The Laws of Sowing & Reaping

blog-sowing & reaping
In 2 Corinthians 9:6 Paul the apostle states a simple yet immutable law— “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”.
Paul uses a farming metaphor here—in farming you’ll only reap in proportion to how much you sow—you can’t sow five or six seeds and expect to harvest an entire field. In fact there are 3 laws of sowing and reaping that we need to understand:
You will reap what you sow

God established this as a law of sowing and reaping when He said, “Let everything bring forth after its kind”.

If you sow corn you’re not going to harvest wheat—if you sow tomato seeds you won’t reap watermelons—it’s a law of sowing and reaping—you reap what you sow.

This law also applies spiritually—

Galatians 6:7-8 (NKJV) “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption (hell), but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

But we could also apply this to marriage, family and ministry—and that is you will only get out what you put in. 

2.   You will reap after you sow

The harvest comes after the planting—and for a believer that can be torturous at times. And that’s because you keep sowing and sowing and sowing good seed into your marriage or children or business or ministry but you don’t yet see any good fruit for all your faithfulness and hard work.

It’s hard because we live in a culture where we have become accustomed to getting what we want immediately—  With the push of a button the TV come on immediately; we stick our food in the microwave and in seconds it’s ready; we demand super-fast internet speeds where with a click of our mouse we move from one webpage to the next instantly.

And so this mindset tends to carry over into our spiritual lives where we want an immediate return on what we do for God—  But that’s not the way it works in physical farming or with spiritual sowing and reaping.  So what must we learn? 

A.   We must learn to exercise faith that God is at work even if we can’t see anything happening—

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing [by faith] that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

B.   And we must learn to exercise patience—

Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)  “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

So we will reap good things if we’re patient and don’t give up sowing—whether we’re talking about sowing the gospel or simply sowing into our lives obedience to God in general.

But this also works in the negative.

The person who is living with their boyfriend or girlfriend; or the person who is having an affair; or taking drugs or is involved with internet pornography or messing with the occult.  They make the mistake of thinking, “Nothing bad has happened to me so far, things are going good in my life, so what I’m doing can’t be wrong.”

That’s a lie from the devil—you need to understand that in farming what you sow today you won’t reap today—the harvest comes later—and the same is true in our lives.

If I sow irresponsible or sinful actions in my life today I won’t reap the consequences until later—sometimes years later when the lung cancer shows up or the cirrhosis, or AIDS, or the marriage fails or your world caves in.

You don’t reap before you sow—you reap after you sow or, if we’re talking about sin, while you continue to sow but it often doesn’t happen right away.  And again the classic mistake these people make is thinking that because they aren’t suffering any negative consequences now and in fact seem to be being blessed by God—what they’re doing or how they’re living must not really be wrong. 

The reason they are misinterpreting their circumstances is because the goodness and grace of God often aren’t removed immediately from a person’s life once they start down the path of sin.  But make no mistake—God is not blessing you in your sin—He might be blessing you in spite of your sin because He wants His continued goodness and blessing in your life to bring you to repentance.

But don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you can violate anything God says in His word and not eventually reap the consequences. And finally…

3.   You will reap more than you sow

 If you plant one apple seed you will get an entire apple tree with many apples on it each containing many seeds.  If you plant one grain of wheat you will get a whole stalk containing many grains of wheat.  In fact Jesus Himself said in John 12:24—

 John 12:24 (NKJV)  Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.”

Jesus here is using a farming metaphor to teach a spiritual truth—that if we live our lives for ourselves we will not produce any fruit for the Kingdom; but if we die to self and live for God we will produce much fruit for the Kingdom.

The Lord put it this way in Mark 8:35, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it”.  If a person seeks to save their life now (reject Christ and live for themselves) they will lose eternal life in heaven; but if they lose their life now (receive Jesus, deny themselves, and live for God) they will save it and spend eternity in heaven with the Lord.

Now when Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully”, he was applying this principle to giving.  He is essentially saying that we can’t out give God—if you give to Him with the right heart He will take it and multiply it—

A good example of this was the little boy who gave his ‘sack lunch’ of 5 barley crackers and 2 small pickled fish to Jesus who then multiplied it and fed thousands of men, women and children.  Remember—the harvest we will reap in heaven will far exceed what we have sown here on earth.

Here on earth we serve the Lord for 30, 40, 50 years—but in heaven we will reap an eternity of blessing—however the same is true for the unbeliever.  So there you have the laws of sowing and reaping—

 For Reflection

  • What are you sowing in your life today and are you going to be happy with what you’re going to reap down the road in this life and for eternity?
  • Why don’t you fall on the ground and die to self now by repenting and receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? 
  • If you start sowing a life of obedience to Him now you will reap blessings forever.


God Bless, Pastor Phil