Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.…
The days and hours of this present state, which often flit by so little heeded, are of immense consequence to us all. They contain the seeds, the concentrated germs, of an endless future life. As the seed enwraps the plant that shall be, so the thought, the word, the act of time, enwraps the expansion of the man in eternity. Now, what does the Christian sow? and what shall he reap? In the answer to this question, comes in a deep and most important truth, to which I will beg your earnest attention. When the husbandman has sown, and tended the seed, and waited the appointed months till the harvest come, what, — of what kind, is his reward? It is not a bestowal of something different, and from without, as a recompense for his labours; but the fruit and expansion of those labours themselves; that which he has sown, the same does he reap, not, it is true, as it was sown, but enriched with God's abundant blessing, increased thirty and sixty and an hundred fold, still, however, the same; the very thing which he deposited, so unpromising itself, in ground so unpromising, does he now gather into his bosom, a full and rich reward, satisfying him and gladdening him, and filling his heart with praise. Again then, what does the Christian sow? for that also, not a reward or recompense external to and separate from that, shall he reap; that same, but blessed and expanded and glorified, and become his exceeding great reward. The Christian, brethren, sows to the Spirit, not to the flesh. Let us try to give a plain practical interpretation to these words. The sowing being interpreted to mean the thoughts, words, and acts of this present life — the Christian thinks, speaks, and acts with reference to the Spirit — to his higher, his Divine part; to that part of him which being dwelt in by God's Holy Spirit, aims at God's glory; loves Him, serves Him, converges to Him in its desires and motions. His Spirit, the abode of the Divine witness within him — the highest part, which aspires after God and His glory — this deserves especial culture of its own, but not exclusive culture. It must reign in him, not by sitting on a height apart, not by dignified slumber only broken on solemn occasions, but by watchful and constant rule, by claiming fur itself and for God the subordinate thoughts and plans and desires. And it is among these that the Christian's sowing for eternity will most commonly and most busily take place. Educate for God by drawing forth, and as you draw them forth, balancing with love and with wisdom those mental and bodily capacities, and the several parts of that spiritual character, which God has entrusted to your care. But do not educate for self and for the world, for the display of person and of attainment; for this is sowing to the flesh, and the harvest shall be accordingly.
Parallel VersesKJV: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.