seed of the gospel but hesitates and just hides it like the man with the one talent, he cannot bear fruit. However, the one who sows will surely reap the fruit. Once we sow the seed, it will grow and bear beautiful fruit-a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. God has prepared everything for us.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Gal 6:7-9
The Bible says that a man reaps what he sows. If one sows carnal things, he can never reap spiritual things. It is just like a man expects apples after planting a grapevine.
We have been entrusted by God with the gospel. So, let’s plant the seed of the gospel, the seed of the Holy Spirit. There are various kinds of seeds in the world, but the seed we must plant is the seed of the gospel entrusted to us by God (1 Pe 1:23-25). As we sow, we will surely reap. Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Whether we reap generously or sparingly does not depend on our individual abilities, but on how diligently we sow.
Think of the two students in the above anecdote. Although they were not good at speaking English, the professor gave them good grades. Our God has the same kind of heart as the professor. He is moved by our efforts to do something for Him and sow the seed of the gospel, and allows us to bear good fruits abundantly.
The Bible says that the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Even though we fail to bear fruit right now, we shouldn’t grow weary or lose heart, but continue to sow diligently, believing God’s word. Then we will surely reap.
There are still many fields around us where the seed of the gospel has not yet been sown. Let’s begin with people around us. To sow the seed of the gospel, we may go out into the streets, the roads or country lanes (Mt 22:9; Lk 14:23), and we may go to our family, neighbors, and relatives. Since the Bible says that whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and that whoever sows generously will also reap generously, let’s sow diligently without feeling frustrated for not bearing much fruit after sowing sparingly.
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day-and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 2 Ti 4:1-8
The Bible tells us to preach the Word-to sow the seed of the gospel, being prepared in season and out of season, not caring about worthless things. The ministry God has entrusted to us is to plant the gospel, that is, preaching. The Bible says that after we complete this ministry, we will receive the crown of righteousness, which God has prepared for us. So, we should give ourselves fully to the work of sowing the gospel seed.
It is truth that as we sow, so we will reap. Only those who put the truth into practice can be blessed. We have to diligently sow wherever and whenever possible, not just watching and waiting like the man with the one talent.
The saints of the early Church sowed the seed of the gospel in every place around the world. They preached so earnestly regardless of time and place, which has been remembered and recorded as one of the most proud and praiseworthy achievements in Christian history. In the book of Acts, it is recorded that about three or five thousand people received Christ in just one day and that God added to their number daily those who were being saved. All this was the result of the efforts of the gospel workers who sowed the seed of God’s word eagerly.
… And we stayed there several days. On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. Ac 16:11-15
It was not by Paul’s fluent speech that Lydia’s heart was opened, but God opened her heart when He saw Paul’s earnestness to sow the seed of the gospel. It was also the work of the Holy Spirit that the jailer and all his family received Christ and were saved (Ac 16:25-34). When the saints of the early Church sowed the seed of the gospel with burning enthusiasm, depending on God’s word, God made the seed grow and bear the beautiful fruits of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 3:5-8).
When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest . . . Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized. One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” Ac 18:5-10
The apostles clearly testified to the people, who regarded Jesus merely as a Nazarene carpenter, that Jesus was the Christ, God the Son, God by nature. So, wherever they went, many people hindered them. A crowd of Jews slandered them, and the religious leaders poured out sophistries against them. However, God told them not to fear or keep silent but to sow the seed of the gospel continuously, saying, “For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.”
The spiritual situation today is exactly the same as the situation in the age of the Son, 2,000 years ago. Even today, when we preach God Elohim, the Saviors in the age of the Holy Spirit, many Christians try to oppose and hinder us. However, God is not with them, but with us who stand by the side of Christ. Although we are not fluent in speaking, if we preach earnestly with the conviction that salvation can only be given to those who believe in God the Father and God the Mother and come back to Zion, God will open all the hearts of the people who hear our preaching.
Please take courage like the two students in the anecdote, even though you are still lacking in preaching. If you are able to correctly testify to the Spirit and the Bride, Christ in the age of the Holy Spirit, even by using a single verse of the Bible, God will give you the top grade, won’t He? “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. They have not been able to realize the truth because no one has come to them to sow the seed of the gospel. If you once plant the seed of the gospel, you will surely reap the fruits.” Saying that, the Holy Spirit encourages and helps us.
The principle is simple: As we sow, so we will surely reap. Do you want to bear 1,000 fruits? Then, plant the seed of the gospel in the hearts of 1,000 people. Do you want to bear 10,000 fruits? Then, sow the seed in the hearts of 10,000 people. If you desire to lead all people around the world into the arms of God, then plant the gospel seed in the hearts of all the people. You will reap as much as you have sown. However, the Bible says that the one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction. So, we must sow the seed of the Holy Spirit, the seed of the gospel.
Let’s plant the gospel seed in the hearts of all people, whether they are our neighbors or those passing by, if they have not yet heard the gospel. God tells us to sow the seed of the gospel regardless of time and place. The seed may not sprout in some people’s hearts, but God surely allows us to reap as much as we have sown. So, let’s lead all people around the world to the way of life, so that they can come back into the arms of Father and Mother.
If we give our time only to physical things and don’t have time to sow spiritual things, we will have no fruit to bring to God when we go back to the kingdom of heaven. Keeping in mind that we reap as much as we have sown, let’s diligently sow the seed of the gospel as the faithful prophets in this age, so that we may glorify our heavenly Father and Mother by bearing abundant fruits.