Cruising Route 66
Things You Should Never Plant
Paul, an apostle–sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised Him from the dead– and all the brothers with me, to the churches in Galatia: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Galatians 1:1-5
Paul opens by making it clear who he is, and the authority by which he speaks. He establishes who Jesus is, and what He has done for a lost and dying world. He follows this by pointing out who we are, a saved people who are no longer held captive by the evil of this world.
With these facts fixed in the minds of the readers, he then reveals that they are slipping away from the true gospel. They are allowing themselves to be swayed by lies and perversions of the truth.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel– which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Galatians 1:6-9
He’s talking to us today. We live in a world that preaches countless gospels. There are more expressed forms of truth than there are stars in the sky. Everyone is selling another way to eternal peace, new ways to reach “Nirvana”. Paul says anything other than the gospel of Christ’s death and resurrection, His redeeming grace, your freedom from sin, and God’s ultimate and absolute glory” is a lie. – Subject to eternal damnation.
Why do we constantly fall back into the old way of life? Why are we so easily deceived? If only there were some fundamental principle we could apply to our lives to be more steadfast, and wise. – Good news, there is!
As children, we all had that special place where we could go and be alone. I heard of a boy who would climb an old fruit tree in his backyard. It had lots of leaves, but it hadn’t produced fruit in years. It was a perfect spot to sit and dream for hours up in its branches. He would go there when he felt mistreated, or misunderstood. That tree was his hideaway, his special place.
One day he heard his father telling his mother, “I think I’ll cut down that old fruit tree. It hasn’t produced any fruit in years.” What could he do? If he begged his father not to do it, he would have to say why, and his secret hideaway wouldn’t be a secret anymore. Then he had a great idea. While his parents were busy he got a basket full of apples from the trees nearby and tied them to the branches of the old fruit tree.
The next morning his father went out and looked at the old tree and was amazed to see it was producing big, fat apples. The boy stood at the door of his room and listened as his father came in and said to his mother, “You’re not going to believe this, but a miracle took place last night. That old fruit tree is full of apples on almost every branch.”
“That’s remarkable.” His wife said – “Yes, it’s even a double miracle because that’s not an apple tree. It’s a pear tree.”
What makes that humorous is that we know apple trees don’t produce pears. When you sow apple seeds you expect apples. That is a fundamental principle we all can apply to our lives. What we plant, that is what we will reap.
Once we get ahold of this profound principle, we will know clearly just what we can and cannot do. Yet, for some strange reason, we seem to miss its application in much of our own lives. It is as though we choose to ignore this foundational truth, especially if it stands in the way of what we want or desire.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-9
Paul was not the first to say it. Jesus taught that principle in His parables. The prophet Hosea said, “If you sow the wind, you will reap the whirlwind.” (Hosea 8:7) Even further back, Moses says, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, wound for wound.” (Exodus 21:24) Moses is talking about sowing and reaping. If you go even further than that in Genesis 1:11 God forms the earth and says, “Let the ground bring forth grass, and the herb yielding seed, and every fruit bearing tree bring forth fruit after its own kind. And it was so.” The principle of sowing and reaping is as old as life itself. What you sow is what you will reap.
Paul preceded his statement of reaping with some disturbing words, “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked.” Why did Paul add this before telling us about planting and reaping? It is because we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re too smart to be deceived. Paul is telling us that God cannot be deceived but we can. God knows what kind of seed we are sowing, but do we? There are four important lessons within this passage.
Sowers sow with the harvest in mind. Take the time to weigh out the consequences of your actions. Know what will grow from what you plant. Don’t ignore what those before you planted because you may or may not benefit from it.
Sowers always harvest more than they sow. Planting is an investment. The farmer doesn’t plant 20 bushels of seed corn intending to only reap 15. You plant or invest to gain a greater return. Sowing always returned more then you planted, so be careful because a little harm sown could result in a greater destruction than expected.
Sowers know that some will reap from seed they didn’t sow. The innocent may reap the seed that we sow. Adam and Eve sowed sin into the world. We had nothing to do with sowing that seed, but we’re still reaping a harvest of sin. If we’re sowing seeds of dishonesty and greed in the hearts of our children, they may not have planted the seeds, but they will reap the harvest. If we sow seeds of love, kindness, joy and peace in their hearts, they will reap those wonderful fruits.
Sowers knows what they can’t do. They know that they can’t reap what they haven’t sown. They know that they will never reap something other than what they have planted. Here are twenty-five things you should never plant and why.
- Sow disrespect and expect to reap esteem.
- Sow corrupt deeds and expect to reap righteous living.
- Sow hatred and expect to reap love
- Sow bad habits and expect to reap a good character.
- Sow laziness and expect to reap prosperity.
- Sow cruelty and expect to reap kindness.
- Sow gluttony and expect to reap good health.
- Sow corruption and expect to reap continued success.
- Sow self-indulgence and expect to reap self-control.
- Sow deception and expect to reap confidence.
- Sow jealously and expect to reap trust.
- Sow indifference and expect to reap compassion.
- Sow disorder and expect to reap direction.
- Sow cowardice and expect to reap courage.
- Sow wastefulness and expect to reap stewardship.
- Sow disloyalty and expect to reap friendship.
- Sow drunkenness and expect to reap a clear mind.
- Sow profanity and expect to reap respect.
- Sow greed and expect to reap generosity.
- Sow apathy and expect to reap concern.
- Sow rivalry and expect to reap an ally.
- Sow lustful thoughts and expect to reap a pure life.
- Sow dishonesty and expect to reap integrity.
- Sow neglect of God’s word and expect to reap strength in temptation.
- Sow human thistles and reap human roses.
The good news is that Jesus Christ came died and rose again so that all our bad seeds of the past will be made dormant before God.
Until next time,