November 2011

The unmistakable theme of Galatians 6:7-9 is “Sowing and Reaping.” In these three verses, the word “sow” is used three times, while the word “reap” is employed four times. Read it for yourself (all emphasis in all Bible quotes is mine, rdc):

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 while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

A person must choose: will he sow to the flesh and reap corruption, or will he sow to the Spirit and reap everlasting life? (6:8). You and I understand that even if we choose wisely and determine to sow to the Spirit (6:8) and “do good” (6:10), it is not an easy road to travel. Satan hurls obstacles our way. It is easier to quit than persevere. Thus, the instruction is given: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (6:9).

I want to reap the Lord’s blessing, don’t you? By “reap” I do not mean earn or deserve, but rather by grace be the recipient of God’s blessing. I want to reap His blessing in this life and then eternal life in the world to come (Mark 10:30), don’t you? There is a time to teach and command what God says (1 Timothy 4:11). There is a time to warn (1 Thessalonians 5:14). There is even a time to reprove and rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2). But, there is also a time to exhort. The words of Galatians 6:9 contain an exhortation coupled with a promise or statement of fact. Look at those words again: “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

The Bible makes it clear that our reaping (that is, our desired reaping) is conditional upon our not fainting or losing heart. We have entered the race, so now we must continue to “run well” (Galatians 5:7). We have enlisted in His army, so now we must keep on being “a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). We have been born into God’s family, so now we must continue to be “obedient children” (1 Peter 1:14). We have entered the Lord’s work force, so now we must keep on being “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). We made a wise decision when we obeyed the gospel (Romans 6:3,4), but now we must set our hearts to “keep the faith” and “finish the race” (2 Timothy 4:7).

The Book of Hebrews gives strong exhortation to all Christians to hold fast their commitment. To do that, of course, we must not faint or lose heart. Note these passages from the Hebrews epistle:

But Christ as a son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end (3:6).

For we who have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end” (3:14).

“ . . . let us hold fast our confession” (4:14).

“. . . show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end (6:11).

Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (10:23).

Brother or sister, whatever your role in life or in the church might be, do not lose heart! Your road to heaven may include rocks, valleys, and gorges, but do not grow weary in doing what is right! Satan will tempt you to throw in the towel, but you must press on, looking always to Jesus and our ultimate goal of being in heaven with Him forever (Hebrews 12:2). Aren’t we glad that He did not lose heart and give up when He endured such undeserved, merciless treatment at the hands of wicked men?

Elders, do not lose heart. Your work is bearing fruit, and the faithful appreciate you. We need you to keep at it, ever watching for souls (Hebrews 13:17). Deacons, do not grow weary in serving. Your efforts are a much-needed part of the work of the church, and discerning saints are grateful for you. Bible class teachers, you have influence on those whom you teach. You may not see it from one class session to the next, but you are doing a great work. Those who understand your efforts thank God for you. Do not lose heart. Parents, kids are a great blessing, but we all know that at times they can also be a hair-pulling challenge. Hang in there, teach them the truth, live that truth before them, be patient with them, and great will be your reward.

In many ways, I am what some folks call “old school.” I still like stories with a happy ending. Do you, too? Will your life and mine have a happy ending? By that, I mean will we reap eternal life? We will ifif we continue to be faithful and do not lose heart while doing good.

Roger D. Campbell

TRUTH is published monthly by the Klang church of Christ in order to help educate, edify, encourage, and equip the saints of God.

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