|LET US NOT LOSE HEART IN DOING GOOD, FOR IN DUE TIME WE WILL REAP IF WE DO NOT GROW WEARY: to de kalon poiountes (PAPMPN) me egkakomen, (1PPAS) kairo gar idio therisomen (1PFAI) me ekluomenoi. (PPPMPN): (us: Mal 1:13 1Co 15:58 2Th 3:13 Heb 12:3) (good: Ro 2:7 1Pe 2:15 3:17 4:19) (for: Lev 26:4 Dt 11:14 Ps 104:27 145:15 Jas 5:7) (if: Isa 40:30,31 Zeph 3:16 Mt 24:13 Lk 18:1 2Co 4:1,16 Eph 3:13 Heb 3:6,14 10:35, 36, 37, 38, 39 He 12:3,5 Rev 2:3,7,10,11,17,26, 27 28, 29 3:5,6,12,13 3:21,22)
IT'S TOO SOON
Paul warns against becoming weary in well-doing ("sowing to the Spirit") and enforces his warning with a very powerful motive. Our present "business" as believers is to "do good." (Cf Jesus' charge in Lk 19:13KJV and His warning in Jn 9:4).
Many translations begin this sentence with an "and" but Vine draws our attention to the fact that the Greek word (de) which some versions translate as "and" can also be translated "but". Vine then comments that the contrast word "but" suggests…
a happy alternative to the selfishness which is “sowing to the flesh,” and presenting in concrete form the idea underlying the metaphor of “sowing to the Spirit.”
Let us - Introduces an exhortation/encouragement the readers needed to hear and by way of application an encouraging word all believers need to hear. (See study of parakaleo for insights on the ministry of encouragement - something we all need… continually!)
Let us not lose heart - Clearly this indicates losing heart is a real possibility in all believers (note pronoun "us" = Paul includes himself in this "vulnerable" group). The verb lose heart is in the present tense which speaks of continuing action ("don't let losing heart be your continual response" is the idea).
John Brown adds that…
Owing to the number, the difficulty, and the never-terminating, never-remitting obligations of these duties, even genuine Christians are in danger of "becoming weary of well-doing." They become backward to undertake them and languid (drooping or flagging from as if from exhaustion) in performing them. They multiply and magnify obstacles. They are ingenious in devising excuses. They leave them half done and are strongly tempted to abandon them altogether. It ought not to be so. It would not be were Christians what they should be--what they might be. The great cause of weariness in well-doing is a deficiency in faith (Ed: I would add and a reliance of self - we need to jettison self reliance and instead continually rely on the enabling power of the indwelling Spirit, see Gal 3:3), and a corresponding undue influence of present and sensible things (cp 1Jn 2:17-note). To the man who has, through the faith of Christ, overcome the world (1Jn 5:4,5), none of the commandments of God are grievous (1Jn 5:3KJV). On the contrary, "In keeping them he finds a great reward." (Ps 19:11-note) But whenever a Christian walks by sight, and not by faith (2Co 5:7-note), he becomes weak as another man, every duty is a burden (Ed: Could this have anything to do with the high rate of pastor burnout [and turnover - average pastor stay per church is 3 years!] or the saints dropout from church and/or rotating from church to church?!) It is when in the exercise of faith he realizes to himself the unseen realities of religion and eternity (2Co 4:18-note), that he "renews his strength (When? When we wait upon Him!), mounts up on wings as an eagle, runs and does not weary, walks and does not faint." (Is 40:31-note). Against this spiritual languor, which makes the discharge of duty tiresome, and strongly tempts to its utter abandonment, the apostle here warns the Galatian Christians, "Be not weary in well-doing." (An exposition of the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians)
What is a good work? Is it not a good word (Pr 25:11, 15:23, Ep 4:29-note)? Words of encouragement are never out of season (cp He 3:13-note, He 10:24, 25-note)-- Luke records that after Paul and Barnabas (son of consolation, rest or encouragement) had proclaimed the gospel and saw many conversions, they went about…
strengthening the souls of the disciples (The most frequent name for believers in Acts - Interesting in light of verses like Mk 8:), encouraging (see study of parakaleo) them to continue in the faith (cp "not lose heart"), and saying, "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." (Acts 14:22)
Comment: It is interesting that our English word "encourage" derives from a word for heart (Latin = cor = heart) and conveys the sense of "with heart" and so to "hearten" (to give heart to) and then to give confidence of success, to embolden, to incite to action. What's one of the best "antidotes" for a "tired heart condition", one that's ready to give up? To "give heart" -- To encourage!
Look for opportunities today to "give heart" to someone whose heart is growing weary in well doing! You may be "just the medicine" the Great Physician has providentially prescribed for their "tired heart"! Don't miss the opportunity! I called a young college pastor this week to have lunch just to "catch up" (he is one of the men I have been discipling) while we are taking a break in the summer. Little did I know that he was experiencing great anxiety because of pressure from the church leadership, which was being brought to bear on him because he was becoming "too excited" about the power of the Word of God to change the lives of some of the young men in his college class. We had a great meal of "homestyle" cooking, but we had an even better "meal" as we opened our Bibles and for two hours looked at what God said about what he was experiencing. I came away full physically but far more spiritually satiated. The next morning I opened my email and read "Thanks again brother, your encouragement was greatly needed. We serve such an amazing God!" He was growing weary of well doing and I was not aware of it, but God was. Glory to God (Ps 115:1) Who is the Spirit prompting you to take to lunch, to make a phone call to, to write an email to, to drop a short note of encouragement to, or just to go "hang out" with? Don't miss the "opportunity of a lifetime" to "give them heart"!
In light of the afflictions the saints at Thessalonica were experiencing (1Th 1:6-note, 1Th 2:14-note, 2Th 1:4) Paul wrote…
But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good (doing what is right, and one of the nuances of meaning to ponder is "creating beauty". Interesting!). (2Th 3:13)
As R C H Lenski says "sowing to the Spirit"…
… is hard work, long-continued work, and, although the harvest is eternal blessedness, we may, while we are waiting for it (the harvest), grow discouraged. Hence the admonition… What is to keep our energy up to the mark, strengthen us ever anew (Ed: continually motivating us), is the shining harvest which we shall reap in its own season. That season comes to each one as God arranges (Ed: For some a portion of the harvest may be in this life, but for all it will consummated in the life to come!). The negative participle at the end: "we not relaxing, not being exhausted, not letting down," once more emphasizes the thought that we should not tire in our blessed task. The implication is a condition: "if we do not relax". (Interpretation of St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians or Logos or Word search)
John Eadie on Gal 6:9-10
The apostle now encourages to the second kind of sowing (to the Spirit)— “But in well-doing let us not be faint-hearted.” … The meaning is not essentially different; the verb compounded with ek meaning to faint so as to back out of, and the verb with en to lose courage in course of action. The de (but) introduces a new address in contrast with the sowing to the flesh already described: “but for our part.”
Lose heart (1573) (ekkakeo [word study] [equivalent to egkakeo, enkakeo] from ek = out of or intensifies meaning + kakós = bad) means to strictly speaking means to act or behave badly in some circumstance. This verb has several nuances as discussed below and taken together, these senses help paint a picture of what Paul was trying to say in this section. John Brown adds that the nuances include "to turn a coward, to be faint hearted, to despond." (Ref)
On one hand, ekkakeo can describe giving in to evil. On the other hand, it can convey the idea of becoming weary or tired of doing something. In some contexts, ekkakeo even means to be a coward and/or lose one’s courage.
Vine adds that Paul's
warning is against discouragement, the tendency to lose hopefulness, rather than against succumbing to fatigue.
Ekkakeo was used of the farmer who was tempted to slacken his exertions because he had become so weary as a result of his prolonged effort.
Ekkakeo means to lose one’s motivation in continuing a particular activity.
Ekkakeo means to be fainthearted or to faint or despond in view of trial or difficulty and it is always used with the negative particle. It means to lose one's motivation to accomplish some valid goal and so to become discouraged and give up.
Ekkakeo conveys the idea of becoming exhausted and giving up and thus is the opposite of being “steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1Co 15:58-note).
Jesus knew the weakness of our flesh and the natural tendency to lose heart in doing good and so to encourage His hearers to persevere in prayer Luke records…
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart (ekkakeo) (Lk 18:1, read Lk 18:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8)
Comment: The last thing most of feel like doing when we are losing heart is to pray! But Jesus says to pray. Maybe all you can pray today is a "Peter like" prayer "Lord, rescue (save=sozo) me, I'm sinking!" (Mt 14:30) Or perhaps the Canaanite woman's powerful prayer "Lord, help me!" (Mt 15:25- see study on the great Greek verb for help = boetheo) (Other pleas for "Help" - Mk 9:22, Mk 9:24, Lk 1:54, 5:7, Lk 10:40 - Related resource - The Name of God = Jehovah Ezer: The LORD our Helper)
Paul exhorts the Corinthians…
Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we received mercy, we do not lose heart (ekkakeo - grow tired, discouraged, faint, or fainthearted), (2Co 4:1)
Comment: Why does Paul not lose heart in his ministry? The answer of course is mercy (See His attribute - Mercy), God's inexhaustible supply of "not giving us what we deserve", but instead treating us with the lovingkindness and compassion of a Father when we encounter unhappy circumstances which might otherwise cause us to quit.
Matthew Henry: The best of men would faint, if they did not receive mercy from God. And that mercy which has helped us out, and helped us on, hitherto, we may rely upon to help us even to the end.
Continuing on in Second Corinthians, Paul declares a truth that should strengthen and encourage each of us to not lose heart…
Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet (Here is Paul's "secret(s)" for keeping one's heart strong and steadfast when tempted to "throw in the towel"!) (1) our inner man is being renewed day by day. For (2) momentary, (3) light affliction is (4) producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we (5) look not at the things which are seen, but (6) at the things which are not seen; (Why should we look by faith at the things which are unseen?) for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2Co 4:16, 17, 18) (Comment: Re-read this great passage and record the specific reasons we should not lose heart even though we might be in the midst of the Refiner's Fire! Play and ponder the lyrics of Refiner's Fire. What is the greatest desire of your heart?)
Rienecker writes that ekkakeo
is also used in the papyri in the sense of treating someone badly. It became a Christian technical term expressing the unflagging pursuit of the goal of service to neighbor, or of apostolic ministry, as well as the tautness of the determined heart that does not let up or lose courage. (Linguistic and Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament)
Warren Wiersbe writes that…
Having given us the precept (Gal. 6:6) and the principle behind the precept (Gal. 6:7-8), Paul now gives us a promise (Gal. 6:9): "In due season we shall reap if we faint not." Behind this promise is a peril: getting weary in the work of the Lord, and then eventually fainting, and stopping our ministry. Sometimes spiritual fainting is caused by a lack of devotion to the Lord. It is interesting to contrast two churches that are commended for "work, labor, and patience" (1Th 1:3; Rev. 2:2). The church at Ephesus had actually left its first love and was backslidden (Rev. 2:4, 5). Why? The answer is seen in the commendation to the Thessalonian church: "Work of faith, labor of love, patience of hope." Not just work, labor, and patience, but the proper motivation: "faith, love, and hope." How easy it is for us to work for the Lord, but permit the spiritual motivation to die. Like the priests of Israel that Malachi addressed, we serve the Lord but complain, "Behold, what a weariness is it" (Mal. 1:13).(Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary - New Testament. 1989. Victor or Logos or Wordsearch)
THE PLACE FOR
We're always sowing seeds in life
By everything we do and say,
So let's make sure the fruit we reap
Comes from the good we do each day.
While Paul repeatedly emphasizes that one cannot win God's favor by good deeds (see study of), on the other hand he never tires of calling them to do good deeds. Indeed (pun intended), good deeds are one of the purposes for our salvation and also one of the clearest indicators our faith is genuine…
For (context = after explaining how one is born again - Ep 2:8, 9-note) we are His workmanship (poiema = masterpiece), created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ep 2:10-note)
Comment: In short we are not saved by good works, but unto good works.
Saints are made adequate and equipped for good works by God's Word…
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2Ti 3:16, 17-note). (How is your intake of God's Word? Regular intake is vital so that we might be prepared to recognize and walk in the good deeds God has already prepared for each of us!)
How are we to produce "good deeds?" Consider the fruit tree. It is not "conscious" of the bearing process. We are to be like the fruit tree for it is God Who is causing fruit be borne in good works which blossom and ripen as we walk in Spirit enabled obedience to His will which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Jesus mentions good deeds in His warning of the coming judgment of the living and the dead (Jn 5:24, 25, 2Ti 4:1-note)
Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. (Jn 5:28, 29)
Comment: If I wanted to start a cult, this is a verse I would yank out of context of the clear teaching of the NT that salvation is by faith not the result of works that no man can boast (Ep 2:8, 9-note) but as discussed elsewhere on this page is unto good works (Ep 2:10-note). Clearly good deeds do not save, but they are a sign of genuine salvation and a present privilege of all who are saved. Paul writes that Jesus "gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous ("on fire") for good deeds." (Titus 2:14-note) and that "whatever you do, do all to the glory of the Lord" (1Co 10:31).
Paul reiterates this in his letter to the Romans warning that the Righteous Judge (Ps 7:11, 2Ti 4:8)…
WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: to those who by perseverance (cp not losing heart or growing weary in Gal 6:9) in doing good (deeds) seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth (faith alone says but the faith that saves brings a new heart that seeks to obey. If there is no new desire to obey God, one must question whether one has a new heart and new power to do so), but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. (Ro 2:6-note, Ro 2:7-8-note)
The writer of Hebrews exhorts believers "do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased" (He 13:16-note) so that good works are actually “spiritual sacrifices” that we offer to God (Heb 13:15-note)!
One way to think of doing good works is to see it as a process, so that in salvation God does work for us, in sanctification He does work in us and in service He does work through us and bears fruit which will be harvested in due time and will remain forever. God builds character before He calls to service. He must work in us before He can work through us. God spent 25 years working in Abraham before He gave him the promised son Isaac.
John Calvin wrote that "It is faith alone that justifies, but faith that justifies can never be alone."
We are not saved by faith plus good works, but by a faith that works. Any profession of faith that does not result in a changed life and good works is a spurious profession. True saving faith can never exist by itself, for genuine faith brings supernatural life, and that life produces supernatural good works. The person with dead faith has only an intellectual experience. In his mind, he knows the doctrines of salvation, but he has never submitted himself to God and trusted Christ for salvation. He knows the right words, but he does not back up his words with his works. Faith in Christ brings eternal life right now (John 3:16), and where there is life there will be fruit. (cf James 2:17-note)
Many believers minimize the place of good works in the Christian life reasoning that because we are not saved by good works, then good works are something to be shunned. But our Lord reminds us that our incredible privilege is to
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.” (Mt 5:16-note)
It is not only by words that we give testimony to the greatness of God, but also by our works. Our good works in fact pave the way for witness with good words. If our walk contradicts our words, we lose our testimony. Our “walk” and our “talk” must agree. Good works and good words must come from the same yielded heart. Too many believers today emphasize guarding the truth, but downplay living the truth. One of the best ways to guard the truth is to put it into practice. It is good to be defenders of the faith, but we must not forget to be demonstrators of the faith by letting them see our good works!
You are writing a Gospel,
A chapter each day,
By the deeds that you do
And the words that you say.
Men read what you write,
Whether faithful or true:
Just what is the Gospel
According to you?
--- Author unknown
When doing good works, also remember that the following question is irrelevant "Does this person deserve my good works?" We are to "abound to every good work" (NIV, 2Cor 9:8).
Please do not misunderstand. Believers do not manufacture these good works but instead they are the fruit of God's Spirit working in our heart for as Paul reminds us in (Php 2:13-note)
it is God Who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Paul acknowledges that the key to his good works was the grace of God which made him adding that God's
grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. (1Co 15:10).
Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may on account of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1Pe 2:12-note).
Thus our good works serve as testimonies to the lost and even win us the right to be heard.
In sum, all of these truths about good works indicate that God has a plan for our lives and that we should walk in His will and fulfill His plan. If you'd like some additional study on the topic of "good works (deeds)" study the following passages -- Good works = Matt 5:16; John 10:32; Eph 2:10; 1 Tim 2:10; 5:10; 6:18. Good deeds = John 5:29; Titus 2:7, 14; 3:8, 14; Heb 10:24; 1Pet 2:12
Good deeds are God deeds, deeds prepared by, initiated by and empowered by the Spirit of Christ, Who lives in us. As such these "supernaturally" energized deeds are designed to glorify our Father (Mt 5:16-note).
See related resource by A W Pink - The Scriptures and Good Works
Paul emphasized the principle that good deeds flow from "ready" vessels, writing that
if a man cleanses himself from these things (Amplified Bible = "from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences"), he will be a vessel (instrument) for honor (value), sanctified (set apart from the profane unto the pure), useful (beneficial for honorable and noble purposes) to the Master, prepared (ready, ripe, primed, supplied with everything necessary) for every good work." (2Ti 2:21-note)
Don't let the opportunities slip by. Be "confessed up", "repented up" and "filled up" with the Holy Spirit and you will be ready to recognize and redeem the opportunities God graciously gives. Remember though that although we are to be seen doing good works, we must not do good works in order to be seen! (Always consider pausing a moment for a "motive check", even asking God if you are unsure, because of 1Cor 4:5!) Oswald Chambers alluded to the necessary supernatural aspect of good deeds writing that we should seek to…
Do good until it is an unconscious habit of life and you do not know you are doing it.
Good deeds are not the root of salvation, but they are the fruit of genuine salvation (cf Mt 3:8; Ep 2:10-note). Spurgeon put it this way…
I would not give much for your religion unless it can be seen. Lamps do not talk, but they do shine.
Peter explained the vital importance of good deeds in a godless society exhorting us to
Keep (our) behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander (us) as evildoers, they may because of (our) good deeds, as they observe (behold with their own eyes like a spectator or overseer) them, glorify God in the day of visitation." (1Pe 2:12-note)
Thomas Adams phrased it this way…
Good deeds are such things that no man is saved for them nor without them.
Martin Luther in his preface to his comments on Romans wrote…
Oh, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith; and so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly. It does not ask whether there are good works to do, but before the question rises; it has already done them, and is always at the doing of them. He who does not these works is a faithless man. He gropes and looks about after faith and good works, and knows neither what faith is nor what good works are, though he talks and talks, with many words, about faith and good works.
As alluded to in the preceding section, one must be careful to notice that the phrase good deeds differs from your deeds. In other words, the only truly "good" deeds are those borne by believers ("branches") abiding in Christ ("the Vine" Jn 15:5). Good deeds then simply reflect Christ's life flowing through them, initiated, such deeds being energized by His Spirit (cp Php 2:13-note) and bringing glory to His Father (Mt 5:16-note).
Paul reminded the Corinthian church of this foundational principle regarding good deeds, explaining that
God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed (2Cor 9:8). (Notice that the verse begins with God and ends with good deeds which might even be referred to as "God" deeds!)
Paul acknowledged that the key to his good works was the grace of God writing that His
grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored (to the point of weariness and exhaustion) even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. (1Cor 15:10). (Notice the balance - our responsibility is to choose to do good works. God's sovereign provision enables all our well-doing! Amazing grace indeed!)
In his first letter to the Corinthians Paul emphasized that
no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ ("the Vine"). Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. (1Cor 3:11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
Barnes adds that
A Christian should be always ready to do good as far as he is able. He should not need to be urged, or coaxed, or persuaded, but should be so ready always to do good that he will count it a privilege to have the opportunity to do it.
Spurgeon in his devotional entitled Unprofitable Servants notes that…
Our good works are evidences of grace within us. Our faithfulness will be the evidence of our having a loving spirit towards our Master- evidence that our heart is changed, and that we have been made to love Him for Whom once we had no affection. Our works are the proof of our love, and hence they stand as evidence of the grace of God.
God first gives us grace,
and then rewards us for it.
He works in us, and then counts the fruit as our work! We work out our own salvation (Php 2:12-note), because "He works in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure (Php 2:13-note)." If He shall ever say, "Well done" (cp Mt 25:21, 23) to you and to me it will be because of His own rich grace, and not because of our merits (cp 1Co 15:10, Zech 4:6, Col 1:29-note). Amen.
Good (2570) (kalos [word study]) describes that which is inherently excellent or intrinsically good, providing some special or superior benefit with a basic meaning healthy, sound or fit. Kalos is intrinsically good with emphasis on that which is beautiful (Lk 21:5), handsome, excellent, surpassing, precious, commendable, admirable. In classic Greek kalos was originally used to describe that which outwardly beautiful.
Lenski on good ( = excellent)…
The excellent or noble thing" = sowing for the spirit and comprises all that Gal 5:22, Gal 5:23 contains.
FOR THE "PRIZE"
For - Paul explains why we should not lose heart. He is saying there will be "payday someday." And the charge to keep on keeping on is motivated by the prospect of future reward. This encouraging word about a "payday someday" brings to mind John Wesley's exhortation to
"Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can,
to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."
Due time - The appointed season. The proper season. The due season. Proper time. Fruit is reaped in a season that follows the sowing, but it is ultimately the time of God's appointment which "is neither to be hastened nor delayed by the act of any of His creatures." (Vine)
Vincent adds that due time is "In the season which is peculiarly the harvest-time of each form of well-doing."
Do a deed of simple kindness,
Though its end you may not see;
It may reach, like widening ripples,
Down a long eternity.
Morris explains that…
The fruit reaped occurs in a later season than the sowing. It is of the same kind as the seed sown (1Co 15:36, 37, 38; Jas 3:12) and is in proportion to the amount sown (2Co 9:6,7). Yet it is of higher degree than the form in which it is sown (Jn 12:24).
The phrase “in due time” or at the proper season—the appointed time of the harvest. Compare the plural form, 1Ti 2:6, 6:15. It is… the time within which the action takes place… “The harvest is the end of the world.” Mt 13:30. It is no objection to say, as is done by De Wette, that well-doing brings its own reward even now. 2Co 9:8, 9. For the figure is here preserved in harmony, and the sowing lasts all our lives. The time is with God, and His time for the harvest must be the right time and the best time. We are not to lose heart because the interval of labour may appear long, and the crop may not seem to be of speedy growth; for He is Judge, the seasons are in His hand, and at the divinely meted out period the invitation will be issued, “Thrust in thy sickle and reap.”
In due time (KJV = season, kairos = season in Gal 4:10) (2540) (kairos [word study]) means a point of time or period of time, frequently with the implication that the period of time is especially suited for something. Kairos is not so much a succession of minutes (Greek chronos = 5550), but a period during which there exists an opportunity. Chronos refers to chronological time, to clock time or calendar time, to a general space or succession of time. Kairos, on the other hand, refers to a specific and often predetermined period or moment of time and so views time in terms of events, eras, or seasons. In other words, kairos defines the best time to do something, the moment when circumstances are most suitable, the psychologically "ripe" moment ("the suitable time", "the right moment", "the convenient time").
Someone has well said that the reason some people don't recognize opportunity is that it usually comes disguised as hard work. I once heard a teacher say that man's adversity is often the door leading to God's opportunity and there is undoubtedly some truth to that statement. It is interesting if true (I don't know Chinese so cannot confirm this statement definitively) that the Chinese symbols for crisis are identical to those for the word opportunity. Literally translated the Chinese word reads "Crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind." Billy Graham said that "Today's world is said to be multiplying crises all around us. But we must never forget that, for the gospel, each crisis is an opportunity."
Chuck Swindoll adds that "We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations (Ed: Crisis)."
John Stott makes the point that…
Some incentive is certainly needed in Christian well-doing. Paul recognizes this, for he urges his readers not to ‘grow weary’ or ‘lose heart’ (cf. 2Th 3:13). Active Christian service is tiring, exacting work. We are tempted to become discouraged, to slack off, even to give up. So the apostle gives us this incentive: he tells us that doing good is like sowing seed. If we persevere in sowing, then ‘in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart’. If the farmer tires of sowing and leaves half his field unsown, he will reap only half a crop. It is the same with good deeds (see word study on Good Deeds). If we want a harvest, then we must finish the sowing and be patient, like the farmer who ‘waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it …’ (Jas 5:7). (Stott, J. R. W. The message of Galatians: Only one way. Leicester, England; Downer's Grove, Ill., U.S.A.: Inter-Varsity Press or The Bible Speaks Today NT)
John Brown put it
The motive which the apostle employs, for the purpose of guarding the Galatian Christians against weariness in well-doing, is a once appropriate and powerful. Nothing is so much calculated to produce languor (weariness of body or mind, listless indolence, heaviness, state of the body which is induced by exhaustion of strength) as a suspicion that all our exertions are likely to be fruitless; and nothing is better fitted to dispel it than the assurance that they shall assuredly be crowned with success. "In due season," says he, "ye shall reap, if ye faint not."… "Ye shall reap." The language is figurative, but not obscure. Indeed it is far more expressive than any literal description could have been. It implies the idea of reward--of reward naturally rising out of, and proportioned to, the dutiful exertion. The Christian shall be rewarded for his well-doing. Every act of Christian duty, every sacrifice made, every privation submitted to, every suffering endured, from a regard to Christ's authority, with a view to Christ's honor, shall assuredly be recompensed. This reward is often--usually--granted in part, even in the present state, and shall grow out of, and correspond to, the dutiful exertions of the Christian. It shall be his harvest. The happiness of a Christian, both in this world and the next, is, in a great measure, the natural result of his conformity to the will of God. Every holy temper is a capacity of enjoyment, and a source of enjoyment at the same time. The cultivation of holy dispositions, and the performance of commanded duty, are necessary to the true happiness (blessedness) of the Christian, not only from the Divine appointment, but from the very nature of the case.
The happy (blessed) results of well-doing are not, however, in every case immediate--in no case are all the happy (blessed) results of any act of well-doing at once and completely developed--and therefore the apostle adds, Ye shall reap "in due season." Christians frequently act like children in reference to this harvest. They would grown and reap in the same day. When children sow the seeds of flowers in their little gardens, they are apt to become impatient for their appearing above ground; and then for their yielding blossoms; and by this impatience are often not merely disquieted, but induced to do what must retard, and may altogether prevent, the eagerly desired event. Like "the husbandmen" who "waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, till he has received the former and latter rain," (Jas 5:7KJV) the Christian must also "be patient and stablish his heart." (Jas 5:8KJV) Our time is always read; but it not for us either to know or to regulate the times and the seasons (Ec 3:1ff). The Father has kept them in His own power. The harvest is certain. This we are assured of, and moreover, that if our own fault prevent not, it will be abundant and joyful. Whether it is to be an early or a late (harvest) depends entirely on the arrangements of Him who is "wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." And is it not right that it should be so? Is it not enough to be assured that in due season--at the period fixed by infinite wisdom and kindness--our objects shall be completely gained, our exertions abundantly rewarded? (An exposition of the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians)
Reap (2325) (therizo from théros = summer, harvest time ~ time of harvests) conveys the picture of cutting ripe grain and gathering the bundles together. To reap, to harvest.
But what is that we will harvest we will reap for sowing the "seed" of well doing? Paul does not give us specifics. He only guarantees a sure return on our investment, relying on that certainty to motivate us to seize the opportunities God gives.
John Stott offers his educated guess that the "reward in heaven for faithful service… will probably take the form of yet more responsible service." (Ed: See Mt 25:21)
The tissues of the life to be
We weave with colors all our own;
And in the field of Destiny
We reap as we have sown.
-W H Griffith-Thomas
Jesus encourages His followers with the promise that…
And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward. (Mt 10:42, cf Rev 22:12)
Similarly Paul also offers us these words of exhortation…
And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father… Whatever you do, do your work heartily ("out of soul work" - your soul being the seat and center of your inner life - Col 3:23YLT), as for the Lord rather than for men (Who are you seeking/hoping to please by your "good deeds"? 2Co 5:9-note) knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ Whom you serve (As we serve others with His Spirit's motivation [initiating in us the desire] and empowerment [giving us the power], it is as if we serve Jesus!). (Col 3:17-note, Col 3:23, 24-note, contrast Col 3:25-note)
John writing in the context of his admonition against false teachers (2Jn 1:7) warned…
Watch (present imperative = command to be continually on the alert - Why? The danger of deception is ever present!) yourselves, that you might not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. (2Jn 1:8)
Vine writes that…
reaping is related to sowing, not only in the matter of the quality of the seed, but also in regard to the quantity sown, see 2Co 9:6. The reaping may in some cases, but certainly not invariably, and then only in a limited way, be anticipated in this life, but the promise will be completely and finally fulfilled only beyond the Judgment Seat of Christ. This reaping is otherwise presented as the reward the Lord is to bring with Him at His coming, Rev 22:12-note. Diligence here produces proportionate abundance there, laxity here will mean proportionate poverty there. The same truth is declared under another figure in the words of the Lord Jesus, Mt 6:19, 20, 21-note, where He contrasts the precarious treasures of earth with the immutable treasures of Heaven. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos)
Life Application Commentary…
What kind of harvest did the apostle have in mind? His original statement of the parable "A man reaps what he sows" (Gal 6:7NIV) was a warning. But in the space of three verses, the principle has been used to encourage believers to serve faithfully even when facing weariness. A Christian will reap a harvest of present blessings: the fruit of the Spirit, well-instructed believers, restored sinners, and mutual support. But ultimately he or she will reap the harvest of eternal life in the Holy Spirit (Gal 6:8). Though the proper time is the time of God's own choosing, Paul was most likely referring to the time of the fulfillment of God's promises at Christ's second coming (1Ti 6:15). (Barton, B. B., et al. Life Application Bible Commentary. Romans: Tyndale House Publishers or Logos)
Warren Wiersbe writes that…
The image of the harvest is a familiar one in the Bible and is often applied to the ministry of winning lost souls. Both the Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Tares (Matt. 13:1-30) relate to this theme, and Paul used it in his letters (Ro 1:13; 1Co 3:6, 7, 8, 9; Gal. 6:9). We plant the seed of God's Word in the hearts of people who hear it, and we seek to cultivate that seed by our love and prayers. In due time, that seed may bear fruit to the glory of God. (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary - New Testament. 1989. Victor or Logos or Wordsearch)
If we do not grow weary (literally "not fainting") - This is the "condition" for the reward. Notice that Paul uses "we" thus identifying himself as also subject to this condition. The promise is that we will reap “provided that we faint not” in our well-doing. Paul recognizes that crops are not immediate but may grow slowly, and thus adds this exhortation to not give up! While we may see some of the harvest in this present life (cp 2Ti 2:6-note where "crops" = fruit), we need to look with eyes of faith (2Co 5:7, 4:18,1Ti 4:8-note) to see the harvest which endures throughout eternity (cp "fruit" that remains in Jn 15:16). It takes faith and patience to sow to the Spirit, but God promises the harvest in due season.
Grow weary (1590)(ekluo [word study] from ek = out or intensifier + luo = to loose) means literally to loosen out and to to untie, to dissolve, to release, to set free. To be unstrung as a bow string that has become unstrung and so weakened (and unusable for its intended purpose!) To be loosened or relaxed, like the limbs of the weary. Ekluo was used to describe reapers who had been overcome by heat and toil. Aristotle used ekluo to describe an athlete collapsing on the ground after he has surged past the finish line--what an interesting usage considering that the Christian life is often pictured as race to be run, finished and won! (Acts 20:24, 1Co 9:25, Php 3:13-note, Php 3:14-note, 2Ti 2:5-note, 2Ti 4:7-note, 2Ti 4:8-note, Heb 12:1-note, Heb 12:2-note)
In the present context ekluo means to become disheartened or discouraged, losing the motivation and/or desire to accomplish the goal--God's will of doing good! Ekluo is in the present tense which speaks of continuing action ("don't continue to be 'unstrung', weary, overcome by the task at hand" is the idea). Adoniram Judson once said that "The motto of every missionary (Beloved we are all "missionaries" where God has us placed!), whether preacher, printer, or schoolmaster, ought to be “Devoted for life.”
Just live your life before your Lord,
Rise to that higher, nobler plane--
With single eye His glory seek,
And you shall His approval gain.
Ekluo - 5x in 5v - Mt 15:32; Mk 8:3; Gal 6:9; Heb 12:3, 5. NAS = faint(3), grow weary(1), lose(1).
Morris adds that grow weary is relax noting that…
The Christian must not relax in his ministry of seed-sowing until the Lord comes (Jas 5:7,8).
John Eadie notes that ekluo is a stronger verb than ekkakeo…
The first (ekkakeo) is weakness of heart; and the second (ekluo), as the result of the first, describes relaxed effort, prostration of power, spoken of corporeal fainting in Mt 15:32, and of mental exhaustion, He 12:3, 1Macc. 3:17; Josephus Antiquities 5.2, 7. The view of the connection here given is the general view, enforcing the need of patience (perseverance) (see Mt 24:13; Jas 5:7; Rev 2:10)… The last words are an emphatic warning, and describe the one condition on which the reward can be enjoyed; and while there is much about the working or sowing, there is nothing about the reward which may induce that fainting or down-heartedness against which the apostle guards.
Distinct encouragement is given us—the encouragement of the husbandman in sowing his fields, the bow in the cloud assuring him that seed-time and harvest shall not fail. The Christian doctrine of reward is in perfect harmony with the doctrine of grace.
Ekluo is used of physical faintness in Mt 15:32, Mk 8:3; and of soul faintness in the strife with sin, Heb12:3, or under the chastening of God, He 12:5, or, as here, in the discharge of Christian responsibilities in obedience to the commandment of the Lord. Cp. also Deut 20:3. This warning is against the relaxation of effort. Discouragement is failure of the will. Faintness is failure of the strength, the one is the consequence of the other.
John Brown sounds an important caution in his comments on this section, noting that…
The saint's reaping is suspended on his not fainting, that is, his reward is suspended on his "constant continuance in well-doing." The words obviously imply, "If we faint we shall not reap." Not true saint will so faint as to abandon altogether the onward course of well-doing; but just in the proportion in which he does so shall he not reap; just in this proportion shall he come short of "obtaining a full reward:" and if a man who has exhibited all the appearances of saintship, who has been reckoned a saint by himself, and by those who were best acquainted with him, if that man should so faint as to habitually neglect the performance of Christian duty, no doubt he shall reap, but it will be "of the flesh, corruption," and not "of the Spirit, life everlasting."
A great deal of the false and dangerous notions entertained in reference to a most important Christian doctrine, that of the perseverance of the saints, would be prevented were men but to remember that the perseverance of the saints is a perseverance in holiness, and that, though "eternal life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord," it is on those only who, through a constant continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, and immortality," that eternal life is conferred. It has been finely said, " He who becomes a Christian in the true sense of that word becomes such for eternity. He has enlisted for life—for immortal life—never to withdraw. He becomes pledged to do good, and to serve God always. No obstacles are to deter him, no embarrassments are to drive him off the field. With the vigour of his youth, and the influence and wisdom of his riper years, with his remaining powers when enfeebled by age, with the last pulsations of life here, and with the immortal energies of a higher life in a better world, he is to do good. For that he is to live. For that he is to die. And when he awakes in the resurrection with renovated powers, he is to awake to an everlasting service of doing good, as far as he may have opportunity, in the kingdom of God."
No man who is habitually neglectful of, or allowedly languid and careless in, the discharge of Christian duty, can have satisfactory evidence of his being an object of Divine favour; and if, in these circumstances, he cherishes a confidence in the goodness of his state, and in the security of his salvation, his confidence is presumptuous. (An exposition of the Epistle of Paul to the Galatians)
Harry Ironside commenting on "in due time (season) we will reap if we do not grow weary"…
We are so apt, having begun in the Spirit, to seek to finish in the flesh, as in the case of these Galatians. But only that which is of the Spirit will be rewarded in the day of manifestation. That which is of the flesh—even though seemingly religious—will only produce corruption and bring disappointment at last.
In closing this section the apostle reverts to the general principle of Gal 6:6, now extending it to include all men everywhere. The spiritual man is one who sees things from God’s standpoint, therefore he cannot be insular, self-centered, or indifferent to the needy souls all about him. “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Gal 6:10). Thus we will imitate Him whose life was laid out in doing good, both to the unthankful and the godless, and to the little flock who waited for the consolation of Israel. As we seek, by the power of the indwelling Spirit, to maintain the same attitude toward our fellow-men, whether sinners or saints, we fulfil the righteousness of that law which says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” We do not need to put ourselves under the law to do this. We only need to recognize our relationship to the glorified Christ, who is the Head of that new creation to which, by grace, we belong.
Are we ever on the watch for such opportunities to manifest the goodness of God to those with whom we come in contact, and thus magnify the Lord, whose we are and whom we serve? Having been so wondrously dealt with ourselves, how can we do other than seek to exemplify in our dealings with others the mercy and loving-kindness which has been shown toward us? This is indeed to live on a higher plane than law. It is the liberty of grace, which the Holy Spirit gives to all who recognize the Lordship of Christ. (Ironside, H. A. Expository messages on the Epistle to the Galatians. 1943)
John Piper has a very interesting take on what Paul is saying in Galatians 6:8-9…
Galatians 6:9 says,
“Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”
It doesn’t mean, of course, that you can never stop one job and start another. If you ask what the well-doing is that we must not tire of, probably the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22f. is the best answer: don’t grow weary of being patient and kind and good and faithful and gentle and self-controlled. Don’t grow weary of manifesting your peace and joy in all kinds of acts of love to your neighbors and associates and family. In short, don’t lose heart in spending yourself through love, because if you do, the works of the flesh take over, and Paul says in Gal 5:21,
“Those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom.”
Or, as Paul says in 6:8, if you stop sowing to the Spirit and sow to your own flesh, you will not reap eternal life, but eternal corruption.
"What is at stake in this text is eternal life"
This is very controversial. Let it sink in. What is at stake in this text is eternal life; not merely sanctification, but also final salvation. Whether you go to heaven or whether you go to hell depends in some way on whether you grow weary in well-doing or not. The text is addressed to the church. Listen carefully, and note how the thought moves from verse 8 to verse 9: “He who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not (therefore!) grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” You will reap eternal life, if you sow to the Spirit, that is, if you don’t grow weary in well-doing. Because of texts like these I understand my role as a pastor-teacher to be not merely a means to your sanctification, but also a means to your salvation. This text is written to help bring the saints of Galatia to final salvation, eternal life. Therefore, a sermon from this text to the saints at Bethlehem should also aim to help bring you to final salvation or eternal life.
This view of preaching is widely rejected both in our Conference and throughout Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism. I got a letter last year from a retired Conference pastor which closed like this: “In conclusion: We find, then, that a pastor’s ministry is limited to a believer’s state and not his standing. Therefore, our security and deliverance from the penal consequences of sin do not in any way have a relationship to a pastor’s preaching.” Over against that extremely widespread view of preaching, I appeal to your own insight into Galatians 6:8 and 9. Should I, as your pastor-teacher, deliver to you Paul’s message? Should I speak to you the way the apostle spoke to the churches of Galatia? Is not the “corruption” of verse 8 the final penal consequence of sin? Is not “eternal life” in Galatians 6:8 the freedom from this consequence of sin? And is not our experience of the one or the other dependent in some way on whether we sow to the Spirit and don’t grow weary in well-doing? And if so, ought not a pastor believe that his message from this text may be the divinely appointed means of causing God’s children to persevere to the end in well-doing and so inherit eternal life?
My goal in life is to be a faithful teacher of God’s Word for the good of his people and the glory of his name. I don’t see how I could be faithful to this text and not tell you that if you grow weary in well-doing and lose heart, you will not reap eternal life. If you forsake the Spirit and rely on the flesh, you will reap corruption. (Cf. Ro 8:13) (Read Piper's full message - Do Not Grow Weary in Well-Doing )
A PREACHER who was growing weary in the ministry had a dream. He saw himself pounding away at a huge chunk of granite with a pickax. It was his job to break it into small pieces. But as hard as he tried, he couldn't chip off even a tiny piece. At last, tired and disappointed, he decided to give up.
Just then a stranger appeared and said, "Weren't you given orders to do that work? Your duty is to give it your best regardless of what happens." The minister, with renewed determination, grabbed the pickax, lifted it high in the air, and gave the granite a crushing blow. It broke into a thousand pieces.
The dream helped the preacher realize the importance of not giving up. Perhaps the next "blow" will be the one that makes a life-and-death difference in someone's spiritual life.
The Lord wants us to keep working at our God-given task no matter how difficult it might be. Even when success seems remote or impossible, we are to remain steadfast, assured that there will be an ample reward for those who persevere.
It is easy to grow tired in our service for the Lord. We may even become so discouraged that we're tempted to quit. At such times, it is good to remember God's promise spoken by the apostle Paul: "And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart" (Galatians 6:9).—R W De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Telephone Poles Don't Move — A woman gave her teenage son a used automobile. The youth enjoyed racing the car around curves so he could hear the tires squeal. One morning his car skidded and smashed into a telephone pole. The boy was thrown through the windshield and was rushed to a hospital. When his pastor reached the hospital, the boy’s mother was frantic. She grasped the pastor’s hands in hers and exclaimed, “Why would God let this happen?”
Her question is understandable, but it misses the hard truth of the situation. She can’t blame God for that accident. If the Lord were to suspend the laws of physics and snatch a telephone pole from in front of her son, He might just as well place one in front of someone else who was driving carefully.
If the law of gravity works to keep me from flying into space, I cannot expect it to go into reverse if I step out of a 10th-floor window. God doesn’t cancel the rule of sowing and reaping just because we become Christians. But there is an upside to that principle. If we sow “to the Spirit [we] will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Gal. 6:8). With that in mind, “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal 6:9). What do you expect to reap? — by Haddon W. Robinson (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The tissue of the life to be
We weave with colors all our own,
And in the field of destiny
We reap as we have sown. —Whittier
The law of sowing and reaping has never been repealed.
Are You Weary? — I read a story about a pastor of a small, rural church in Scotland. He had been forced out by his elders, who claimed they saw no fruit from his ministry. The village in which the pastor served was a difficult place. People’s hearts were cold and hostile to the truth. During the time the pastor served, there had been no conversions and no baptisms. But he did recall one positive response to his preaching.
When the offering plate was passed during a service, a young boy placed the plate on the floor, stood up, and stepped into it. When asked to explain, he replied that he had been deeply touched by the minister’s life, and while he had no money to give he wanted to give himself wholly to God.
The boy who stepped into the plate was Bobby Moffat, who in 1817 became a pioneer missionary to South Africa. He was greatly used of God to touch many lives. And it all started with that small church and the faithful work of that unappreciated pastor.
Perhaps you see no fruit from your work for the Lord. Remain faithful! Do not lose heart, but ask God to strengthen you with His power (2Cor 4:1,7). In His time and in His way, He will produce a harvest if you do not give up (Galatians 6:9). — by David H. Roper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Keep me faithful, keep me grateful,
This my earnest plea each day!
Keep me serving, keep me telling
Of His love while yet I may!
A fruitful harvest requires faithful service.
Never Give Up! — As Hitler was mounting his attack against England during World War II, Winston Churchill was asked to speak to a group of discouraged Londoners. He uttered an eight-word encouragement: “Never give up! Never, never, never give up!”
There will be times when you’ll be discouraged in your Christian walk, but you must never, never, never give up. If nothing else, your struggle against sin will cause you to turn to God again and again and cling to Him in your desperation.
In his book The Fight, John White writes,
“It is the man or woman who gets up and fights again that is the true warrior … Strengthen yourself with a powerful draught of the wine of Romans 8:1, 2, 3, 4. Then get back into the fight before your muscles get stiff!”
What’s required is dogged endurance, keeping at the task of obedience through the ebbs and flows, ups and downs, victories and losses in life. It is trying again, while knowing that God is working in you to accomplish His purposes (Philippians 1:6; 2:13). It is persistently pursuing God’s will for your life till you stand before Him and your work is done.
God is wonderfully persistent too. He will never, never, never give up on you! — by David H. Roper (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
O Lord, You are faithful and always will be,
You never give up on working with me;
So as I am striving to serve You each day,
Help me to follow Your will and Your way. —Fitzhugh
Perseverance can tip the scales from failure to success.
Don't Be Discouraged — “Why are you throwing away those nice potatoes, Grandpa?” asked my young grandson. I was planting potatoes in my garden, and he thought it was a waste to bury them. So I had an opportunity to explain to him that only as we give the seed away can we receive the harvest.
A few days later, my grandson was in the garden again, looking at the ground. He complained, “Grandpa, they’re not coming up.” So I spoke to him about patience.
We too can become impatient when our service for the Lord doesn’t appear to bear fruit. Sometimes we may feel like giving up because we do not see immediate results.
A dying soldier asked a chaplain to write to his former Sunday school teacher: “Tell her that I’m a Christian because of what she taught me in Sunday school.” He sent the message and received the following reply: “Last month I resigned my Sunday school class, for I felt my teaching had been fruitless. And then came the message from my former pupil. May God forgive me for my impatience and lack of faith. I will ask my pastor to let me teach again, and I promise by God’s grace not to quit.”
Let’s faithfully serve the Lord—depending on His power and strength—and leave the results to Him.— by M. R. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Day by day perform your mission,
With Christ's help keep at your tasks;
Have no fear that God will chide you,
Faithfulness is all He asks! —HGB
Discouragement is one of the devil's most effective weapons.
The Joy of Harvest— It is one of those rare, beautiful autumn days as I am writing this article. I am sitting on a cement block in my shirt sleeves, admiring the labor of my hands. I have just picked 10 bushels of Red Delicious apples from my two small trees.
I think ahead to the winter evening when I will sit before the fireplace with a tray of these delicious fruits at my elbow. But then my mind recalls all the past hard work it took to produce these apples.
I recall how I hung on my ladder with pruning tools and trimmed those trees in freezing weather. I remember spraying those trees to ward off insects and disease. I murmured to myself, “Is it really worth all this work?” Today I have the answer in 10 bushels of almost perfect fruit. Yes, it was worth it all.
For the Christian, today is the sowing, growing, and pruning time. We find ourselves wondering about the difficulties we must face as we serve the Lord. But the prospect of the future urges us on. It is the promise of harvest that brightens the way and makes the burdens lighter.
Are you bowed down and discouraged? Then look ahead. Keep your eye on the future and the joy of the harvest (Gal. 6:9). — M. R. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
The joy to come with harvest grain
That follows days of toil and strain
Renews our will to persevere
In serving Christ when days grow drear. —DJD
A fruitful harvest requires faithful service.
GOD'S MYSTERIOUS WAYS - After years of service in South Africa, the famous missionary Robert Moffat returned to Scotland to recruit helpers. When he arrived at the church one cold wintry night, he was dismayed that only a small group had come out to hear him. What bothered him even more was that the only people in attendance were ladies. Although he was grateful for their interest, he had hoped to challenge men. He had chosen as his text Proverbs 8:4, “Unto you, O men, I call.”
In his discouragement he almost failed to notice one small boy in the loft pumping the bellows of the organ. Moffat felt frustrated as he gave the message, for he realized that very few women could be expected to undergo the rigorous life in undeveloped jungles. But God works in mysterious ways. Although no one volunteered that evening, the young fellow assisting the organist was deeply moved by the challenge. As a result, he promised God he would follow in the footsteps of this pioneer missionary. And he remained true to his vow. When he grew up, he went and ministered to the unreached tribes of Africa. His name was David Livingstone!
Moffat never ceased to wonder that his appeal which he had intended for men had stirred a young boy, who eventually became a mighty power for God. - H. G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
THE THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM - In due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Galatians 6:9).
In a manufacturing town in Scotland, a young lady began teaching a Sunday school class of poverty-stricken boys. The most unpromising youngster was a boy named Bob. After the first two or three Sundays, he did not return. So the teacher went to look for him. Although the superintendent had given Bob some new clothes, they were already worn and dirty when the teacher found him. He was given another new suit, and he came back to Sunday school. But soon he quit again, and the teacher went out once more to find him. When she did, she discovered that the second set of clothes had gone the way of the first.
“I am completely discouraged about Bob,” she told the superintendent.
“I guess we must give up on him.”
“Please don’t do that,” he pleaded. “I believe there is still hope. Try him one more time.”
They gave Bob a third suit of clothes, and this time he began to attend faithfully. It wasn’t long until he became a Christian and eventually even taught in that same Sunday school.
Who was that obstinate, ragged boy who for a time seemed so unreachable? None other than Robert Morrison, who later became the first Protestant missionary to China. He translated the Bible into Chinese and brought the Word of God to teeming millions.
A. B. Simpson said,
“God has hidden every precious thing in such a way that it is a regard to the diligent, a prize to the earnest, but a disappointment to the slothful.”
In service for Christ, keep “doing good.” Perseverance wins! - H. G. Bosch (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)