Paul wrote to the church in Corinth concerning their offering and collections to further the spread of the gospel. Paul told the church that it was up to each person to decide how much they wanted to give. This way, people would not feel forced or coerced into giving. Paul wanted people to understand that giving was a form of worship and thanksgiving. As people gave from a willing heart, God would bless their seed and provide the increase. The concept centres around the principle of sowing and harvesting. If a farmer eats all of his seed, then there will be no crop for the next harvest season.
I used to watch my parents doing farming and observed their harvest season. Each crop would produce a harvest to sell and for household consumption. My parents would also store up seeds from crops such as peas, tomatoes, corn and mustard. This was because, after the harvest season ended, they would need to make preparation for seed time and planting new seed. These activities kept the farm going, as they understood the need to interchange sowing with harvesting. There would also be seasons when they would allow the soil to turn over, or allow an area to rest before sowing again.
Similar to farmers, believers need to understand that sowing and reaping are interchangeable. You will never lose from giving into the work of the Lord. When you sow a seed, you are guaranteed to reap a harvest. Like most things within Christianity, sowing and reaping requires faith and a heart of thanksgiving. We give to express our thanks to God who provided the harvest. We also trust him that as we sow, he will multiply the seed and produce a greater harvest. “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11).
I am not sure if any of you have ever planted anything, but I have seen one seed produce a tree that has lived for many years. From one seed, many trees have gone on to produce many fruits. A farmer or a sower has to choose whether or not to eat the seed today to satisfy his hunger. The other alternative is to sow the seed and wait for it to germinate and produce an even greater harvest. We also have to become sensitive to the seasons, to know when to sow and when to harvest.
Pray and ask God to provide seed for sowing, so that you too can reap a harvest of righteousness. “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12).