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What a tremendous reminder!
First of all, God PROVIDES. I’m sure that you, like me, are often in need of provision. It seems like something is always popping up and we wonder where the resources for its provision will come from. I am starting to wonder why I wonder. I already know. Every good and perfect gift descends from above.
Next, it’s interesting to note that the SOWER is the only one who is given SEED. That means that if we expect God to give us seed to grow into abundance, we need to sow what we already have, thus making ourselves sowers. I could expound on this for days, but I’ll let you mull it over on your own.
After that, we see that He provides bread for food. I always think that is interesting, because bread comes up a lot in Scripture. David himself said that “once I was young and now I am old, and I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor His children hunger for bread.” In the desert God provided manna. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He directed them to thank God for their daily bread. Sometimes I want more than bread. I want steak, chicken parmesan, fajitas … chocolate. And when those things aren’t there, I might whine. But in reality, I ought to be thankful for the bread of heaven!
The next part is just awesome. God will supply our store of seed, and then He’ll increase it.
Yes, God expects us to sow. But He doesn’t expect us to sow out of nothing. You have to have something to sow, right? But let’s be careful about our expectations. 99.9% of the time that we have a need, and we ask God for provision, it comes in the form of an extra job or overtime. Only twice has God ever just used someone to bless us with the actual funds without our having to work for it. However, we are always thankful for those jobs and extra hours. Why? Because we understand that provision is not a right, but a gift. Seed still has to be sown for a harvest to be reaped. God doesn’t promise a miraculous harvest, but He gives you more of an opportunity to reap one! The provision of seed still means work.
And then God increases it. I encourage you to read Malachi 3. I am always so blessed and encouraged by it.
And the most important part is the ending. God promises the enlargement of our harvest of righteousness. I like to look at why God puts things in the order that He does. So, why is this at the end? I think it is because it is the cumulative result of trusting your God to provide, sowing even when you wonder what the point is, being thankful for what provision is already there, understanding that increase and multiplication still comes in the form of work, and then -and only then- will we see an increase in our righteousness.
Note: it’s not a promise of wealth, or a “get out of jail free” card, or anything like that. God didn’t drop an Easy button out of heaven (that’s just on the Staples commercial, folks). But righteousness makes us more like Him; it is the development of His character in us. And what more could we really want?