The Gospel Paradox

Do not be fooled: You cannot cheat God. People harvest only what they plant. If they plant to satisfy their sinful selves, their sinful selves will bring them ruin. But if they plant to please the Spirit, they will receive eternal life from the Spirit. GALATIANS 6:7-8 NCV 

You probably know Jesus spoke in parables, but did you know He also used equations? Yes, like math. Don’t tune out! At its root, growing plants is a straightforward equation. Seeding comes first, then sprouting. Cause, then effect. Beginning, then ending. First, then last. Sowing, then reaping. 

This biological sequence makes sense in the natural world. But how does God want us to think about it? We can discern from His Word that we get what we give; we reap what we sow. If we sow seeds of jealousy, we shouldn’t be surprised when what we have doesn’t satisfy. If we plant bitterness, we’ll harvest anger. If we tend doubt, we’ll reap anxiety in spades. 

How do we get rid of these “bad seeds”? We don’t want to plant bitterness, jealousy, and doubt, but we frequently find ourselves doing it anyway. We’re like the apostle Paul when he describes the problem of sin: “For I do not do the good that I want to do, but I practice the evil that I do not want to do” (Romans 7:19 CSB). We have no ability to save ourselves from the bad seeds that give root to and grow weeds of sin in our lives. We must simply fall on God’s grace. 

Grace—receiving the favor and power of God that we don’t deserve—is what saves us. God, in His grace, sent Jesus to pay for our sins. God, in His grace, understands we do what we don’t want to do. God, in His grace, freely offers forgiveness to us all. God, in His grace, says, “It’s okay.” God, in His grace, redeems us and gives us another chance. 

This is the paradox of the Gospel: sow sin and reap grace. Thanks be to God for giving us miraculously cleansing grace that we don’t deserve! 

God, You know my heart, and You offer forgiveness for every sin in it. I don’t deserve such grace, but I’m grateful for it. Thank You for Your redeeming grace and extravagant love that saves me! 

This is an excerpt from Playing in the Dirt: 90 Devotions for Crazy Plant Ladies a new devotional journal now available for pre-order on Shop all books, journals, and devotions from DaySpring here.