Farmers today, when they’re ready to plant, either place an order online or dash down to the store, but it wasn’t always that way.
In previous generations, a man bought seed to plant if he had to, but most farmers kept back seed from their own harvests and held it for the next season’s crops. This is where the phrase “Don’t eat your seed” comes from. If you ate your seed wheat, you had nothing to plant when the time came.
In a beautiful cycle of sowing and reaping, it was the harvest that provided the seed.
This law of sowing and reaping still works today. Give (plant seed), get a harvest, give (after returning the tithe of course), receive another harvest, give…
I’ve seen this process so much in my life, but especially in our church’s annual auction. This auction helps fund a variety of missions, outreaches, and assistance projects, and it holds my heart. That first year I had little I could give, but I gave it, and every year since God has enabled me to give even more, to raise even more funds.
Spiritually speaking, my harvest from the seed I sow one year provides seed for me to sow the following year. It’s a miraculous and beautiful thing, and I celebrate it just as joyously as any farmer celebrates successfully getting his fields planted and harvested on time.
Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
This verse leapt out at me years ago, showing me responsibilities I’d not known I had. No longer could I merely sit in my nice, comfy pew and listen to the minister. No indeed, I must also share with that minister. Share what? I must share in all good things.
This means money, yes. It is rare for me to let the bucket pass untouched when the offering is being taken up for a guest minister – because I have a command from God to share in all good things, and money is a good thing.
I also had a self-appointed ministry for several years. Rather, I should say it was a God-appointed ministry. Any time a guest filled our pulpit I made a point of sending a thank you note soon afterwards. More than once, word got back to me that my simple notes had blessed the recipient and I knew I was, indeed, doing God’s work.
But guest ministers play only a small part in teaching me the Word. Few will ever speak into my life like my own pastor will, and here lies my greatest responsibility. Yes, my offerings help pay his salary, but this is only a tiny part of what I owe him. I owe him a share in all good things. I owe him my prayers. I owe him words of encouragement. I owe him whatever good gift God suggests I give him, be it an apple pie, cash, or a new car… (Okay, so at this point I only wish I could give him a new car.)