DARING FAITH - PART 10 LESSONS IN FAITH FROM THE FARMER. You and I can learn some important lessons about the life of faith from the Farmer.

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1 Page 1 of 5 DARING FAITH - PART 10 LESSONS IN FAITH FROM THE FARMER You and I can learn some important lessons about the life of faith from the Farmer. TS Here is the first important lesson from the Farmer about the life of faith. 1. PLANT GENEROUSLY What you plant is what you harvest. How many of you have ever planted a garden? If you plant corn seeds, what do you get? If you plant tomato seeds, do you get okra? What you plant is what you get. Look at Galatians 6:7 Don t be fooled. You can t outsmart God. A man gathers a crop from what he plants. 8 Some people plant to please their sinful nature. From that nature they will harvest death. Others plant to please the Holy Spirit. From the Spirit they will harvest eternal life. NIrV How much you plant will determine how much you harvest. If you plant 2 or 3 corn seeds are you going to get much corn? What if you plant 100 seeds? The more you plant, the more you get. Here s what God tells us in 2 Corinthians 9:6 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. 7 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." 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, "They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever." 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. 13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. NLT God tells us that the life of faith is like a farmer planting a field of corn or rice. While you are here on earth, you ve got sixty, eighty, or maybe a hundred years to plant your field. That is your ministry. How much seed and what kind of seed you plant determines what you will reap. That is the quantity and quality of your ministry.

2 Page 2 of 5 What you plant and how much you plant here on earth determines the harvest you will reap in heaven. What you plant on earth will be the fruit that you get to enjoy for eternity in heaven. If you plant generously, if you plant a lot of good seeds, you re going to have a lot of good fruit in heaven. You re going to have a lot to enjoy in heaven. But if you are a miser with your time and talent and treasure while you are here on earth, you re not going to have much fruit in heaven to enjoy. If you plant only a few seeds, you will get a small crop. *Five times the Bible records Jesus commands to store up treasure in heaven. Matthew 6:20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven NIV Matthew 19:21 sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. NIV Mark 10:21 "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. NIV Luke 12:33 Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, NIV Luke 18:22 Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. NIV Why do you think the Holy Spirit put that in Scripture five times? He wants you and I to get it! It is that important that we store up treasure in heaven. Are you storing up treasure in heaven? Someone might ask, how in the world do I do that? When you help somebody unselfish in the name of Christ, when you humbly serve some on in the name of Christ, when you generous give your time, talent and treasure to point some to point someone to Christ you are planting good seeds and that will result in a great harvest in heaven. That is how you store up treasure in heaven. Mark 9:41 I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. NIV Notice Jesus said if you give a cup of water in my name. When I doing my good deeds in in the name of Jesus in order to point people to Christ then my reward is certain. You can do a lot of things with you time, talent and treasure that will not produce a fruitful harvest in heaven.

3 Page 3 of 5 Let me give you an example. In the 1780 s Robert Raikes started the Sunday School movement for the poor children that worked six days a week in the factories and mines. Sunday was the only day the children did not work. Sunday School was designed to give these children a opportunity to gain an education. If Robert Raikes had stop there if just giving the children a secular education he would not have had any reward in heaven. But Robert was follower of Christ and knew there was something more important that these children just getting a secular education. Pointing them to Christ was his ultimate goal. To that end the Bible was the textbook used for learning to read. Likewise, the children learned to write by copying passages from the Scriptures. A basic catechism of Biblical truth was taught to the children and they memorized Scripture. They were taught spiritual practices such as prayer and sing hymn. Christian morality and virtues was a part of their instruction. The children were led to put their faith in Jesus. Those who have engaged in this ministry down through the years will have great reward in heaven. TS Here is the second important lessons we from the Farmer about the life of faith. 2. Plant in Faith Look at 2 Corinthians 9:10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. NLT When the farmer plants the seed he must trust that God will make it grow and provide the increase. You and I must do the same when we give in ministry. When the farmer plants the seed he does not see the fruit immediately. How long does it take for the farmer to see the fruit of his labor? It takes months before he get eat the fruit. In subsistence farming this a very critical time the farmer must take the food out of his family s mouth to plant. Every seed he plants, means he has less food to eat till the harvest. The whole process is a lesson in the life of faith. When you and I do ministry we are planting in faith. It requires that we invest our time, talent and treasure in ministering to people. We must trust that God will grow what we plant and provide the increase. When we invest in ministry like the Kidz Adventure Klub, The Basket Ball Outreach, or Block Parties it requires an investment of time, talent and treasure. When we minister to friends and neighbors by showing kindness and hospitality all in an effort to point them to Christ it requires an investment of time, talent and treasure.

4 Page 4 of 5 When we give to support thousands of missionaries like John and Cassie Paul it requires an investment of our resources. When we plant good seed like this do we see fruit immediately? NO, it takes time. We see the cost immediately and sometimes we lose sight of the value of investing in ministries like these. Look at these two promises from Jesus that help us to plant in faith. * Luke 6:38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back." NLT The way you invest in ministry will determines your reward in this life and in heaven. Give all you can in the way of time, talent and treasure and for all eternity you will be glad you did Plant generously and you will have a generous harvest! Look at Mark 10:29 "I tell you the truth," Jesus replied, "no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. NIV God says that anything that I give up for his sake, for his kingdom, anything I sacrifice to point people to Christ will a hundred times as much. That means that we receive ten thousand percent interest all that we invest in ministry. Do you know any stock brokers or banks that will guarantee that that kind of return? Only God guarantees that. That is the promise of God. You can either believe and act on it or ignoric. But if you don t believe God s promise to multiply your investment in ministry then why do you believe Jesus will save you from hell and take you to heaven? The same Jesus make both promises. Why do some people trust God with their eternal salvation and don t trust God with their finances? That does not make sense. It doesn t make sense. 3. Focus on the Fruit John 15:8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. NLT Challenge:

5 Page 5 of 5 Consider what you might give up or let go of in order to have more time for the things that matter in life? What is it that you can let go of in order to give more, to serve more, to share more, and to be all God wants you to be? The fact is many things in your life you could probably do without and you wouldn t miss them. But there is one thing you cannot do without. What you cannot do without is a daily, deep connection with Jesus Christ. If you re going to grow and become the person God wants you to be, you have to have a daily deep connection with Jesus Christ. You can t live a day without him.

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