To sow is to work, and to harvest is to gain. Whoever desires gain must contribute work, and the harder a person works, the greater one's gain will be. Regardless of what seeds we sow, we can be sure of this unchanging law.
Some people give sparingly because they regard giving as loss. But actually, giving is like sowing. The ones who give bountifully will receive a bountiful returnâ€”if not a material reward, then greater eternal rewards.
In the time of the early church, there were many poor believers in Jerusalem. Although the church in Macedonia also suffered poverty, the believers there joyfully and generously gave aid to the church in Jerusalem. Paul regarded these gifts as God's abundant grace upon the church in Macedonia. He used their example to encourage the church in Corinth to give willingly, so that Corinth, too, could receive God's grace to His manifold glory.
A certain brother often said, "My wealth is given by God, but it is also earned from society. I should give to God's church as well as to charities to help society." He gave innumerable sums to the churchâ€”no one can number how many people he helped through his offerings. Giving did not bring him poverty; rather, his business prospered even more. Still, we are not preaching a gospel of prosperity. We must give out of the sincerity of our hearts for the common good, and expect nothing materially in return.
There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. (Prov 11:24-25) Ironically, giving in sincerity is the secret to much spiritual and material wealth, while withholding offerings leads to just the opposite. Our God watches what we do in secret, and rewards us accordingly. Therefore, let us remember this law of sowing and reaping, of giving and return.