Sowing Seeds

November 16, 2001 PM
Pastor Chris Abernathy
Columbus, Georgia

If you would, open your Bibles with me to the book of Ecclesiastes chapter eleven. Ecclesiastes chapter eleven. Solomon had some words of wisdom that he is relaying to us this evening. In Ecclesiastes chapter eleven, verse one, it says,

1. Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

Look at verse four

4. He that observeth the wind (I'm in the amplified tonight) shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.

5. As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all.

6. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.

Let us pray.

Most holy and gracious heavenly Father, we thank You for the opportunity to be in Your house one more time. Father, let Your Word go forth unhindered by the forces of darkness, unhindered by the works of the flesh.

Hide Your son behind the cross, that Your people would see You and not me. And Father, I decrease that You would increase. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer. In Jesus' Name, amen.

When we look at the book of Ecclesiastes in chapter eleven, the preacher was saying to us, "You don't know when you're going to reap." Some people look as if they're going to plant a seed and immediately receive that harvest. Some people (glory to God) think that once they plant one seed, that's it. But God is looking for somebody to keep on sowing and sowing and sowing and sowing.

When we look at money, I began to ask God, "What's the problem with finances?" God said, "The problem with finances is attitude."

When I looked at the word "attitude," it meant, "opinion." What has happened is, we allow our opinions from our past experiences dictate (glory to God) our financial wealth of sowing into the Kingdom of God. We have become opinionated. We have allowed our experiences to cause us to form an opinion about God.

Let me tell you what happens when we form a negative opinion about God. It blocks (glory to God) that flow that was about to come to you. It dams up that dam of living water that was trying to flow to you. Glory to God.

But if I get my attitude right... Oh, hallelujah to Jesus. If I allow myself to form the right opinions, no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. Come on, give God a handclap of praise tonight.

If I wait for conditions to be perfect, I'm going to miss out on my blessing. Many of us don't think (glory to God) that we are to sow at certain times. But it said sow in the morning and sow in the evening, because you don't know which one is going to bring the harvest.

We plant one time, and it's all over. Do you hear what I'm saying tonight? We sow a little seed one time, and we think (glory to God) the storehouse is going to open up on us. But the Bible said He provides seed to the sower.

If I become a real sower, I don't have to worry about the seed to sow. Because the one (glory to God) that provides it is going to make sure that I have it. Glory to God.

We sow sparingly. Shall we reap also sparingly? But He's looking for somebody that's willing to plant bountifully. You want a bountiful blessing? Then you got to sow bountifully. If you want abundance, you got to sow abundantly. It's the law and the principle of the Word of God. The same measure that I mete, it shall be met back to me again.

Saints of God, God gave me this word on finance tonight, because there are too many people in the house of God going through about finance. But He said the problem is not the source. The problem is the attitude.

When we look in First Timothy, it says, "For the love of money is the root of all evil." Glory to God. The wrong attitude about the finance is the root of all evil.

Our opinion about God is one way about healing. But then we form another opinion about God about saving people in our household that are not saved. And yet we form another opinion about God about how He's going to provide for us. But He said, "I'm the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. I am the Lord thy God and I change not."

If He said it, then that settles it. What is your attitude about your sowing?

We trust in the world's system-stocks and bonds, investments all over the place. And what we do is, we take a risk (oh hallelujah, somebody) on what man has to say about my increase. But if I can take a risk on man with something I've worked to the bone for, how come I can't take a risk on my God?

We can tie up our money everywhere. We put a little bit of it here, and we put a little bit of it there. But then when it's time for sowing to the Kingdom, we don't have access to it, because it's got to stay here for seven years. You don't hear me. It blocks the flow of the blessing. The Kingdom of God is the best investment that we could ever make.

Saints, I don't know what you got in your bank account. And I don't know what you got in your pocket. But let me tell you something. If you want to get out of where you are... Oh, you look like you're satisfied where you are. Oh, you don't hear me tonight. If you're going to get out from where you are, you're going to have to give your way out of where you are.

Ain't no such thing about the preacher wants your money. He got to give the Word of God so that you can be blessed. Oh, I feel the Holy Ghost.

Let me tell you what they did in the Old Testament. The priest was a part of the house. And when they brought the offering (glory to God) they brought it to the priest. And the priest took a part. Oh, you don't hear me tonight. If your pastor is blessed, you'll be blessed.

Saints of God, He's speaking tonight. There is a lack that has been in the body of Christ. There was a widow woman in the book of First Kings chapter seventeen. There was a lack that was in her house. Let me go there with you today.

But the question is, how did she respond to her lack? That's the question tonight. How did she respond to her lack? In First Kings chapter seventeen. I'm slow tonight. Let me get there. Beginning with verse ten, it said,

10. So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.

11. And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.

12. And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

Here's instruction. Elijah said to her,

13. And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.

How do we respond to lack? How do we respond to instruction?

14. For thus saith the LORD (in verse fourteen) God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

15. And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.

Your attitude about the instruction for receiving your blessing will dictate your blessing. Let me say that again. Many of us receive the instruction that God is giving us to get out of the lack of where we are. But instead of responding (oh, you don't hear me tonight) in the way that we need to respond to the instruction from God, we get upset, and we get angry, and we turn God off.

But it's our attitude that dictates our blessing. The wrong attitude will mess up your blessing. But the right attitude will cause you to eat for many days.

My attitude, my opinion about God has got to line up with what He said about it. It's got to line up. We got to change our opinion about Him. Because we think that He's a respecter of persons. We think that sister so and so got it, but God ain't going to give it to me. He said, "I'm not a respecter of persons. But how does she respond to the instructions that I gave her?" She was like the widow with the mites. She gave her last.

Saints of God, if you want to get out of where you are, then you need to sow a seed. I refuse to be a hypocrite, so I've sown a seed. Oh, you don't hear me. I sow into the Kingdom of God. When there's a need that I have, I know what I have to do. I reach into what I don't have (you don't hear me), and I give it to Him that has everything. And He causes my lack to prosper.

Saints of God, she had the right attitude. She had it. The Bible said in Second Chronicles twenty, twenty, "Believe in the Lord your God. So shall ye be established. Believe his prophets," and what? "So shall ye prosper."

We want to hear a word form the Lord. And God can tell you what's going on from A to Z in your life. But that same prophet can tell you that you need to sow a seed, and you know he ain't heard from God. Wait a minute.

Saints, I don't believe in telling you how much to sow. Some prophets I believe God did speak to them and tell them that people need to sow a certain amount. I believe that. All of them are not Reverend Ikes.

You are wondering...(tongues) you're going to make it tomorrow. You're wondering how you're going to pay that rent. You're wondering how you're going to make that car note. You don't hear me tonight. Every time you turn around, the school is nickel and diming you every day. I give my children more money in a week than you can imagine. You need what?

The right attitude, the right opinion about God is going to take us where we need to go.

Saints of God, let me say this. Many of us are in a place of what we'll call debt. We know what that is, right? Something owed to somebody else. But Proverbs twenty-two and verse seven says, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."

In Romans thirteen and verse eight it says, "Owe no man nothing but to love him. And then you've fulfilled the law once you've done that." The Bible declares that we are the head and not the tail. But we find ourselves in debt.

God is not upset with you because you're in debt. But God wants us to get out of debt. He knows the mistakes that we make. But once we make them, most of us keep making them over and over again. But we got to stop.

Let me tell you something. He's an ever-present help in the time of trouble. In the Book of Second Kings chapter six... Will you go there with me? Let me show you how God wants to help us. In Second Kings chapter six, verse one through verse five, it says,

And the sons of the prophets said unto Elisha, Behold now, the place where we dwell with thee is too strait for us.

2. Let us go, we pray thee, unto Jordan, and take thence every man a beam, (Remember I'm in the amplified.) and let us make us a place there, where we may dwell. And he answered, Go ye.

3. And one said, Be content, I pray thee, and go with thy servants. And he answered, I will go.

4. So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood.

5. But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! for it was borrowed.

What's the big deal about that? Iron was very, very hard to come by then. And so the axe head was made of iron. And that's why he said, "Lord, alas, it is borrowed," because it was very expensive.

But let me show you what God did.

6. And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim.

7. Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.

When you are working honestly and you are working hard (oh, you don't hear me) and you fall into a place of debt, God can work a miracle to make sure what was borrowed is returned. Oh, you don't hear me tonight. That's a revelation. When you are on your job working hard every day and there is a debt that is acquired, God will work a miracle for you to make sure that debt is paid.

The axe head floated back to the top of the water. He worked a miracle. But sometimes He won't work a miracle right away.

Turn with me to Second Kings four. In Second Kings chapter four, verse one through seven, it said,

1. Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen.

2. And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

3. Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

Listen. Sometimes He doesn't work a miracle right away. Sometimes He has to allow us to use our own resources and the management of those resources. He wants us to take it step by step from the instruction that we receive before He gets us out of the debt that we are in. But too many times we don't wait on instruction.

3. Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few.

4. And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full.

5. So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out.

6. And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed.

7. Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.

Let me tell you something. When God pays a debt for you, He doesn't just want to give you the money to pay the debt. He wants you to have something left to live on. Too many people are robbing Peter. What? To pay Paul. But if I would listen to instruction of the Word of God, He's going to make sure I pay my debt and have something left to live on. That's what He's going to do.

Saints of God, hear instruction. As sure as I be a prophet of God, you need to sow a seed.

You've been calling folks trying to get loans. Now you got loans to the capacity, and trying to get another one to cover that one. God will give you the necessary finance to pay the debt. And the rest is yours to live on. You don't have to sell your children into slavery.

That's what we're doing in America. We used to be a country (glory to God) that was above. We were in the black. Now we're in the red. We used to be lenders and not borrowers. Now we're borrows and can barely lend anything.

What we're doing to our children is just what happened to this widow woman. We are selling our children into slavery, because there's not going to be anything left for them. You don't hear me tonight. We get so bogged down in the debts that we have. But the Bible says a good man leaves his children an inheritance. But we keep trying to consume more and more. We want more and more and more and more.

Saints of God, it's time to receive instruction. It's time to come out of debt. It's time to trust in the Lord our God.

In the book (glory to God) of First Chronicles chapter twenty-one... And we're almost finished tonight. We find David in a peculiar place. In verse one of chapter twenty-one, in the amplified it said that Satan caused David to stand up and number Israel. In other words, he took a census. He took a count of how many people there were in Israel.

If you look in chapter twenty, you will see that there was war after war after war after war. And every time they went to war, they won the war. But at that time they were trusting in God.

But when David took a census of the people, the Bible said it displeased the Lord. Why? Because he was not trusting in God any more. He was trusting in his own resources. He had formed an opinion about the battles he had won.

Many of us have formed opinions about the financial struggles (glory to God) that we have overcome. But once we stop trusting in God, it will surely displease the Lord.

So God sent His prophet Gad to him. He said, "Tell David that he has three options, three different options." He could either have a famine for three years. Is that right? The last one was a plague for three days, wasn't it? Somebody tell me what the first one was. The second one. And the third one. The plague.

Saints, it seemed as though it was a hard thing. Just because he numbered Israel... You see, when I take my eyes off of Him and I start looking at me, when I take my eyes off of my supply, supplier, it's going to cause problems.

So he chose the plague for three days. And there were thousands, thousands of people in Israel that were destroyed because of the plague. And David cried out to the Lord.

And he said, "I need to build an altar, but not just any altar." David owned all the land in Israel. But God didn't want him to build an altar and make the sacrifice on his own land. He had to go to Onan to get his land from him.

But let me tell you what David told him. He said, "I need your land so that I can make this sacrifice." And he said, "Charge me the full..." I want you to listen. "Charge me the full amount."

Onan knew the condition and the state that Israel was in. He said, "No. Take the land and take whatever you need."

But this is what David said. David said, "I will not offer anything unto the Lord that didn't cost me anything."

Let me tell you something. The body of Christ has got to get out of that mentality that I want something for nothing. Oh, you don't hear me. Let me say that again. We've got to get out of the mentality that we want something for nothing.

He said, "I want to pay full price for it." Full price. When I get something for God, I should get the best. When I do something for the Lord, I should do my best, the best sacrifice I could possibly give.

That's why tithe and offerings is such a blessing to the Lord. He said, "The tenth is holy unto Me." Why? Because you've worked all week long. He said, "I want mine." But we want to give Him something after we pay half of our bills. Because it ain't enough to pay all of them.

The whole thing. He said, "I want to pay the full cost." Even though David made a mistake, when it came down to it, he got the right attitude.

You and I have made mistakes. Let me tell you what it comes down to tonight. It comes down to our attitude. If you want to get out of the situation that you're in, get your attitude right. And when the Lord prompts you to give a certain amount... Let me tell you something, darling. It ain't the devil telling you to give that hundred dollars. The devil don't want God's house blessed.

Whatever He tells you to give, that's what you give. But we form an opinion (and we're almost finished) about God, that if I got a thousand dollars in my pocket He's going to ask for that whole thousand. We form that opinion.

And so we're scared to bring our checkbook to church. Hello, somebody. We'll only put a certain amount of money in our wallet, knowing that we got more. And we'll leave the rest in our drawer, because we've got an opinion about God that He's going to ask for all of it. But baby, I'd rather for my God to ask for all of it. Oh, I feel the Holy Ghost.

Saints, it's time to change our attitudes. It's alright to be wise, but it's not alright to be stingy.

In the book of Acts chapter five, we find two people in the New Testament church, Annanias and Saphhira. They were supposed to sell that property that they had and bring (glory to God) the money that they made off of it to the Lord. But Annanias had the wrong attitude. How many of you know that if you walk with somebody that got the wrong attitude, sometimes it'll cause you to get the wrong attitude?

He came into the house of God before the man of God. And the man of God said, "Did you sell it for so much?" And he said, "Yeah. I sold it for that." The Bible said he fell dead and gave up the ghost.

But his wife didn't know what had happened. So when she came in, he asked her the same question. And she said yes too. And she fell dead and gave up the ghost.

Let me explain something to you. This was the beginning of the new church. When God is doing something new He won't allow you, me, or anybody else to mess up what He is doing. And if He's got to take you out, sugar, He'll take you out.

They were supposed to have all things common. But they had the wrong attitude. The wrong attitude will mess you up. It'll mess you up.

You remember Achan, A-c-h-a-n? He wasn't supposed to take the...

Well you might say, "Preacher, that's a little extreme. I don't think God is going to do that in these last days."

Let me tell you something. I don't know if He'll do it exactly like that. But every time you open up your cabinet you'll be like Old Mother Hubbard who went to the cupboard, and the cupboard was bear.

Saints, do what you are supposed to do. You don't know if this seed is going to bring you harvest, and you don't know if the next one is going to bring you harvest. But trust in the Lord Your God. Because once you plant it, He is the one that's going to give the increase.

Come on, give God a handclap of praise.

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