By Rev. Tina Schramme, Congregational Care Pastor
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
The Message translation of Galatians 6:7-8 reads like this, “Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”
This is the biblical principle of sowing and reaping. What you sow, you’re going to reap. We all are saved by grace, but “real life” comes to those who sow seeds in response to God. Seeds of sacrifice, self-giving, love, grace and mercy, receive the “real” life Paul is talking about. There is nothing you can do to make God stop loving you, but you can prevent that love from being fully formed in you to produce a harvest of joy and peace. Someone recently asked me why they should be a Christian.
I said several things, but one of them was that there is great joy and peace when you live in sync with your creator. I don’t always get it right, plant the right seeds, or follow God’s path, but when I do, it is overwhelmingly joyous, even when circumstances are not. It is fulfilling to give myself away to something greater than I can understand.
I have no idea how a seed grows into a plant or tree. I mean, I’ve had the science lessons, I took biology, but how does it actually occur? How does sun, water, dirt and a seed turn into something that can nourish our bodies or shade us from the heat? It makes no sense to me! But still, I water my plants, give them the right amount of good soil, and sun, then watch them flourish. It is the same with my life.
I am not sure how giving selflessly produces joy in me. I have no idea how reading scripture and praying daily changes my heart, but it does. And so I keep trying to sow the good seed. I try to nourish others with kind words, prayer and selfless acts. Some days I succeed, other days, I fall way short. I wake up each day and try again to find the “real life” God offers.
Think about the sort of seeds you are sowing. What words, thoughts, prayers, and actions are you planting in your own heart and in others?
God, you continually call me to live a sacrificial life, and yet I fall short. Help me to see others the way you see them. Help me to be a person who serves others with all that I am and all that I have. You gave so much for me, Lord. Thank you. Guide me to live a life that honors your gift. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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