Inefficient Farming

Life Notes—November 11, 2010

“The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly; and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  II Corinthians 6:6-7 

In the Old Testament, farmers were told not to harvest all the grain in their fields.  They were to leave the grain at the edges of their fields, as well as that which fell to the ground during the process of reaping.  This was so there would be grain available to those less fortunate, particularly the widows and orphans.  The farmer harvested most of the crop, but always left a significant portion for others.  It was the law, but it was also the right and compassionate thing to do. 

Today, this practice would be considered inefficient farming.  For one thing, few of us would glean a field for grain left behind.  And fewer of us would know what to do with the grain we so gleaned.  But the principle is sound: we have what we have because God has provided.  Most of us know people who have more than we do, and we also know people with less—much less.  Honestly, most of us have much more than we need.  There is always something to share.  Most of us don’t even have to make much of a sacrifice to meaningfully share our abundance.  Sharing our gifts is an investment in something greater than us.  It is sowing for a different kind of harvest. 

How much of our “harvest” do we sow only for ourselves?  Most of us don’t measure our wealth by the amount of grain in the barn.  It is in our checking account.  I confess, too much of what goes into my checking account goes out for me and my purposes.  Too often, I glean to the edges of my field, without weighing the measure of my need against the needs of others; and without weighing the benefits to me of sharing. 

Our abundance is not just in material wealth—what about the hours in our day?  How many of us leave time in a day for something other than pressing demands?  Could we leave a little time at the edges for the enrichment of others?  Or for investing in our well-being in ways our normal workload does not allow?  Exercise, study, meditation, prayer, service to others—the possibilities are endless.  It is a matter of reaping what we sow, and thoughtfully portioning the harvest we receive.  Some must go for the needs of the day; but there is always something left for others.  God provides more than enough. 

Tom’s sermon downtown this week is, “More Than Enough,” based on II Corinthians 9:6-15.  Life worship begins at 9:40 in Brady Hall.  Traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00.  Mitch is preaching at the west campus, where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00.  His sermon is “Spiritual Bankruptcy,” based on Acts 5:1-11. 

Come home to worship this Sunday.  Strugglers welcome!

Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator

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