“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” 2 Corinthians 9:6
Connecting with One Another
Is it wrong to expect and anticipate a harvest as a farmer? In what ways does expecting a harvest and the sale of that harvest motivate the farmer? What motivates us as Christians to do good works? What are some of the spiritual rewards for doing good works? Discuss ways we downplay spiritual rewards as returns for good works, which could explain why many Christians aren’t motivated to do good works.
Growth through Understanding
What should motivate us to be kingdom stewards of our time, talents and treasures? How can we be inspired to adopt and put into action the principle of kingdom stewardship? To help us better understand, God has a farming principle that illustrates the “cause and effect” of managing His resources His way. It’s a familiar principle known as sowing and reaping. In effect, a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop or harvest. The principle of “sowing and reaping” transcends farming and extends to the spiritual realm of God’s magnificent grace. When applied fully, it allows us to tap into the grace that God has stored up for each of us. We studied the concept of grace in last year’s small group Bible study. Let’s again review the definition grace. Grace is defined as the inexhaustible goodness of God that He freely gives to mankind which is not deserved, cannot be earned, and can never be repaid. It is God’s unmerited favor! God has built into His creation how His grace is dispersed, namely, by the principle of sowing and reaping. Just as a farmer is concerned with four crucial considerations in sowing—whether to sow, where to sow, how to sow and why to sow—we must also take these into consideration in the stewardship of God’s resources. When a farmer harvests a crop, he takes it to market. It benefits someone else. Similarly, God has created His grace to flow through us to others. Thus, as you bless others, you also benefit from the grace flowing through you. God has so much grace to give that it covers every category of your life. It also empowers you for every good work because through the grace He gives you, you’re able to give it to others. You’re able to now encourage, inspire and help others maximize their own kingdom potential. As a kingdom steward, you are handling God’s resources God’s way for God’s glory and the good of others. When you do, He boomerangs it right back to you. Thus, you will never sow in vain. You may need to wait, yes. There is always time between sowing and reaping a harvest, but when you live according to God’s kingdom principles, you will reap in due season.
Growth through Discussion
As you dive into the heart of Dr. Evans’ teaching, use the following questions to generate discussion among your group.
- What four things did Dr. Evans say a farmer must be concerned with when it comes to sowing and reaping? Discuss the importance of each of these four things.
- Describe what would happen if a farmer chose only to pray and did not plant any seeds? How does this apply to spiritual sowing and reaping as a kingdom steward?
- What is the result of living as a “conduit” and not a “cul-e-sac” Christian as it relates to your resources, blessings and God’s grace? Consequently, what is the result of the reverse…living as a “cul-e-sac” Christian?
- Reaping and sowing involve seasons. Describe the gap time between both as taught in today’s lesson. How does this relate to spiritual stewardship? In what ways ought this increase both our patience and diligence when it comes to good works” and extending grace?
Now is the time to apply the wisdom of what you have learned to your life, as you express the depth of your relationship with God through service to Him and others.
God loves a cheerful giver. Whatever you normally give this week, focus on your heart as you give (whether it’s your time, abilities and treasures in caring for your family, helping your co-workers, doing random acts of kindness with strangers or sharing your finances to support the work of the ministry). The goal is to be a cheerful giver. In what ways do you need to adjust your attitude so that you can give more cheerfully?
Following the principle in Luke 6:38, identify a specific desire you have for your own life (a financial breakthrough, overcoming loneliness, being less critical or a career recognition). Now find a way to help or minister to someone with a similar desire this week.