The one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. So let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not give up. Galatians 6:8-9
Ranger training was hard! Through the dark nights and bleary-eyed days of classes and field training, our goals hung from a stick and bobbed before our eyes. We set our priorities and ordered our activities so we would obtain the result we desired. The objective hung in full view and kept us going, day after interminable day. In a similar way Paul holds out a carrot to help us obtain our ultimate goal, namely an eternal life of fellowship with God. He also places the pitchfork behind, to keep us from turning in the opposite direction. Without these strong motivations, we would be less likely to do what is necessary for the result that we want. For the metaphorical “sow to the Spirit” translates into the laborious and often exasperating reality of “doing good.” The faith that profits us works itself out in loving acts for others at every opportunity, but not always easily. For the joy of eternal life which Jesus set before us, we must, and can, trust him enough to lay down our lives in the service of others.
Enlighten me, O Lord, to the glories of eternal life with you. And show me that any future I can make for myself is worthless. Then fill me with love that won’t let me quit. Amen