"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Sow To The Spirit – Reap Eternal Life!

By Rich Carmicheal

    "…the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Gal. 6:8).

    Oh how we need the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives! He is our Helper, the precious gift sent by our Heavenly Father to abide with us and to be in us (John 14:15-17). He is the One Who fills us with the life and love of God, as well as with hope, righteousness, peace and joy (John 6:63; Rom. 5:5; 15:13; 14:17). He is the Spirit of truth who helps us know the things freely given to us by God (John 16:13; 1 Cor. 2:12).

    He is also the Spirit of power and holiness, and He sanctifies us and empowers us to live a godly life (1 Cor. 6:11; Ezek. 36:27). He circumcises our heart, regenerates and renews us, and strengthens us with power in our inner man (Rom. 2:29; Titus 3:5-6; Eph. 3:16). As He leads us, we are able to put to death the deeds of the flesh and to serve the Lord in newness and freedom (Rom. 7:6; 8:13-14; Gal. 5:16-18; 2 Cor. 3:17). Through His glorious ministry He transforms us more and more into the image of the Lord (2 Cor. 3:8-18). His fruit is "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Gal. 5:22-23).

    He also gives us power to witness, power to speak the Word of God boldly, and power to minister God’s life to others (Acts 1:8; 4:31; 10:38). We are absolutely dependent on the Holy Spirit for godly living and ministry. "‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts" (Zech. 4:6).

Sow to the Spirit

    In light of how precious and essential the gift of the Holy Spirit is to us, we should be very careful to do all that we can to welcome His presence and His work in our lives. We are to set our minds on the things of the Spirit, not on the things of the flesh (Rom. 8:5-6). We must remember that "the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please" (Gal. 5:17). We need to "walk by the Spirit" and do the things that please God (Gal. 5:16; 1 Thes. 4:1). We need to be very sensitive and respond to all that the Spirit says (Rev. 2:7), including His warning to not harden our hearts toward the Lord (Heb. 3:7-8).

    One of the ways we sow to the Spirit is by sowing the Word of God into our lives. The Word of God is "the sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6:17), and He works through it to bring forth life in us (1 Thes. 2:13). As Jesus teaches, "…the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the Word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty" (Matt. 13:23). With this in mind, let us put aside "all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness" and "in humility receive the Word implanted" which is able to save our souls (Jas. 1:21). We must be "doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves" (Jas. 1:22).

    In an hour when more and more people are turning away their ears from sound doctrine and the truth (2 Tim. 4:3-4), we need to be even more diligent to read the Word of God, to study it, to take it to heart, to obey it, and to proclaim it. As we do, the Holy Spirit will be faithful to teach us (John 14:26) and to work through the Scripture to bring any needed reproof and correction in our lives, to train us in righteousness, and to equip us for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

    We also sow to the Spirit through our prayer life. The Bible instructs us to "pray at all times in the Spirit" with all prayer and petition (Eph. 6:18). And when in our weakness we do not know how to pray as we should, we are to depend upon the Spirit to intercede for us in accordance to the will of God (Rom. 8:26-27). Just imagine how far-reaching the impact of prayer is that is offered to the Lord in the Spirit and through the intercession of the Spirit! What harvest would be possible both now and for eternity if we relied more fully upon the Holy Spirit in our prayers for our loved ones, our churches, our communities and our nation?

Sow Bountifully, Reap Bountifully

    One of God’s principles regarding sowing and reaping is that "he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully" (2 Cor. 9:6). I encourage you to become as serious with the Holy Spirit as you ever have. Sow bountifully to Him and yield your life fully to Him. Be "careful how you walk…making the most of your time, because the days are evil. …Do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And…be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:15-18).

    Ask the Heavenly Father for more of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in your life, knowing that He is eager to give this precious gift without measure (John 3:34; Luke 11:13). Be serious about turning away from any and all sin, avoiding anything that would in any way grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:30). "Do not quench the Spirit…But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil" (1 Thes. 5:19-22). Confess any sin in your life to the Lord and ask Him to cleanse you and to not take the Holy Spirit from your life (Psa. 51:1-11).

    Fill your mind and heart with the Word of God. Devote yourself to prayer, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you and help you as you pray. Ask for more of the fruit of the Spirit to be produced in your life. Live "with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit..." (Eph. 4:2-3). Ask the Lord to sanctify you completely – spirit, soul and body – knowing that God calls you to holiness and gives His Holy Spirit to you (1 Thes. 4:7-8; 5:23).

The Gift of Eternal Life

    And as you sow to the Spirit, rejoice in the great reward you will reap – eternal life! "…The one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life" (Gal. 6:8). While we often think of eternal life as being the gift to live forever, it is much more than this. Jesus says to His Father, "And this is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent" (John 17:3). The Apostle John adds that "the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him Who is true, and we are in Him Who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life" (1 John 5:20). Jesus came that we "might have life, and might have it abundantly" (John 10:10), and He Himself is the life! (1 John 1:1-2). This gift of eternal life begins even now in this present age (John 3:36; 1 John 5:11) and finds its glorious fulfillment in the age to come which lasts forever (Mark 10:30; Jude 1:21).

    Praise the Lord for the eternal life that is in the Son and for the eternal Spirit who gives this life to us! (John 6:63). Let us sow bountifully to the Spirit, rejoicing that from our "innermost being shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:38), "a well of water springing up to eternal life" (John 4:14).

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    Those of us in the Herald office give thanks to the Lord for the love in the Spirit that many of you have toward us and that we have toward you. Perhaps we could offer the following heartfelt words by the Apostle Paul as our prayer for one another:

    "…We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, Who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light" (Col. 1:9-12).

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