Sowing – We’ve shared on learning to multiply in a prior newsletter and made it a session in the conferences. Most of us have read 2Cor 9:6

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Cor 9:6  NIV

What we heard from the verse goes something like this, ” Whoever gives sparingly will also reap sparingly.” I think Paul was careful in his language and meant what he said. Sowing is not giving, it’s planting with an expectation of a crop; investing or purchasing an income producing asset to multiply your seed; putting your money to work. Paul was positioning people to have wealth over the course of at least a year (2 Cor 8:10, 9:2) so that they could give. We’ve misconstrued the verse to skip sowing our seed so that it can multiply. Let’s be clear about this.

Right now you can empty your checking account for your favorite ministry and expect blessing from God. Would you receive it? Probably not, because you skipped an important, practical part of the process – sowing your seed. Here are a couple of examples.

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. 13 The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. 14 He had so many flocks and herds and servants that the Philistines envied him.  Gen 26:12-14 NIV

Talents Mt 25:14 and Minas Lu 19:12 – The faithful stewards “at once put his money to work.” That’s my definition of sowing with the expectation of a harvest. He’s letting his money do the work of multiplication. The reward for multipling one talent into 5 is “put in charge of many things.” In Luke our servants are put in charge of cities. Sounds like Kings taking their position in city transformation doesn’t it?

The other promise is, “Come and share your master’s happiness.” Multiplication is fun. It blessed God’s heart and it results in the joy of the Lord. Kings are blessed and happy.

So why do we have a servant who simply keeps his talent and gets an incredible label, “wicked and lazy servant?” Listen to his concept of master (often our concept of God):

“Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’   Matt 25:24-25 NIV (see also Lu 19:20-21)

What is a little surprising is that this concept of the master is not refuted.

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.                   Matt 25:26-27 NIV (Luke 19:22)

Here’s the surprising reality. God is not a hard man, but he does reap where he hasn’t sown. Want to know why? We are the ones that are supposed to sow the seed and God is the one that does the multiplication… no sowing; no multiplication; no harvest. Listen to Paul’s version of sowing and reaping.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow.  1 Cor 3:6 NIV

We’re the fuse, God’s the bomb. We’re the match, God’s the forest fire. We’re the witness, God’s the one who saves people. We sow something relatively small and God does something really big with our initiative. If you want to experience multiplication, you have to sow something that God can multiply. Be wary of being too spiritual. The context of Matthew 25 is “property” (Matt 25:14). We call it real estate. If we confuse “giving” and “sowing” we might accidentally land in the “wicked, lazy servant” category.

It’s Time – It takes courage, wisdom and a mentor to learn to multiply via real estate, investing or starting a business. Most Christians have been programmed by their theology to “pass.” It’s time to say, “Yes Lord” and multiply some talents so we can have a harvest.

Life is an adventure. People are a blessing. God is amazing. We’re winning.