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Pastor Costa Philippou

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					                        Pastor Costa Philippou
                        Saturday 6 October 2001
                                   Devotion

I know that all of us that are here at this conference today and the past
couple of days have been here, because everyone of us have come to
understand how God feels about the value of human life. No matter who
we are or what our status in life, our age, or whatever it is that differentiates
us from others, it actually makes no difference to God. When God sees you
and He sees me and everybody else He sees us through the eyes of a
loving Creator. We are special to Him and therefore we have great value.
I’m sure we all agree with that this morning. So much so, that before the
world was even created, He knew us by name.


The fact that God know us and even before the creation of the world knew
us, has actually cause such a change in our lives and those of us that are
sitting here this morning realise that we can’t actually ever be the same and
the result of that has been that we have laid down our lives to serve others.
Is that right? But the problem is, that in serving others we sometimes
become tired and we become weary and we frequently wonder how long
we can actually carry on serving like this. We know what God has called us
to do, but sometimes it feels like it gets a bit too much and we feel like
giving up. Anybody here ever feel like that, or am I the only one that felt like
that ever. Well, today as I was preparing I just felt that God wanted me to
have just one very simple objective for this mornings devotion and I feel
that what the Lord wants to do is to encourage everyone of us that amongst
all the different things that we’re going to be learning and experiencing from
this conference the one thing that I believe God wants to impact to us this
morning in this devotion is a renewed determination to carry on in what God
has called us to do and serving Him. I want to read to you from Gal. 6:6-10



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Paul writing to the Galatians says this: “Anyone who receives instruction in
the word must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived,
God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the
one who sows to his flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one
who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not
lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow
weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and
especially to those who are of the household of the family of believers.”


Now the context of these verses is the responsibility of meeting the financial
needs of those who are in Christian service that’s what Paul is actually
writing about here. And that’s why he says: “Anyone who receives
instructions in the word must share all good things with his instructor.” In
other words Paul is encouraging the Galatians to share their resources with
those that have committed to teaching them and training them in God’s
way, and the verses that follow expand on that initial thought, in verse 6.
And although this passage refers specifically to financial resources I see
here that the principles that are established can actually apply to all the
areas of our lives as well, and in fact when he speaks in verse 6 about
sharing all good things, the root word that’s used is the same root Greek
word for communion. And Strong actually translates the word as follows;
“share means to end into fellowship, to joins oneself to an associate, to
make oneself a sharer, or a partner.” What Paul is actually saying is, make
yourselves a partner with the people that have instructed you in the word. If
I, think of becoming a partner with someone, I know that it doesn’t refer just
to financial resources, but to all our resources. A couple of principles I want
to pick out from here, from this text, just to help us and to encourage us this
morning.


This first question I want to ask is what does this text actually mean to me
as an individual and if we look at verses 7 and 8, it says this: “Don’t be


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deceived God cannot be mocked, a man reaps what he sows. The one
who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.
The one who sows to please his spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life.”
Now, the question is how did people actually mock God? People mock God
in this particular context by thinking that the law of sowing and reaping does
not apply to them and then living accordingly, and simply what God is
saying is don’t think you’re going to get away with it, whatever you sow you
will reap. If you sow bad seed, do not expect to get a good crop, you will
reap a bad crop. You may mock God, by thinking that you will reap a good
crop when you have sowed bad seed. If you sow good seed you will reap a
good crop. And in talking to the Galatians Paul is actually encouraging
them to sow all the good things that they have so that they can reap a
bountiful harvest. He is saying to them, sow and share with the people that
have instructed you, so you can reap a bountiful harvest. The point very
simply is that this principle of sowing and reaping always applies. When a
farmer sows seed he doesn’t just wonder whether something is going to
come up, he has an expectation and an anticipation in his heart that
something will grow and that he is going to reap a harvest of whatever seed
he has sown. It is not a thing of wondering it is a thing of expectation. And
although Paul is speaking to the church in Galatia, I believe that those
words apply to everyone of us here in this conference hall this morning.
You need to know this morning that you have sown a lot of good seed into
people’s lives over the years, and I want to encourage you and ask, that
you do not become despondent and think that what you have done by
sowing all this good seed over the years has been a waste of time.


The principles of God cannot be changed or altered, they are immutable.
You have sown good seed, and the word of God says that in due season
you will reap a wonderful harvest in the area of your activity or the area of
your ministry.




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I don’t know if you are hearing what I am saying to you this morning. And
like a farmer I want you to continue having an expectation in your heart,
believing and anticipating a harvest. I want to tell you this morning that you
haven’t work so hard for all these years in vain. The farmer waits maybe a
couple of months of the year to wait for a corruptible harvest, how much
more those of us who are waiting for an incorruptible harvest. So let us be
patient, let us have an expectation and let us know that what we have sown
is not in vain, in due season we will reap a harvest.


The next point I want to make is this. Let us not become weary. In verse 9
it says: “Let us not become weary in doing good.” Can anybody relate to
the fact that sometimes you just get weary in doing good, you’re just
applying yourself so diligently and sometimes you just become weary?
Strongs defines the word weary as follows: “To be utterly spiritless”. And I
think that just puts it so well, that sometimes we become spiritless, to be
wearied out and exhausted. So he says, let’s not become weary in doing
good. The word good here in the Greek does not mean doing something
good out of a sense of duty or obligation. What it actually means, it refers
to performing an act of kindness, towards other people that flows from your
heart. So if I could just rephrase that verse, just adding on the additional
understanding that Strongs is giving us, I can read it as follows: “Do not
become utterly spiritless, wearied out and exhausted through demonstrating
acts of kindness to other people, acts that flow from your heart.” Can I just
say that again, because I really just want God to encourage and to put that
into your heart this morning, that we mustn’t become tired. Do not become
spiritless, wearied out and exhausted trough demonstrating acts of
kindness to other people, acts of kindness that flow from your heart. Why
shouldn’t we become weary? Because we know that there is a harvest
waiting for us, so we mustn’t give up. And doesn’t this happen to us so
often. We pour out our lives into a particular area of ministry. We pour out
our lives into people, and how often do we get people questioning our


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motives. How often do we get people giving us a hard time when what we
really need is a lot of support, how often is it that people let us down, they
abuse us, and when we feel we’re taking three steps forward something
happens and we see us going back five steps. I think we all know what I’m
referring to. But Paul says we must not become weary and spiritless in
doing good. Paul wants to encourage us and build us up this morning.
Why? Because he says for at the proper time you will reap a harvest.


Do you know what I often find? So many people give up just before the
harvest is due, and because we don’t see anything we think that nothing is
happening. Do you know what’s in the farmer’s heart when he sows his
seed? Two things, a sure hope and patience. When he sows that seed he
has a sure hope that in due season he’s going to reap that harvest and the
other element that’s in his heart is the patience he knows he has to wait, but
he knows that in due course he’s going to get that harvest.


I just want to encourage you this morning let us allow God to fill our hearts
with these hope and expectations and the patience and let’s not give up.
And that is what I feel God wants to encourage us with this morning.


I don’t know if you know the story of the Chines bamboo tree. It takes five
years to grow. When they plant the seed, they water and fertilise it, and
after a year there is nothing there, but they go to the same spot and water
and fertilise it again, and so again with the third and fourth year they water
and fertilise that spot where there is nothing. And then the course of the
fifth year in a period of approximately six weeks the Chinese bamboo tree
grows roughly 90 feet. For four years there is nothing in the fifth year in a
period of six weeks the tree grows 90 feet. Now the question is. Did the
tree grow 90 feet in six weeks or in five years? And we all know the answer
to that question, it grew 90 feet in five years.




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That is the view that we need to take in terms of what God has called us to
do. Sometimes we may not be seeing any activity above the ground, but
we need to know that God is working below the ground. We may not be
seeing something very, very evident and very obvious, but we need to know
that God is changing things in the spirit realm and preparing for the harvest
that He has promised us.


I think many of us get discouraged. What would have happened to these
people if after four years they looked at the spot and said: “This is useless,
I’ve wasted my time here”, and go and dig up the roots or the ground again.
It would have been such a waste, and yet so many of us get so discouraged
that after a period of time, because we are not seeing an evident harvest
we actually give up.


I want to encourage you this morning, and I believe this is what God wants
to encourage us with this morning. Let us not give up, because in due
season you will reap a harvest. I just want to close with 1 Cor. 2:9. I think
many of us know this. Paul writing to the Corinthians says this: “No eye has
seen, no hear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared
for those who love Him.” And I believe that is the word of the Lord to us this
morning.


Prayer: “Father, I want to thank you, that we can take a few minutes and
spend some time focussing on You again, this morning. Father, we just
want to thank you that everyone in this room today have sown seed, good
seed. I want to thank you Lord, that in due season that we will reap a
wonderful harvest that You have prepared for us. Thank you Lord God that
the people that have sowed good seed will reap a wonderful harvest, and I
am asking Lord God, that you will encourage every person who’ve over
many, many years has sowed diligently and selflessly into the lives of other
people and has not seen a harvest. Lord, I’m asking you that you would


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encourage them, build up the hope inside of them, build up the patience
inside of them, because you have said Lord that we will reap a harvest if we
do not give up. And so, Lord God, I just ask that you build everyone of us
up this morning, encourage us to continue to do what you have called us to
do. In Jesus name. Amen.




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