and waiting for the harvest in order to reap. When it comes to finances we can learn so much about this principle through the metaphor of a farmer.

The basic concept of sowing and reaping goes like this; when one sows finances then one could expect to reap a harvest of finances. This is basic for all Christians to understand, but it is a little more challenging to being able to sow effective and reap a harvest. So let's look at this principle a little deeper.

In the natural when the famer plants a seed he becomes dependent on time in order to reap the harvest. During that time the farmer is also dependent on the weather, he needs the weather to be balanced; with the right mixture of sun and rain. This is out of the farmer's control, this is an element that requires him to wait and pray that it works out in his favor.

While in the period of waiting the farmer isn't idle; he is busy preparing for the harvest. He is also pruning the plant and working on the ground around the seed. With today's technology water can be diverted to the plant, and in most cases despite lack of rain. While the farmer does all this he is biding his time until the harvest.

In the realm of God's kingdom sowing takes on a similar course. The primary difference being the time in which one can harvest. God, who is author of time, can speed up the process in which one can reap. In the spiritual realm the sower's seed is not confined to time, however, this doesn't always mean that the harvest happens immediately.

I have personally witnessed others, as well as myself, reap a harvest quickly. I knew a couple who reaped a harvest in 15 minutes. I myself have reaped in the same day. Does this mean that every harvest time is the same? No! Not in God's kingdom. I've asked myself why that is so. I've come to the conclusion that during any lag time before the harvest shows up there are things that must be accomplished during that time.

For example, during the harvest God may be working on something within your life or setting something up so that when harvest time comes it produces far more than if you had reaped sooner.

Let's look at an actual work in progress example. The creator of this website, Steve, had an idea that would be beneficial to the Christian community while raising funds for his ministry. The concept is quite ingenious; to promote Christian business, give others an opportunity to help a ministry, and to be a source of news and spiritual food for Christians in the form of articles and teachings. In return, Steve asks for your financial support in the form of donation so that he can continue working with the youth in his ministry.

Steve is like the farmer sowing his personal time and money into creating this website for everyone's benefit. It will take some time to germinate, but as readers and supporters of this website begin coming on board with Steve's vision, in time the website will produce a harvest. In this case, time is a natural way to produce a larger harvest. In time, Steve will be reaping financial support to help him continue working in his calling. In time, the sowing that he has done and the tending to the planted seed will yield a healthy harvest. Time in this case is a healthy benefit. This brings up the question; how does one sow properly and effectively?

Last month we looked at the principle of sowing and reaping; specifically examining reaping more closely. This month we will take a closer look at sowing to see if there is a method to sowing.

As you read the bible it becomes obvious that God uses metaphors to describe certain kingdom principles to help us understand and apply them for our benefit.

I'm so thankful that God used the analogy of a farmer planting seed

Check out Joshua Ray’s book "Your Church Won't Teach You This: Get the Inside Scoop on Interpreting the Bible" on amazon.com.

Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Faith News Niagara and Joshua Ray are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.

Images courtesy of vitasamb2001 and Sommai at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

"In the natural when the famer plants a seed he becomes dependent on time in order to reap the harvest. In the spiritual realm the sower's seed is not confined to time..."

Sowing And Reaping: How To Sow

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Local author Joshua Ray shares his thoughts on the Scriptures, faith, & Biblical finances.

A farmer doesn't just throw seed every. He plants them systematically so that when harvest time comes, he can reap effectively. The farmer doesn't throw seed near the house, on the road, in the pig pen. He plants with purpose.

So too when sowing financially be conscious of where you sow. You may have been taught at church where you should sow. I not going to argue whether what you were taught is right or wrong but I will offer a different perspective.

In church you may have heard that you can sow into your church; to sow to their 'such and such' ministry, or they might offer a place outside the church that they approve of. However, I would like to offer another option, but it requires faith, trust, and a hearing ear on your part. Are you ready to grow your faith, trust, and hearing ear?

Throughout the bible God prepares men and women for a harvest. There is a level of trust, faith, and obedience involved. Some famous stories include Joseph and Egypt or even Jacob working for Rachel's hand in marriage, and the one we will look at; the widow and Elijah.

1 Kings 17:1-16 in summary is about a widow and her son who had nothing left in the house but flour and oil. Elijah asked her to make food for him first. It took faith, trust, and obedience to do as he asked but in the end she reaped a harvest that lasted a long time. The woman sowed her last meal as instructed by the word of God and she reaped immediately.

In the natural, it made no sense to sow the last of her food but because it was a word from God it made more sense to be obedient. Today, begin to hear where God wants you to sow your time, finances, or talent. Sow it into an area where you are compelled by God. Learn to be led by His Spirit and hear where you should specifically sow. Sometimes it may not be in the context of the church, but don't be afraid to follow your heart. God doesn't just work in the context of the church; He is at work in many facets of life. The key to sowing effectively is to be led by God to do so because He knows where the fertile ground is.

Once you sow then tend to the ground by prayer, continue to sow your talents or skills, and then begin looking for the harvest. If you have to you may need to read the previous article on how to reap.

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February 2015