by Alexei Laushkin
When we sow sparingly we reap sparingly. If you have a garden or have ever grown food you know this to be true. If you sow and prepare a meager portion, your field or your garden will produce meagerly. Many of us live 24/7 lives. Matthew Sleeth of Blessed Earth encourages us to live 24/6 lives.
We won’t have room for the Kingdom and His purposes if we don’t give him some room to work in our lives. If we sow sparingly, we’ll reap sparingly. The Kingdom isn’t just about how close we feel to God on a day to day basis, it’s about how much we embody/live out our faith by the hour.
We begin to have a passion for the Kingdom of Christ when we see that Kingdom break into our everyday work, home, and friendships. The Kingdom is lived out in being extraordinarily patient with a spouse or friend; lived out when you choice to bless those who hurt you; lived out in the ordinary kindnesses of acknowledgement and courtesy.
You see in church we often talk about doing THE BIG things for God. Going on that mission trip to Africa, helping to fight human slavery through IJM, bringing a friend to Christ, but the TRUTH is that the BIG things of God in our lives are lived out every single day. Character counts. Kindness counts. Self-control counts. Abstaining from temptation counts. Forgiveness counts. Being alive at work counts. And Love counts above all.
The problem is that these little things don’t come naturally. They are a gift of God enabled by the Holy Spirit. We have to give God room to work in our lives. If we sow sparingly we will reap sparingly. While more bible study and morning devotions are great tools for spiritual growth, they are not a substitute for actually being generous, for actually being kind, for actually engaging with your neighbor. We all have to start somewhere, whether it’s our attitudes at work, at home, or in how we manage our time. We don’t live to the drum beat of every day needs, we live by the grace God has given to us through Christ Jesus.
God delights in us reflecting his Son. When we do the things that Jesus did, when we understand the depth of love and grace He has in sustaining us, we begin to embody and live into His Kingdom.
“God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV).
In the passage we learn that God loves a cheerful giver, someone who invests time and finances to bless those in need. It’s not simply the wealthy who are blessed by being generous; it is anyone with a heart to give.
We often hear about the righteous woman of Proverbs 31; 2 Corinthians 9 is the righteous Christian in any stage of life. The Christian gives and sows in accord with their love of the Kingdom. The Christian gives without regard to the worthiness and/or politics of the recipient. The Christian gives because they have already given their hours and talents to God. A generous giver knows what it means to have a passion for His Kingdom, and a passion for His Name.
Alexei Laushkin is the Senior Director of Communications for the Evangelical Environmental Network. He and his family live in Falls Church, VA.