By: Gary L. Hutchens
There’s a line in an old song that says, “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could…” That principle is pretty much universally accepted. It is applied in a wide variety of ways throughout society.
Parents encourage their school age children to apply themselves at school, for they’ll only get out of it according to what they put into it. Socially, the principle goes, “if you want to have friends, you have to be friendly.” Anyone who is not willing to be a friend will not make many friends. His consequent loneliness will be of his own doing. The principle is also applied from a health perspective. We’re told, “your body will be as good to you as you are to it.” If you continually abuse your body, you will ultimately feel the consequences.
Farmers understand the principle, as laid out in scripture. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6). A farmer does not expect to reap a harvest if he does not plant a crop. He does not expect to have an abundant harvest if sows the seed only sparingly.
Paul used that illustration to emphasize the principle in the context of giving in worship to God. God will bless us according to how we give back to Him from the blessings with which He has already blessed us. It is an attempt to get us to see God’s will that we give bountifully from our material blessings in our worship to Him.
A coach who leads his athletes in a demanding physical training regimen responds to their complaints about it being too hard with this simple restatement of the same principle: “No pain, no gain!” If they want to be successful individually, and if they want to be successful collectively as a team, they’ll have to put in the time, the training, the work to become successful.
As to the development of spiritual strength and character, Paul applied this principle as follows: “…whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Gal. 6:7-8). A person cannot expect to have a good relationship with God without obeying God’s teachings communicated in His word. A Christian cannot expect to grow in faith and be strong spiritually without consistently applying God’s teachings to his daily life.
If you want to reap the reward of eternal life, you have to purposely pursue a life here that will lead to eternal life in Heaven. Don’t expect to be with God if you don’t live a Godly life. Remember the principle: “Nothing in, nothing out.” Apply yourself to developing a strong relationship with God, according to His instructions as to how to do that. God has done His part. Now, it’s up to you. You cannot expect to have a strong spiritual life while putting nothing into developing a strong spiritual life. Nothing grows in a vacuum…
Gary L. Hutchens