Sowing to please the Spirit

CHARLIE BROWN – You reap what u sow, you get out of life what u put into it – no more, no less!
SNOOPY – I only hope there’s some margin for error!

We have been thinking about all the blessings of being a Christian. Gal 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus– saved by faith
– Sons of God
4: 4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. – The Holy Spirit lives in us
6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, 6b the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; 7b and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.– Set free from slavery
5 : 1. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.we are – saved by faith, we are sons of God and heirs of God, we have the Spirit in us, we have been set free from slavery to sin. That’s not God’s margin for error – that’s God’s grace!

When a person works an eight-hour day and receives a fair day’s pay for his time, that is a wage. When a person competes with an opponent and receives a trophy for his performance, that is a prize. When a person receives appropriate recognition for his long service or high achievements, that is an award. But when a person is not capable of earning a wage, can win no prize, and deserves no award–yet despite that he receives all these and much much more – that is God’s unmerited favor. This is what we mean when we talk about the grace of God. We could never be good enough for God. We could never earn or deserve our salvation – it’s all of grace! Praise God!

If someone brutally murders your son and you take things into your own hands, that’s revenge. If you’re content to allow the law and the courts to arrest and punish the offender, that’s justice. But if you pardon the murderer, adopt him, and take him home to live with you as your son, that’s grace! And that’s what God has done for us!! All we deserve from God is punishment for rejecting Him and running away from Him. But instead we are alive with Christ, raised up with him, seated in the heavenly realms with Him – THAT’s grace!!

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.for Christians – challenge to live as children of God, as people who are truly filled with Holy Spirit, as people who are truly set free from sin! We saw these things last week.

God calls us to turn away from the sins which used to fill our lives before we knew Jesus.

5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. So many different kinds of sins to turn our backs on. So many different temptations to resist!

A visitor at a fishing dock asked an old fisherman who was sitting there, “If I were to fall into this water, would I drown?” “Naw,” the fisherman replied. “Fallin’ into the water doesn’t drown anybody. It’s staying under it that does.” Falling into sin doesn’t condemn anybody, but staying in it does.
16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Instead God calls us to live according to the Spirit.

Gal 5:25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit
5: 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.If we are keeping in step with the Spirit we will become more and more like Christ, and our lives will be full of GOOD FRUIT!

5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Filled with the character of Christ. And then Paul explains that this is not just about our attitudes but about our actions as well.

5: 13. …. do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.

1. Carry each other’s burdens
Galatians 6: 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.after 5 chapters teaching us that we are not under law but under grace – Paul talks here about `the Law of Christ”

DIFFERENT KINDS OF BURDENS – practical, emotional, spiritual – and in each we are called to HELP each other. This is practical pastoral care. But we make a huge mistake if we think that pastoral care is the help which the pastor gives. Pastoral care is the care EVERY Christian should give to each other. Bearing one another’s burdens is the duty and responsibility of EVERY Christian.

Several aspects of bearing each other’s burdens :- Giving help when somebody falls down
1. Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
The Christian church has the terrible reputation of being the only army which shoots its own wounded. If somebody falls into sin, we can so easily turn a blind eye, ignore it and act as if nothing has happened. They can even get the impression that we condone their actions. That isn’t showing grace, that is indifference. Or sometimes if another Christian falls into sin we go to the other extreme and turn our backs on them completely. That may be the ultimate last resort for somebody who stubbornly refuses to repent. But before things get that bad, when others fall into sin, it is the duty of their spiritually mature friends to help them see their errors and return to Christ in repentance.
1. Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.Servanthood demands humility!!
3 If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5 for each one should carry his own load.
1 Cor 10:12 If you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

On the way down from climbing Everest, Sir Edmund Hillary fell and Sherpa Tensing dramatically risked his own life to save his life. But afterwards Tensing refused any honours for this. Mountain climbers always help each other, he said. So should Christians! Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ. But then serving one another in love also demands
2 Support for the church and Christian work
6 Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.A verse very popular with ministers and missionaries of course. But also an aspect of Christian discipleship for us all to take very seriously. We all need to support Christian work. And in particular here there is a responsibility to support our own church, perhaps the church where we found faith, certainly the church where week by week we are fed and sustained in our faith. Give generously – and here is God’s promise.
2:Cor 9:6-11
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

Carry each other’s burdens – give to support Christian work, and

3. Do not becoming weary in doing good
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
“Compassion fatigue” is a new term heard among some people of our affluent society today. It means “I’m tired of repeated calls to do good.”

Need to find our strength in the Lord ISAIAH 40:28-31
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no-one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint

It is so easy to get weary and discouraged in doing good and helping other people. It is such hard work. So thankless. So exhausting. But we should press on.

Have you failed trying to accomplish something? The story of one young American can encourage us. He could have given up so easily.. He failed in business in ’31, he was defeated for the legislature in ’32, he was elected to the legislature in ’34. His sweetheart died in ’35, he had a nervous breakdown in ’36, he was defeated for speaker in ’38, he was defeated for elector in ’40, he was defeated for Congress in ’43, he was elected to Congress in ’46, defeated for Congress in ’48, defeated for Senate in ’50, defeated for vice president in ’56 and for Senate in ’58. But fortunately he was elected president in 1860. His name was Abraham Lincoln. Failure need not be permanent. DON’T BECOME WEARY in doing good!

Heb 10: 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another- and all the more as you see the Day approaching.ESPECIALLY persistence in evangelism + witnessing!!! ALPHA

Do good to all people

10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.As we have opportunity! NOW is the time to pray and to witness. Don’t waste the special opportunities this month is giving us! NOW is the time to seize the day! “Be very careful then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16)

Do good to all! John Wesley’s Rule for Christian Living
DO all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever… You can!

1 Tim 6:18-19
18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life

Do good to all me – but note especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
PRIORITY of Christian needs – obligation to household of faith – brothers and sisters in Christ

Sow to please the Spirit: = Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.
This means 1 Help when we fall down, 2 serving with humility!! 3 Support for the church and Christian work
Do not becoming weary in doing good – ESPECIALLY persistence in evangelism + witnessing!!! ALPHA
As we have opportunity let us do good to all people especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
In days to come especially to new Christians!!
And where does this “serving one another in love” happen best?
One-to-one-nurture, prayer triplets, Housegroups – to be good examples to new Christians:-

I owe a great debt to a Crusader Leader called Tony Bentall. Not only me – countless others such as my friend Neil who came to my Induction, who similarly came to faith in Christ despite having no Christian background. When we were teenagers Tony Bentall was a bachelor in his sixties. He owned a huge four storey house, called simply “13” and he had adapted half of it so that it could be a place where Crusaders could meet. There were teaching rooms and games rooms. Every Friday night he would host a games evening for all ages and every Sunday evening there was a Bible Study for the teenagers. It was a mark of Tony’s grace and love that on Sunday afternoons while he led the boys’ crusader class at a nearby church, Tony left his house in the hands of the girls’ class.

Tony was a very senior engineer working for GEC. I heard that in power stations which GEC built across the world there is quite an important bit named after him. But why I remember Tony tonight is that in appearance he quite resembled common portrayals of Friar Tuck. And he had a radiant and infectious smile. So we were not surprised to discover that at his place of work, Tony was known to everybody as “the Laughing Monk”.
Serving one another in love – bearing one another’s burdens – never becoming weary in doing good. Tony Bentall – the laughing monk! Tony was a real example to very many people of what it means to sow to please the Spirit.

We reap what we sow!

A politician was visiting a prison where he found prisoners in their time-honoured occupation of sewing mail bags. Not knowing what to say, he asked one of the prisoners, “Are you sewing?”
“No” the man replied. “Reaping”!

We reap what we sow. So sow to please the Spirit!

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