Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Keep Up the Good Work!



Part 15 of a series through Galatians.

Text: Galatians 6:7-10

Have you done any spring? Have you planted any seeds? There's a principle in agriculture and in Scripture: You reap what you sow. "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" (vv. 7-8).

How we live has consequences:
  • If you sow to the flesh, you will reap corruption. People who think they can fool God are only fooling themselves.
  • If you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life. Does this mean that eternal life is earned by good works? No, eternal life is a gift received by faith. But believers are doers. Eternal life is quantity and quality of life. It is a present possession, but we will not fully enjoy it until eternity (like picking berries and eating a few versus enjoying a blueberry pie).
One way to sow to the Spirit is by doing good. Five truths about doing good:
  1. Doing good can become exhausting. "Let us not become weary in doing good" (v. 9a).

  2. Doing good will be rewarded. "For at the proper time we will reap a harvest" (v. 9b). Remember: (1) You reap more than you sow. One seed can produce countless fruit. God can do much with the little we have to offer. (2) You reap later than you sow. It takes a long time for some seeds to grow and produce fruit. Don’t get discouraged when you don’t see immediate results (praying, witnessing, etc.). Even if you don’t see any harvest on earth, there is the promise that we will be rewarded by Christ.

  3. Doing good requires persistence. "If we do not give up" (v. 9c).

  4. Doing good has a limited season. "Therefore, as we have opportunity" (v. 10a). Paul is not saying, “Do good when it's convenient.” He's saying, “You only have a limited amount of time to do good.” (If you want to have a harvest of carrots, you have to plant the seeds before it's too late.)

  5. Doing good calls for an endless field. "Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (v. 10b). Paul says "especially," not "exclusively." Doing good starts in the church, but shouldn't stay in the church.
John Wesley said, “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”

[Show apple.] This apple is here today because a seed was planted. You are probably here today because some people planted seeds in your life.

This apple contains several seeds. Each seed could grow into a tree and produce countless fruit. Imagine the potential fruit that could be produced if you live a life of doing good!
  • Remember you only have a limited amount of time.
  • But don’t limit the good you do to only a few people.
  • Don’t grow weary.
  • You will be rewarded for doing good.
  • So keep at it. Don’t give up.