“Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “‘They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.’”
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
Most of us in the Austin area are not farmers, but we are familiar with the concept of investing something and then getting something in return. We invest our talents in our job and we receive a paycheck. We invest our dollars in a savings account and we receive interest. We invest our time in our relationships and we receive the benefits they afford: companionship, help, growth, and love. Typically, the more we give, the more receive. It rarely comes back to us in its original form. Usually, it shows up just the way we need it at that particular time.
Whatever you have to invest—your time, talent, or treasure--imagine it as the seed mentioned in this Scripture. If you choose not to invest, what happens to the seed?
Nothing. No growth, no harvest, no transformation. It just sits there. You just sit there.
What’s holding you back from sowing that what God has given you in a more abundant way? In his book, Fields of Gold, Andy Stanley talks about a farmer who had only one harvest’s worth of seeds left during the Great Depression. It was his last shot to sustain his livelihood. Was he scared of failure? Yes. Were there multiple “what ifs” that made him replete with reservations? Yes. Was there a risk? Yes.
But just as there is a risk in sowing, there is also risk inherent in not sowing. In planting, he risks a pitiful harvest and wasted seeds due to potential destruction by lack of rainfall in a giant dust bowls. In not planting, he still risks destruction because there will be no harvest, no income, no food. A seed cannot grow unless it’s given the chance to be planted.
It’s the same with you. The seed pouch only looks like a safe place, but it holds just as much danger as the soil. Perhaps even more. One of the worst things is to never know your potential.
Where are you with your seeds—your time, talents, and treasures? How are you sowing them? Is there more of your life that you can invest in your community? In your job? In your family? In Northpoint?
Jesus, help me to see if I’ve been holding something back that You’d like me to invest and give me the courage to trust You with it. Amen.