Three Harvest Times:
1. Barley Reaping (April/May)
2. Wheat Harvest (June/July)
3. In gathering of the Fruits -Tree/Vines (Sept/Oct)
Festivals occurring during each of those harvest times.
Galatians 6:7-10 NASB
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Monday: Get Your Ground Ready!
1. Read Proverbs 24:27
I’ve included three different translations.
New International Version
Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.
New Living Translation
Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house.
English Standard Version
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.
The first thing that needs to be done before you have a crop to harvest is to get a field ready. However, not just any field will work. Each plant grows best in a certain type of soil. Soils vary by region which have different climates and precipitation. Fields also need to be plowed and made ready. If a seed is not planted in the right type of soil or an unplowed field, then its growth is not fruitful or nonexistent.
It’s kind of like humans. We live in different places with different cultures. But, our heart and our minds are like fields. Everyday we see, hear, and experience things that are planted in our mind, vision, desires, and emotions.
Because of that, last week I asked, “Where do you plant your presence?” A blessed man plants himself in the Word God. However he chooses this. He is not being forced. Therefore it shows his heart/mind or field is ready for the seed of God to be planted. His field has been plowed and made ready
If he was being forced to be in the presence of the Lord or had minimal exposure, his heart/field isn’t plowed well enough for the seed to grow strong roots. Therefore the seed is received, but will fail to reach the maturity of being harvested.
We got to get our field ready so God’s seed grows and remains in us.
1 John 3:9 NIV
No one who is born of God will continue to sin,because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.
So to start off today, I want to ask some questions that will have you reflect on the status of your field/heart before moving into the study.
1. How often to you plant yourself in Bible reading?
2. Answer only the question that pertains to you:
A. What keeps you from attempting to read the Bible? Explain any past attempts that did not succeed in becoming a Bible reader.
B. What keeps you from reading the Bible regularly? Think about how you can create some type of system that works around those challenges if they are not going to go away. Think about which challenges are actually distractions, therefore becoming a priority in your schedule over reading God’s Word.
C. If you are reading regularly, have you thought about deepening your understanding by incorporating Biblical resource books? What would you like to know more about?
Now read Galatians 6:7
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
A man reaps what he sows. The acting of sowing requires effort and energy.
A. The person has to physically take seed out and intentionally sow it somewhere.
B. The amount of harvest and the type of harvest depends on what the sower sowed.
C. The amount of seed sown depends on the size of the field.
Based on what has been written up to this point, reflect on Galatians 6:7.
1. Where do you sow your seed? Where do you invest your energy in besides work?
2. Reflect where do you sow into sin.
For me I sow into emotional eating. Eating is not bad, but when I eat to calm my emotions I’m sowing to the flesh. And trust me, my body will not be mocked. It shows!
3. How often are you sowing into your sin?
Galatians 6:8 NASB
8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Galatians 5 16-13 (NASB)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For 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.18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, [d]factions,21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
1. Galatians 6:8 says if you sow to please the flesh then you will reap/harvest destruction. From Galatians 5, list the 15 things that are deeds of the flesh. List them straight down your paper leaving room to write on the side of them.
2. Next to each deed, give examples of ways that either you and/or others sow into that particular deed. (This is between you and God. Don’t be afraid to confront anything or even place a question mark on things you are not sure fall into that category but you think maybe do.)
3. Now, for each deed write whether or not the secular world thinks your examples will lead to destruction.
4. Now from Galatians 5, list the nine fruits of the Spirit in the same way you listed the deeds of the flesh.
5. Next to each fruit, express where you feel you are with that fruit. You can even give yourself a ranking using a 1-10 range. One meaning not there at all. Five is neutral, and 10 would represent as close to humanly possible at reflecting that fruit.
6. Can you think of any situations God has grown you in a specific fruit or is challenging you to grow in a specific fruit?
If you have time, reread Psalm 1:1-6 from last week. It reemphasizes these scriptures.
Wednesday: Sowing and Growing
Matthew 13:3-8 (NASB)
3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, “Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 Others fell [a]among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
1. First notice there is one intentional action and three unintentional actions.
2. All the seeds are in the presence of the sower, but some have either slipped through or fallen out when others are intentionally being sown.
There are many things that can put us in the presence of God.
1. Going to church
2. Listening to Christian music
3. Listening to an online or radio sermon
4. Reading a devotional
6. Reading the Bible
However reading the Bible and prayer are the only two that require just you and God. It’s that 1:1 personal relationship and it is first hand information.
Remember in week one of this study, the Word says the blessed man meditates on the law of God day and night. Where is that first hand information? In the Bible!
In this parable, there are four types of ground.
1. Side of the road
2. Rocky places
3. Thorny ground
4. Good soil
Here is the danger. Every single person has a heart/ground. If it’s only being “plowed” with Christian music, online sermons, or just attending church, your heart will not be plowed to the point that your ground can get to the point of good soil. Good soil reaps a harvest .
We usually start by going to church etc., but to never move to reading the word of God for ourselves, along with praying, leaves you missing out a great relationship. Plus, the Word transforms us from the inside out. It’s how God speaks to you directly to grow you to maturity. Maturity that can be harvested and multiplied. You don’t want to have stunted growth
This is why many people think that they will go to heaven because they attend church regularly, believe in Jesus, and try to be a good person. People think the activity is the relationship.
Let’s compare this to a real relationship.
If you spend time as a couple going to a movie, concerts, and believe the person is your spouse without talking or “listening” to what that person has to say to you first hand would that be a real relationship?
You have to talk and share your thoughts, concerns, and beliefs. And these conversations need to happen with just you and your spouse. Not with a middle man or receiving second hand information.
So why do we think not having this intimacy with God is ok?
God shares his love, thoughts, character, beliefs through his Word. We have to read it for ourselves to get to know Him. We have to pray so we can share our thoughts with God. He wants to listen.
1. Out of the four ground types which one(s) do you most relate with?
2. Based on the parable, what is happening to God’s seed when it lands on your ground.
Notice that each ground type is receiving the seed just like many people hear about Jesus and are even believers of Jesus. But, do all the seeds reach the point of harvest?
3. The difference is the ground. Once you receive God’s seed, is your heart/ground able to provide an ENVIRONMENT for the seed to grow in you and transform you? Are you staying as a seedling or are you growing in Christ to point that your flesh is becoming dead?
A harvested plant is a dead plant.
1. Yet it’s in its death that it feeds others.
2. It’s nourishment that allows others to grow.
3. It also gets to a point where it is creating many seed. The plant must die for the new seeds to be planted.
All plants die, but not all make it to a mature enough state that reproduces, multiplies, and can be used for a service.
Thursday: Sowing and Growing Continued
Let’s flip the script. Yesterday we looked at the scripture as if you were the ground with the ground representing your heart and how it may or may not be getting plowed well enough for the seed to grow to the point of harvest.
Today let’s think about you being the seed. All people belong to God. Yet some choose by the depth of their relationship with HIM to stay in his presence. These are the ones that are in His hand the entire time and get sown in good soil. The other ones are falling out of his hand or coming out too soon.
1. If you are the seed falling onto the side of the road, what real world situation could this be? What could have caused this situation to occur?
2. If you are the seed falling onto rocky ground, what real world situation could this be? What could have caused this situation to occur?
3. If you are the seed falling onto thorny ground what real world situation could this be? What could have caused this situation to occur?
4. If you are the seed being placed in the good soil, what real world situations could this be? What could have caused this situation to occur?
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
1. For the barley and wheat harvest, “the corners of the fields were no to be reaped and the scatterings of the cut grain were not to be picked up.” (Zondervan Pictoral Bible Dictionary)
2. “With a new orchard or vineyard the fruit could not be gathered for three years, and the fourth year’s crop had the given entirely to the Lord. So the owner had to wait until the fifth year to get any fruit for himself. (Zondervan Pictoral Bible Dictionary)
For the grain fields, the instruction to leave the corners and not pick up what had fallen or scattered was to benefit the poor.
1. Putting on your business cap, why would this good deed be an inconvenience?
2. If you were the owner of a new vineyard or orchard, what would be difficult about your situation based on the information above?
3. How does that scripture impact you now knowing the harvesting customs of that time?
4. What situation/crop have you been investing yourself in through action and/or prayer that has not come into fruition yet?
5. Is there a blessing others are able to receive because you are working and tending to your situation/crop even though you don’t see your harvest?
6. What emotions does God acknowledge you are going to go through while you wait?
Let’s think back to the past two days. God knows we get weary. Maybe he does too?
However, he keeps sowing. He does not stop, because he wants everyone one of us to repent and grow in Him and into an image of Christ.
He wants a crop of Christians that can be harvested and sent out to “feed” the world and multiply.
And others fell on the good soil and *yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
7. How do you feel about your situation now?
8. What action steps will you take to either incorporate Bible reading, become more consistent, or gain a deeper knowledge?
Have a blessed week!