7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Do you remember life in the pressure cooker of final exams? If you have forgotten, let me remind you about the late-night, caffeine-fueled cram sessions in preparation for examinations of multiple choice, true-false, and the dreaded essay questions. I remember walking into a classroom during my junior year of college and taking a seat as I awaited the arrival of the professor. Every student in the room was sweating bullets. We knew Dr. Johnson’s final exam would be a doozy.
At precisely 9:00AM, Dr. J walked through the door and stood behind the lectern. “We have a little assignment we need to take care of this morning,” he said with a smile. We didn’t think it was funny. But then he said, “Let me pray for all of you before you begin.” We all thought “Hallelujah, he does have a heart in that barrel chest of his.”
But then he prayed, “Father, I pray you will bless each student according to his or her level of preparation. In Jesus’ name, Amen. “
Silently, I shouted, “No!! Not according to my preparation! Bless me according to God’s great power and grace!”
I have no idea how I did on Dr. J’s final test, but I distinctly remember thinking, I hate it when I have to reap what I have sown.
We don’t always love the law of sowing and reaping, do we? But Paul tells us it is one of God’s laws by which life in His world must be lived. “Don’t be deceived!” There are no exceptions. We are fools if we think that we can “mock God” by planting seeds in life and avoiding their harvest. If we think that we can circumvent or avoid this law, we are deceiving ourselves. And self-deception is deception of the worst kind because it is self-inflicted. And that leads to a terrible kind of ignorance because it is a self-imposed ignorance.
Remember, life is played by God’s rules and reaping and sowing is one of them. We will spend this week during our daily devotional reflecting on this truth. Amen and amen.