In Western New York, harvest is generally connected with the days of late Summer and early Autumn. As a church, we are looking forward to our Harvest Dinner on Sunday, November 10th at 5:00 p.m. Please feel free to invite others to join us for this wonderful meal with a celebration baptismal service to follow. Although there is no cost and tickets are not needed, we do ask that each person signs up for the Harvest Dinner via the sign-up sheet in our church foyer. As a church, we will also be taking our harvest offering on that day. The harvest offering will be used as a Christmas gift to the missionaries that our church supports.
Besides the yearly harvest season, there is another type of harvest that every person will someday receive. This harvest is not associated with fruits and vegetables, nor is it connected with a certain season of the year. Rather, this harvest is something in which all believers in Jesus Christ participate. Actually, there are two types of possible harvest. Notice what the Bible tells us in Galatians 6:7-10: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary in well doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Notice several details about the harvest. First, there is a principle determining the harvest. God established this principle, and it is the same principle that guides farmers today. When you sow green beans you harvest green beans. When you sow sweet peas, you harvest sweet peas. The harvest is marked by the characteristic of what one plants. The life of every believer is also guided by this principle. They are not sowing physical seeds, but instead actions, thoughts, and deeds that are either going to come from the ground of the Spirit or from the flesh.
This leads us to the possibilities of what we can harvest. If our lives are marked by the flesh, then we will reap the corruption that comes from the flesh. Corruption gives the idea of rottenness and decay. However, if our lives are controlled by the Spirit of Christ, then we will reap life everlasting. The word for everlasting speaks about that which endures beyond this present age. If you go back to the beginning of this book in Galatians 1:4, you will see that the only harvest a natural person can produce will be marked by this present evil age. But the good news of the Gospel frees us from our bondage to sin and in Christ we now have liberty to live according to the Spirit. Our harvest no longer needs to be marked by the corruption of this present evil age, but in can be marked by the fruit of the Spirit of God. Sadly, some believers in Christ will abuse their freedom and still produce a harvest of corruption.
This brings us to the plan to produce a good harvest. Instead of doing evil, by continuing to do that to which you were once in bondage (Galatians 1:4), now through the gospel of Jesus Christ you have been set free, so that you can now serve the Lord as you serve one another through love (Galatians 5:13). God in His mercy and grace saved us so that we could produce the fruit of the Spirit. He saved us so that in this season, we would do good to all, especially those of the household of faith.
May we believers in Christ live by faith in the one who loved us and gave Himself for us, knowing that the passions and desires of our flesh have been crucified with Christ. And as our faith works through love, may we persevere in doing good as we look forward to reaping an eternal harvest that is full of the fruit of the Spirit.