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Believing In The Harvest Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
August 31, 2020 1:00 am

Believing In The Harvest Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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August 31, 2020 1:00 am

Farmers know it’s pretty simple: no seeds, no plants. No plants, no vegetables. No vegetables, no harvest. They know all about the laws of sowing and reaping, laws God set in motion a long time ago. In this message we’ll explore what Paul wrote about this to the church at Corinth.

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Read Flores looking to Jesus thunder farmers know it's really pretty simple. No seeds no plans no vegetables, no harvest. They know all about the laws of sewing because God set in motion a long time ago today will explore what about this church from the Moody church this morning when Sir teaching helps us make it across the finish line, loser. You will notice is a farmer these days. So the image of sowing and reaping may not have a lot of meaning. David has a great deal of meaning for me because I was born on a farm and I remember taking it had a cleat thrashing it in my hand and counting 30 kernels. That meant that for every kernels sewn we get 30 back that's what sowing and reaping is all about. The apostle Paul does use this imagery. In this passage. Unfortunately, it is mis-used today by many who stressed that if you give them money. You'll get it all back tenfold or 20 fold in this life, but we don't believe that. But we do believe that if you invest now you do reap rewards for all of eternity. And you know today is August 31. It's our last day when we are emphasizing our matching gift challenge we have friends who have said that for every dollar people give they will match it dollar for dollar would you participate with us. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW that's RTW or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 this is the last day when your gift will be doubled.

And now we go to the pulpit of Moody church where we hear teaching from the apostle Paul about the importance of giving. Today I'm speaking on the topic of giving, giving, as in offering and the minute I say that I know that there are several responses that are going through your mind. Let me see if I'm right. First of all there.

Those of you who brought visitors today. Your friends are here and you say to yourself alone know that very day that I invite them to Moody church. What's he doing. He's talking about money. Then there are those of you who say this is one message I'm going to sit out because I lost my job recently and I have nothing to give.

Thank you very much. I hope others listen another.

Those of you who give faithfully and regularly and you're saying yeah it's about time that he preached on giving because I'm giving faithfully and it's about time other people started to give faithfully to because there are some people who don't give it all and it's about time they started well to begin with. I want to set you at ease and let you know that this is not going to be a harangue about we have needs. Therefore, you ought to give.

This is not that kind of a message as a matter fact, the purpose of the message in no way is to rob you but to enrich you to lead you to life abundantly. That's where were headed and I need to tell you is a pastor whose preached many messages that my messages do me a lot more good than they could possibly do you good because after all, I have to live with the text. I have to pray about it. I have to figure out how to organize what I'm going to say and so in the process God cuts me open and then sows me back together. My sermons always affect me. I will from time to time.

They affect you as I was writing this out Friday morning. I couldn't put the words down fast enough. The ideas were coming and I just said Lord give me these ideas a little more slowly so that I can write them down.

Now of course it's not because what I'm going to say to you today is profound.

It's really just the text of Scripture that I was meditating on for most of the week, but it is amazing amazing you are going to learn today. Things that hopefully will revolutionize your understanding of giving and you'll understand. At the end of the message. Why does that Rebecca and I spent some time last night talking about how we can give more this year than we did last, let me set the context of second Corinthians chapter 9 second Corinthians chapter 9. The apostle Paul is writing this and it's on page 968. If you just happen to forget your Bible and there are those that are there in the seats in front of you. 968, the apostle Paul is writing to the church at Corinth. Let me give you the context. The people at Corinth decided that they were going to get an offering together to give to the needy Jewish believers in Jerusalem and Jerusalem.

There was a famine. Things were tight and so what these believers did is they said we want to help Saints that we will never meet. But we want to be generous in helping them as well. And then there was another church called the Macedonian church. They had given Paul says out of their poverty and they have come up with an offering and so Paul is saying to the people at Corinth you need to come up with an offering as well, and that he use that to motivate them out was the Corinthian idea to come up with the offering and what Paul does in chapters 8 and nine as he discusses how the offering is going to be delivered with a delegation so nobody thinks that somebody is pilfering the funds.

Paul explains that he also explains how that the two churches together are making this gift and what a blessing it is going to be to the Jewish believers in Jerusalem. So that's the context. So Paul is been talking about the gift that the Corinthians want to give end he says it should be a willing gift that's in verse five of chapter 9 but now notice in verse six. The point is whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully just that far for a moment what Paul is saying is that giving is actually selling other some people who don't give because they say the minute I give that money is gone. The apostle Paul says no it's not gone. You may not see it for a while, just like a farmer who put seed in the ground but the seed is gone after a manner of speaking, but because the farmer believes in the harvest. He knows that he will see it again you'll see it in another form and if you so sparingly.

You'll reap sparingly being brought up on a farm in Canada. I remember that we used to plan to Wheaton. I think it was about a bushel per acre. That's the way we would seed and then we get maybe 25 or 30 bushels in the fall per acre as we harvested so every kernel multiplied itself 25 or 30 times. But let's suppose we didn't use the full bushel. Let's suppose we used 1/2 bushel. Then we'd only get 1550 Dean bushels in response to our half bushel. So the apostle Paul is saying now look when it comes to giving and he's talking about getting if you sows sparingly. You will reap sparingly if you want a great harvest, then you so bountifully and you will bountifully you say well how much should I give, how much should I so Paul answers that he says this, each one and notice everybody should be involved. This is verse seven. Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. He says we should give as we have made up our mind is saying that we should get on our knees and say, Lord, what is it that you want me to get that once we decide what God wants us to give. We should follow through consistently another.

Many Christians who don't do that and the way in which we know that they don't do that is here at the church. We know for example that during the summer we have less income. Our offerings go down. But why should that happen, it's because there are some Christians who, when their presence. I will you know I got 20 bucks or I got 100 bucks all give this week but next week I'm gonna sell out of sight out of mind. It shouldn't be that way when my wife and I bought a house and we signed a lease and had a mortgage.

We didn't say to the mortgage company well what were going to do is were going to skip July and August because that summer were on vacation and will pick up the payments. The later on when when we come back in the poll in September know know we we are committed to it. We've purposed in her mind and this is what were going to contribute.

This is what the mortgage says and we follow through. Paul says that we should give as we purpose in our hearts, in accordance with our blessing. A portion of God's blessing toward us. That's the way in which we should give and how should we give these says we should give, not out of compulsion or reluctant late notice that there in verse seven God loves a cheerful giver. How can I illustrate this, I would say that most of us when we pay our taxes we pay them reluctantly and under compulsion is not true. What we do as we say every time that I can save.

I'm going to say every law that I can faithfully keep I'm going to use to my advantage because every tax man will tell you, you never pay the government more than you absolutely have to fact we pay people to help us to pay as little as we can to the government right isn't that what the tax brokers are all about.

We pay them reluctantly and under compulsion.

It was a farm boy after I pay my taxes.

Thinking back to the farm now I think I'm beginning to understand how a cow feels after she's been built okay. That's the way we feel when we pay our taxes, but that's not the we were supposed to give were supposed to give cheerfully, no reluctance compulsion. Why is cheerfulness so important to God.

It's because you seed money was not made to be given away money was made to save and by the way, it is wise to save a portion of your money is wise. It was made to say it was made also to buy things so that we can exist. That was the purpose of money to give money away is so counter to our nature. It is so contrary to who we are as people that when it happens and when it happens cheerfully. That is a mark of the ministry of the Holy Spirit joy in giving can only be the fruit of the spirit and God love a cheerful giver. Now if you're not a cheerful giver. Let me tell you something about first of all I would think that you probably have some low-grade anger you may have anger against the church against God. Resentment of rich people resentment because of the good the hand that you have been dealt.

You may have a spirit of greed, any one of those things may apply and so you can't give cheerfully. You may even give but it's because of guilt or because of necessity do not give cheerfully, hilariously, would like to emphasize that because that's the root word here that doesn't mean that you hold your head back and you laugh, it means simply that you're glad to give and wish that you could give more and have such a sense of freedom when it comes to giving that's what it means to give cheerfully and if you're in that category were you can't do that.

I have a good assignment for you get on your knees and just let it all out before God confess how you feel, confess how you feel about money, about how you feel again about life how you feel about your past, past experiences, which have hampered you and get it all out there and leave it before the Lord, because God loves cheerful givers usual pastor that you're all right you said that giving is sowing the word, we get the seed well I'm glad you asked, as in most instances, you'll notice that the Bible always has answers to questions that we ask. Notice what it says in verse 10 he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing you get it.

God when you get paid at the end of two week.

The end of the month. That is a gift of God that God has supplied remember giving is sowing. You will see it again well then the apostle Paul goes on to talk about the fact that there will be a harvest there's going to be reaping. Now I need to say some things here to clear the decks and to clarify if you ever watch much television you know that there are TV evangelists who teach something like this that you are to so see in the way in which you so seed is to send money to them and then what will happen is God will give it all back to you and then they have story after story about a person who gave $100 and within two weeks, God gave them up thousand and and on and on. These stories go that's manipulative and it's intended to simply be a high octane fund raising phenomenon and it is my friend.

They have taken an excellent principle, but they've hijacked it and let me explain to you why in the Bible there is no guarantee that there is a one to one correspondence at tight connection between what you give and what God is going to give back to you in financial return. Years ago I read a book entitled how to give your way to prosperity and I say if you're talking about material prosperity, no, no, no, no, these evangelists they don't believe what they themselves are saying.

Can you imagine that if it was, and I guarantee that if you give money to their organization. It's all going to come back to you.

They would be mortgaging their houses to invest in their own organization. Knowing then that they have tons of money back, but they don't do that today and they don't tell you the stories of the people who give up thousand dollars or 100 who never get any of it back and so that is deception. But they do have a principal that is biblical and the biblical principle is that there is not a tight connection between I get $10 and now God owes me 100. That's not the connection but there is a connection between sowing and reaping, and the harvest according to this passage is nothing less than bounding up abundant grace port upon your life. It you are a cheerful giver now. Your Bible is open because this promise is so wonderful. You have to see it in the text with your own eyes. Notice it says this, God loves a cheerful giver.

Verse eight and God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times. You may found in every good work. Let's look at it phrase by phrase and God is able to shows you the power of it to make all grace abound. That's the measure of it toward you.

That's the direction of it so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times is the extent of it, that you may abound in every good work.

That's the ministry of it.

You are a cheerful giver. God is going to get back to you and the harvest will be. This abounding grace that is promised, here in the text that may include money, sometimes it remarkably includes money, sometimes it doesn't. But the grace of God will be upon your life. I noticed it. Just this morning, in rereading the text. It's amazing how you see things it says God is able to make all grace abound. Verse eight and you'll notice at the end of the verse, and that you may abound God abounds in our lives in grace and we in turn abound. It's all about bounding and a plentiful harvest.

Now the question is, exactly what does this mean so far as the text is can earn what does it look like to receive this very special harvest. Well, let's look at the text it says.

First of all, that we will receive righteousness.

It says in verse nine as it is written, he has distributed freely.

He has given to the poor. By the way, in the Psalms. This is a description of a generous man. He has distributed freely. He has given to the poor. His righteousness endures forever.

And now here's the promise verse 10 he was supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. One of the fruits that you will receive is the harvest of righteousness. This is not the righteousness of God which is received by faith. This isn't a matter of saying that this is the way we are saved. It is through giving no that's not the way it happens is it comes through faith in Jesus Christ, the righteousness that referred to here is right living, so that you see as you have a generous heart. As you take all that God has given to you and to me and as we lifted up to God with open hands so that we say God is truly is yours. It really does belong to me now give me wisdom as to what to do with it when we do that there is a righteous kind of living with an open heart that is that is permeates all of our lives.

I wouldn't doubt but that part of the bountiful harvest that is talked about is the impact in the lives of our children in the lives of our grandchildren in the lives of our relatives in the impact in the church because God says I will give you the harvest of righteousness will give you the harvest of right living. And then there's another harvest that is coming and that is glory to God. Now here I'm going to have to read the text. Remember he's going to be talking about the Saints that live in Jerusalem and how glad they are going to be at this very special gift given by these two churches and now let's look at it very carefully. Will my friend, this is Pastor Luther you're certainly going to have to listen to running to win next time to find out the conclusion of this message.

Meanwhile, I like to stress that even though you cannot give your way to prosperity in this world you can give your way to prosperity that will meet you in heaven.

Today is August 31. It's actually our last day when we are offering a tremendous challenge to our people. We have some friends of the ministry who said that they are willing to support a gift that you would give dollar for dollar up to $90,000. No gift is too small. No gift is too large.

Thanks in advance for helping us and we hope that you will take advantage of this very special opportunity to help us share the gospel and more than 20 countries of the world. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW that's RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337.

I'll give you that information again. Remember, it's August 31 your last opportunity to double your gift RTW or call us at 1-888-218-9337 it's time now for another chance for you to ask Pastor Luther a question about the Bible or the Christian life. Jennifer is a regular running to win listener who asks during Christ's three days in the tomb. Did he do send below the earth what was happening at that time will Jennifer I'm going to give you a quick answer to your question. A very good question. By the way, and that is that if Jesus did go to hell after he died on the cross, he wasn't there for very long because he said to the thief, today you will be with me in paradise. There some evidence that perhaps Jesus did descend into Hades, you know the Bible says that will not leave my soul in Sheol and there's a debate as to whether or not that just means the grave or whether or not it means something more than the graves.

Sheol does often mean more than the graves it means some kind of existence in the netherworld. It's possible that Jesus was therefore time but if he was, as I mentioned, it wasn't for long because he ended up seeing the thief in paradise. But here's the bottom line. Whether or not Jesus descended into Hades, or she'll is a matter of dispute, but one thing is certain.

He did not purchase our redemption, there, and there some false teachers on television today who say that Jesus went to hell and he bore our hell in hell no he bore our hell on the cross and so please keep that in mind that's where redemption happened and all that we can do is to simply say that perhaps we don't know whether Jesus went to Hades. But one thing is sure he did end up that very day with the father and with the thief.

Thank you Jennifer for your question. Thank you, Dr. looks her thoughtful answer if you'd like to hear your question answered. You can by going to our and clicking on ask Pastor Luther or call us with the question at 1-888-218-9337 that's 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 something God's bottom line for the offering plate is how much money ends up there so he has another agenda next time more on why God loves a cheerful giver and takes more note of what we keep and what we do. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church

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