2 Corinthians 9:10-11 - Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. NIV
We are in the season of harvest. The cotton is white and is being picked all over the valley. Tomato season has come to a close and the almonds have been shaken, swept and shelled. With so much harvest going on all around us, I began to think of everything that goes into a harvest. Months and even years of planning and labor go into each harvest. In order to reap a harvest, we must first sow a seed.
This scripture in 2 Corinthians speaks about giving and receiving and then uses planting and harvest as an analogy. I find it very interesting that in the middle of talking about giving and receiving that the Apostle Paul applies this principle to our righteousness. When we think about the concept of sowing and reaping in scripture, we have a tendency to think about money. Although this idea does include financial principles in reference to God, it has a much broader definition.
Here is the foundation of why God blesses us so richly with our finances: So that we can then be generous on every occasion. When we give to God and to others it should be out of the abundance of our hearts and the abundance of our blessings. God blesses us financially so that we can in turn bless others who are in need. This passage says that God would make us "rich in every way" but for a specific purpose. The problem is that many people can only see their own purpose instead of God's divine purpose.
When we begin to see our blessings in the light of God's purposes and give to God and others generously, then our harvest becomes a harvest of righteousness and not just a return on an investment. Notice also that the scripture talks about us being made rich in "every way." This refers to much more than money. It refers to health, relationships, favor, strength, authority, anointing and much more. Things that money cannot buy.
I encourage everyone reading this column, do not sow sparingly for then we will reap sparingly. Instead, sow generously so that we may reap generously a harvest of righteousness before God.
Stephen Hammond is the senior pastor of Bethel Community Church.