When my grandfather planted corn it was the norm to plant in rows forty-two inches apart and then every forty-two inches down the row. It yielded about forty to fifty bushels per acre. It was called “check corn” because of the checkerboard pattern. Planting corn today has evolved to planting in twenty inch rows, kernels nine inches apart, with yields often far greater than two hundred bushels per acre. If your goal is to reap as little crop reward as possible, you could still plant the old fashion way, or plant nothing at all. But, if you want a reward of the highest yield possible, it is necessary to plant a higher corn population.
As the Apostle Paul addresses the subject of proper Christian giving one last time in this epistle, he writes, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (II Corinthians 9:6). Here, Paul is using the same example shared above about planting corn and volumes of yield. As he does, he adds three basic principles. First, when giving is done to the Lord it should be proportional with what God has given, but it must only be done willingly or “not grudgingly,” but as a “cheerful giver” (vs. 7). If one cannot give willingly and cheerfully, one may as well not give as far as reaping an eternal reward. Therefore, we should seek to have the proper heart attitude when we give. Remembering the supreme loving sacrifice on the part of our Savior should help. Second, Paul tells us God is able to work in our circumstances that, even when we have less after giving, God can enable us to still have “…all sufficiency in all things” (vs. 8). Some view this as the Lord working to keep expenses down through making things last longer. Others view this explanation as the Lord working within to make us simply satisfied with less. Either way, God supplies. Third, when we do give to the Lord, we leave for ourselves a reward that will last “for ever” (vs. 9). First Timothy 6:19 describes it as: “Laying up in store a good foundation against the time to come….”
This principle of sowing and reaping is true no matter what we do for the Lord. How much eternal reward do you want? Someone once said, “Only one life will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” Consistently plant seed for eternal reward through proper giving.
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