Sunday 27 September
27th September - Harvest
Reading: - 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Message: - Who among us spends our whole year and produces nothing at all?
Is not the influence we have on others - planting seeds into their development?
There is a video on YouTube of a little girl giving a street musician a small coin. It is a Flash Mob which then unfolds into a full orchestra playing Ode to Joy together and shows people stopping to listen and many beaming smiles. All from a small coin.
Could we not be like the little girl in the video? Might God not be able to use us that way too? Her simple gift changed the hearts of all those people at least for that moment if not much longer.
Could we not plant pennies in Heaven? Literally by giving to God via the open plate or by standing order? By any charitable giving or good works too. That has to be the definition of planting good seed in good soil where God can care for it like no other. What a harvest that would bring in, 10, 20, 60 or even 100-fold!
Did you know that of all the financial equivalent of all we receive, 10% belongs to God? Let me explain: - my BT Pension such as it is my income, my savings top that up to allow me to live month on month till my State Pension is paid out from next year. Therefore 10% of my BT pension and 10% of any bank interest on my savings belongs to God. That, along with my time and my talents, is my tithe. That is God’s by right!
Any giving over and above that is planting seed into the work of Heaven here on Earth. So that will be donations to the Basics Bank, the time I gave to Zero Waste up till the start of Lockdown, all the monies I give to charities. For your good selves it also includes any and all the work you do as a volunteer to help God’s children. That is what we might call seed corn, planted in heaven.
I know you are planting seed corn, but the bit often missed out is Harvest!
God takes the seed corn and nurtures it. It grows and multiplies in His care. Do you ever Harvest it?
We need to call in that Harvest too! We can then give from that plenty, the same as we give of our every day time talents and monies. That is how Kingdom Finances are meant to work.
The little girl gave the man, with the double bass, a small coin and he started to play. I reckon she was quite happy at that, then the lady joined in. Imagine her heart then! What about by the end?
Then there is the look in the faces of everyone else there! Her gift to the man was increased 100 fold I reckon. Their lives were certainly changed that day, perhaps just for that moment but possibly for longer as they recalled what they had witnessed. A little girl cheerfully giving a small gift to a man with a double base.
Paul in our reading is encouraging cheerful giving and generosity. Joyce and I have found we are unable to out give God. I hope you are not surprised at that! Let me be clear it isn’t always about money either. It is often about grace and love.
In verse 10, Paul is talking about God when he wrote – he who gives seed to the sower and bread for food….will increase your harvest of righteousness. Who among us wouldn’t like to be enriched in every way so we can be generous on every occasion? Everything we do has a potential harvest; I just pray we can use it for God’s glory!
The little girl put smiles on many hearts and warmed their hearts too. I pray as we listen to our next piece of praise music, we might all reflect on how our little acts of random Kindness might have warmed a heart or raised a smile in this cold world of ours.
Please pray with me.
Father God help us all to realise the harvest we have in Heaven and to ask you to give us that harvest that we may use it in our ARKs to your Glory. Amen
God bless you and keep you and may you feel led to an Act of Random Kindness this week.