Keep Doing Good. The Harvest Is Coming!
Sunday Evening English Worship - September 3, 2017 - 5:00 pm
Messenger: Don Frank
Bible Passage - Galatians 6:9
Introduction - I've been really interested in this poem that been floating around the Internet recently. People say it comes from Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun that helped so many children in India for so many years. So, I took some time to look it up and I'd like to share it with you tonight. Here it is. The title is "Anyway." It wasn't actually from Mother Teresa herself, but was a sign on the wall in her children's home in Calcutta. Let me read it to you.
"People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may say you are selfish.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it's between you and God.
It never was between you and them anyway."
And as I read those words again and again, God revealed a scripture to me that has had this huge impact on me. And God told me to share that with you this evening. It comes from Galatians 6:9. "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
And so this is the topic and the Scripture passage I'd like to begin sharing with you this evening. Now, in order to get the full impact, we need to look at the context of this passage, so let's begin with Galatians 6:1 and see our first point tonight. I'm going to use the English phrase "Give Yourself" as the rope that binds all my points together tonight.
1. Give Yourself a Pep Talk - Galatians 6:1-5
Our first phrase tonight is "Give Yourself a Pep Talk." And our first Bible passage is Galatians 6:1-5. Let's read it. "1 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. 4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct."
Now, a pep talk is a talk that coaches usually give to their players before a game to motivate them and to give them courage and enthusiasm. He tells them things that they should and shouldn't do during the game. Look at all the underlined words. Paul tells us all the good things we should do and the bad to watch out for. So tonight, I'm the coach? Paul's the coach? No, God's Word is always our coach, encouraging us to give our best. So, what's the next thing you should give yourself?
2. Give Yourself a Break - Galatians 6:6-8
It's the old McDonald's slogan, "Give Yourself a Break Today!" And we continue reading in Galatians chapter 6 with verses 6 through 8. "6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. 7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit."
But let's be honest, this world can be a pretty tiring place. Bad news all around us like that North Korean missile launch over Japan last week Monday! Man, I just get so weary from all the bad in this world! Hate, murder, stealing, lying, cheating, not caring at all for our fellow man. It doesn't take long before I want to just give up! It's easy to think, "God, bring peace to this world or take me home to heaven! I'm ready! I've had enough!" But that's what God tells us NOT TO DO. So how can we have the strength and the faith to keep going, like Mother Teresa's sign says? The sign tells us that too. Look at the last 2 sentences. "For you see, in the end, it's between you and God. It never was between you and them anyway. It's between us and God." That's the key point. And that's where God's Word comes in. Galatians 6:8 says, "Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit."
By our own power, we can do nothing, not even all the good things we want to do. We can do none of the things on that sign. We'd just give up right away. But if we allow the Spirit of God to work in us and through us, then everything is possible! Let's start every day by asking the Lord to fill us freshly with His Spirit, to flow His living waters through us. He will then do His work by His power. Then we'll stand back and watch in amazement at all the wonderful things He will begin to do through us! What blessings God will provide! And the blessings don't stop there.
3. Let God Give You a Pat on the Back - Galatians 6:9-10
Now, the next English expression is "give yourself a pat on the back." That means to give yourself some praise for doing a good job or being successful. But instead of us praising ourselves, it's God who wants to reward us for following Him. Let's read Galatians 6:9-10, the main promise of this Bible passage. "9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith."
Here we have the central idea of this study tonight - the harvest! Keep doing good because it's between you and God ~ and He promises a harvest of blessings! Now, what blessings, what rewards will be ours if we keep letting the Spirit do His work through us? Well, we've seen one already back in verse 8. We will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. What a gift God gives us - to be set free from sin and live a forever, infinite life with God Himself - for trillions and trillions of years! By that time we won't even remember what a clock used to be!
But there are other rewards. And here's one we don't think of much: people. How about all those we have shared the Gospel with who will meet us on the other side? It's called investing in what's going to last forever. Everything here on this earth is going to disappear, but what we send on ahead is going to be waiting for us when we arrive!
And of course, there are all the spiritual and material blessings we receive everyday here on earth. I hope you are joining with me to Count Your Blessings always. Our Father is rich in blessings! And speaking of our Heavenly Father, let's look at our final point this evening.
4. Don't Give Up on Yourself. God Didn't! - Romans 5:8
Quickly, I'd like to share kind of in machine-gun-style about where these good works got started. Our last English expression is Don't Give Up on Yourself. Why? Because God Never Gives Up on You! Let's look at Romans 5:8, shall we? "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." God began all these good works by starting with the greatest work of all - our salvation! None of us will ever be able to top that Good Work no matter how hard we try!
Next is Philippians 2:13 - and it reads like this, "For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." Once He saves us, then God Himself comes to live inside of us - and He begins doing His work in us. He gives us motivation and all the power we need to do more and more good works. Our Power Source is the God who created this whole universe!
Moving along, we come to 1 Corinthians 15:58. It says, "So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." Let's give our best to God and to this world, like Mother Teresa's sign says. Let's put our hearts into our work and then God promises that anything we do for Him will please Him and He's going to bless us for it!
And our final Bible passage tonight is back in the book of Philippians, chapter 1 verse 6, "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." Here's another precious promise that God gave to Paul and he's passing it along to us. God is never going to give up on us, though we may get tired and give up on ourselves. God's going to keep doing all of His good work in us until the day that Jesus returns. God's got some great stuff in store for us in the days ahead! I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see what He's going to do!
Conclusion - So, where have we come in our study tonight? God's got some good works in mind for us throughout our lives. Let's keep trusting Him and...
(1) Give Yourself a Pep Talk - Galatians 6:1-5
(2) Give Yourself a Break - Galatians 6:6-8
(3) Let God Give You a Pat on the Back - Galatians 6:9-10 and
(4) Don't Give Up on Yourself. God Didn't! - Romans 5:8, Philippians 2:13, 1 Corinthians 15:58 & Philippians 1:6
Closing Prayer - And now let's take our key Bible passage and pray it back to Our Heavenly Father tonight as our closing prayer.Galatians 6:9 ~ So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
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Dear Heavenly Father, we get so tired sometimes in this world. We try to do good, but nothing seems to happen. We trust Your Spirit to keep working in us everyday. We know then that we can do all good things. We also trust Your Promise that at the right time we will reap a harvest of blessings. Give us the power and the faith to never give up. We trust all of this into Your Hands right now, in Jesus' precious name, Amen.