Seed for the Sower

There is a huge difference between Old Testament giving and New Testament giving, and I am so excited to share it with you today. I am going to be giving you a little bit of history and some scripture, but hang in there with me. Because when the light comes on in your Spirit, it is going to change the way you look at giving.

The difference between Old and New Testament giving really comes down to a matter of covenants. I don’t know if you have ever heard of covenants before, but basically it is a contract with terms for keeping the covenant. In the Old Testament, or old covenant, the basis for pleasing God was obeying all of the Laws and rules set out by Moses. It was a covenant between God and men in which men were obligated to fulfill ALL of the rules or suffer the consequences and truly it was doomed from the beginning. In fact, God knew that it was doomed because He knew that it was impossible for men to keep all of those laws. But what the law did do was reveal our need for Jesus, and that was the plan all along.

So Jesus came and perfectly fulfilled the law in our place. And in His death and resurrection, He made a New covenant. Only, this covenant isn’t with God and men. It is a covenant between God and Jesus… Jesus who is perfect and can never break the covenant. The only thing we have to do to be partakers in the benefits of this covenant is to believe in Jesus. The Bible then says that we are IN Christ. In other words, everything that he did perfectly for us comes from simply believing in Him and being “in Christ.” Galatians 2:20-21 says, “I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith I the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

So we are under a New Covenant and any attempt to gain righteousness by doing the “law” just makes a mockery of what Jesus did on the cross for us. Righteousness is yours through what Jesus did! And here is the wonderful thing about giving under this New Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, giving was always given after the harvest came in. Under the law of Moses (the rules that God gave to Moses known as the law), you would wait to see what your harvest would be and then you would bring a tenth of your harvest to give to the Lord. Interestingly, the “tithe” under the law was never money. It was always part of your harvest or crops. I don’t think New Covenant giving is all about money either. I think there are so many areas that the Lord might lead you to give in like your time, your energy, making a meal for a friend, or giving your services. Who says it has to only be money? That’s actually not scriptural at all. Living as a giver is much bigger than just your finances, although it has so much impact on your finances (which is why I’m talking about it 🙂 )

Anyway, so under the Old Covenant you would give after the harvest, but in the New Covenant your giving DETERMINES your harvest!! You don’t wait to see what comes in and then give. You ask the Holy Spirit what to give and THEN see what comes in. What an amazing concept. This is the reason that I believe giving has to be one of those categories in your budget where you can’t necessarily lock yourself down into a number. Matt and I ask the Lord what we are to give and we put that amount into our budget, but many months it is more than that. We give according to the Spirit, and you know what… the Holy Spirit is never stingy. 🙂 He is not stingy in leading us, but neither is He stingy in the harvest. We don’t see our giving as what we “owe God” after we have earned our pay check. We see our giving as our seed we are sowing BEFORE God’s provision for the month. In fact, the New Testament actually likens your giving to seed. If you sow your seed bountifully, you will reap bountifully. If you sow your seed sparingly, you will reap sparingly. (2Cor. 9:6)

Now, here is the really amazing news for you. Not only does God multiply your seed and bring a harvest… He actually supplies the seed for you to sow in the first place!
2 Corinthians 9:10-11 says,
“Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”

Did you know that if you don’t have the seed to sow, you can ask God to give you seed? In fact, if you have been looking at your budget over the past two days and thinking, “Tracy, if you only knew what I am looking at! How in the world am I going to be able to give when I can barely pay my bills?” I want to just challenge you to right now, ask God for seed to sow. Tell Him where you are and then ask Him for seed. And then get ready for amazing days, because He has promised to give you the seed for sowing and He will.

But, the important part is to then not “eat” your seed. When you ask Him for seed, He will give it to you and you need to recognize it as seed and get that seed into some good soil. Trust me, you don’t want to eat your seed. You want to eat out of the harvest. I could tell you story after story from my family of seeing this in action. I also want to say that your seed might not come in the form of money. I have asked God for seed before and been given a whole lot of clothes. I knew that those clothes were seed to sow. There are amazing stories from my parents where they didn’t even have a dollar to their name. They just asked God and said, “Lord would you provide some seed for us to sow because we really need a big harvest. We need a miracle in our finances.” On one occasion they had been asking the Lord for seed and a lady came up to my Mom and handed her some money. Well, when my Mom looked it was a $100 bill. Now $100 is a huge amount when you don’t even have any money for feeding your children, never mind bills. But she knew that it was seed, so she and my Dad sowed that money and within days they were given two checks for $1000 each! God supplies and then multiplies the seed so that you can be an even more generous giver.

Isn’t this great news? It’s not all up to you. In fact, sometimes you just have to get out of the way and let God do it through you. So ask Him for seed to day. “Lord, will you give me something that I can give, or even open my eyes to something I already have that is actually seed in my hand.” And then get that seed in the ground and get ready to see God move in amazing ways. This truly is the liberating part of budgeting. It is wonderful to have a plan. It is wonderful to be wise with you money, but it is even more wonderful to know that God is working in your finances. This has become such a way of life to me (because of my parents doing it my whole life) that Matt and I immediately ask, no matter what we have been given whether it is seed for sowing or bread for eating. And let me tell you, Jesus really was right when He said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” And in that joyous cycle, you will be “enriched in everything for all liberality.” You will have plenty for you and plenty more to give. So get into the cycle, get over any perceived lack in your budget, and ask God to supply the seed for you to give today.