KEY Principle: We Reap What We Sow
One of the most important principles in the Bible is sowing and reaping. To reap a harvest, we must FIRST sow seeds.
There are many Scriptures that give us an insight into the subject of sowing and reaping. Here are just a few that are important for you to ponder and really think about:
“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6).
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting” (Ps. 126:5).
“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap”(Gal. 6:7).
“For 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” (Gal. 6:8).
“And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal. 6:9).
When we focus on this truth during our Restoration Journey and begin to follow what we learn, only then can we fully understand and REAP the benefits of this principle—or any other principle. When we don't apply or move forward with what we've learned, because we are waiting until we understand, then we find our paths are crooked and we become lost.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight"—Proverbs 3:4-6
In regard to this principle, sowing and reaping, we must move along and trust in the Lord with our whole heart, based on the truth of His Word, and sow—expecting to reap a harvest! And once you begin to do this, that is when your Restoration Journey will become really exciting!
No farmer would take the time or the money to sow seed if he did not expect to reap a harvest. In addition, if he wanted to reap a harvest of corn, he would sow corn. If he wanted to reap wheat, he would sow wheat.
Therefore, if you want to reap kindness, sow kindness. If you want to reap forgiveness, forgive! If you want to reap love, then sow love (just don't sow it where the soil is hard, which is probably where your husband's heart is toward you right now). If you want to reap financially, sow financially—then anticipate a harvest, since God’s principles and His promises are true, and He is faithful!!
AND, if you want to reap encouragement (to help you continue to be encouraged in order to complete your journey victoriously)—sow Encouragement!
Not only will this mean that God will be faithful to what He promised and you'll reap a harvest here on earth, but you'll also be investing into your eternal future. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”—Matt. 6:19–21. This means these are treasures that no one here on earth can steal either! This is significant to most of us who experienced our husbands, family life, homes, and happiness being stolen by another woman!!
What we do, taking or giving, what we do with money, time and energy here on earth is a true indicator of where our hearts are and will result in how we are blessed or why we are NOT blessed, but living surrounded by curses.
“Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God”—2 Corinthians 9:10–11. The praise reports, Restored Marriage Testimonies, and Encouragers that you read daily all came from women who SOWED.
Sowing & Increasing
One morning the Lord reminded me of the two most hopeless Restoration Journeys that I still have ever seen over more than two decades of ministering. They were two women who came to me, years apart, but each had absolutely HOPELESS situations!
Yet would you believe that God used these women to teach ME something I almost missed. Let me introduce you to the first woman, Melanie and her Restored Marriage Testimony.
Helping & Focusing on Others!!
Melanie had believed God for her marriage for over 10 long YEARS!! She found my ministry and began coming to my weekly fellowship meetings. Very soon she and I became close friends and my four children began calling her Aunt Melanie.
Hearing all the things she was doing in her desire to restore her marriage to her husband, nothing made any sense to me. She was doing EVERYTHING right and yet she still did not have a restored marriage after almost 10 years.
(pictured above: Melanie, Erin's daughters, 5-year-old Tyler, who is now happily married with 3 children, and also Tara, as an infant, who is now a young lady and did much of our site's web design.)
Melanie was from a long line of powerful Christians: well-known missionaries and pastors. And interesting to me, also, was that she and her husband were still surprisingly very close, spending time together as he came and went from their very spacious home. She was not contentious or many of the other things that caused marriage destruction.
Yet like all of us, Melanie wanted a faithful husband and for her husband to choose her over the other woman he had been seeing for all those very long and painful nine plus, almost ten years! But after so many years, it seemed impossible to me, to her, to everyone but God!
What God did to change Melanie's situation instantly, suddenly, and miraculously will surprise you as much as it surprised me. It is something that I have tried to encourage women to do who came to me in desperation for their marriage to be restored. Yet, it was only recently that I realized it was that special hidden KEY to unlock restoration and to finding and living the abundant life!
Not surprisingly it's the very message that Jesus taught and lived—but oh so very few Christians follow. The word Christian actually translates to "followers of Christ" therefore all of us who claim to be Christians need to be willing to follow Him and His example, which means...
Our lives must be about caring for OTHERS more than caring about ourselves.
Caring for OTHERS was what I saw in Melanie. She always lived that way, but once she began coming to our Restoration Fellowship meetings, from the very beginning, she forgot all about how long she had waited for her miracle. Instead she began to think of others: caring for others, and not with the mindset that God would do anything for her.
Once she was surrounded by women who had needs, she began focusing on them, and no longer on herself or her restoration!! (pictured above right: Melanie & Erin at a Restoration Fellowship luncheon in 1993.)
The first I noticed this difference in Melanie, and her focus on others, was when I watched a young man bringing in a comfortable chair through the doors of our classroom where we met each week. Melanie looked for, found, purchased, and then secured this young man to deliver the overstuffed chair and set it up in the back corner of the room. Why? Because there was a woman who began coming to our meetings who was dying of cancer. Melanie wanted to be sure that she could sit comfortably during our one to two hour meetings each week.
Next I watched Melanie organize weekly picnics for the young mothers of our group. Then so organized and encouraged the older mothers to begin to help teach these young mothers how to "calmly" and "lovingly" train and discipline their own children.
Melanie even played a key role in the restoration of my own marriage. Though my husband had already returned, all of our furniture and personal belongings were still locked up in a storage facility miles away from where we lived. Because adultery reduces a man to a “loaf of bread,” we simply did not have the money to rent a truck, or pay for gas to drive the 20 hours round trip. Melanie mentioned this to her estranged husband one evening who suggested the women in the fellowship simply take up a collection.
Melanie told me later that she just chuckled to herself thinking "You just don't understand. These are single moms, most of whom are on welfare and food stamps!" But she kept silent and asked God to show her how to obey her husband. Immediately a thought came to her mind and she grabbed a clean yogurt container and wrote with a marker "Thiele Family Fund." She turned with a smile and told her husband that it was a "wonderful idea" and that she would bring it to the following fellowship meeting.
It wasn't more than a few weeks later that the women had collected almost half of what we needed, which was a huge miracle. The following day I shared what these women were doing with my own father when I went to visit him. My father interrupted me and told me to get his checkbook. I told him that was not why I told him the story, but he insisted and wrote out a check for the other half!! God used Melanie to restore what the locust had eaten—all our family belongings and furniture!! I sowed into her life, and I reaped a blessing I had never imagined.
Melanie was always faithful in the little things: Little things that resulted in huge blessings for others. The greatest blessing was when she offered to take over my fellowship meetings while I took a six week maternity leave when I had my first "restoration baby"—my daughter Tara!
(pictured left: Erin with newborn, Tara & sister Tyler)
It was at the end of that very week that Melanie, who had forgotten about herself, but had focused on helping and blessing others—that GOD remembered her and blessed HER!!
After 10 YEARS Melanie's husband left the other woman for good! And to prove it was final, he wrote a song for Melanie that he sang to her at her church in front of hundreds of people!! People who knew what had been going on all those long ten years, who thought she was crazy for believing that God could restore her marriage—they ALL watched GOD do what He had promised!
I was just one who got to be there as her husband sang the country song he wrote for her that chronicled his mistakes and his love for Melanie. Even the men who witnessed him singing the song right to his wife, brought all the men and all the women to tears!!
We have seen this same thing over and over and over again: Women who stepped up and begin helping just one person, and then a few more—these are the women who FINALLY received their MIRACLE—GOD blessing them with restoration AND an abundant life!
SPREAD Encouragement through His promises!!
Melanie found a way to GIVE encouragement with everyone she met. When I first came to visit her in her home, she opened a tiny tattered box that held small cards with a promise on it. Today you can do this very same thing but not just woman you meet face-to-face but women around the world! As an Evangelist.
The second woman I’d want to remind you about, whose story is equally amazing, is Chelle who you should have met when reading about her restored marriage right after you filled out your Marriage Evaluation Questionnaire.
(pictured above right: Erin & Chelle in 2004 and right, in 2002)
Chelle contacted our ministry and when I read her Marriage Evaluation Questionnaire, it broke my heart so horribly that I seriously told God I didn't want to be in ministry any more!
Just like the Lord led me to do when my husband left me with four little children and destitute, I witnessed Chelle turning her focus on caring for OTHERS instead of focusing her energy on herself! Even though she was battling breast cancer, with 6 children at home, not focusing on her own marriage restoration, Chelle began doing things for OTHERS that could fill this page. But let me fast forward to the finale.
Yet even though her situation was the worst I had ever seen, Chelle began to HELP OTHERS, exactly like Melanie who had endured her situation for 10 LONG years! There was a pattern God wanted to show me. He reminded me of the same thing in my own life, long before my marriage was restored I began ministering and helping other women.
A few months after she first came to our ministry for help, even in the midst of everything she had coming against her, Chelle wrote to me and offered to help OTHERS and me personally. Chelle began running our online Restoration Fellowship so I could focus on my own family of nine, allowing me to do more writing, and filming the Be Encouraged videos.
Within just weeks, GOD restored Chelle's marriage!! Her husband suddenly left the other woman and they have been restored since 2003! I am still in touch with this couple and their family to this day.
My hope is that you will take this message to heart and allow it to ignite something in you that will cause you to begin to focus on helping OTHERS. That you will take the opportunities our ministry have built into our Restoration Journey Map when we allow you to take and use the KEY to the final gate to your restoration. Once again, consider becoming a HopeAtLast.com Evangelist.
How can you help others?
"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."—Matthew 7:13-14
Melanie and Chelle are two women whose two stories are proof that no matter how LONG or how SEVERE your situation, helping OTHERS is what will change EVERYTHING—and why your RESTORATION may have stalled or is not moving along in a positive way.
Yes, following the principles that you learned during these 30 Days are important. Both of these women lived the very same principles too, but they were willing to take and use the key that finally opened that last narrow gate very few are willing to open. Most women care only about themselves and getting their marriages restored, first, before they think of helping others, which is why their marriages never reach submitting a restored marriage testimony. Don't let this be you!
"For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it"—Matthew 7:13-14
First, begin by changing your focus from your own restoration to encouraging others: Sowing into the lives of others through encouragement and by helping to provide the same resources that our PARTNERS provided for you: your FREE 30-Day RYM Restoration Journey.
The most profitable way, as we've said before, is becoming a HopeAtLast.com Evangelist.
Secondly, if you are like Melanie and your Restoration Journey is not moving quickly, or, if you are like Chelle with the most horrific situation imaginable you are living through right now—we know personally that by helping OTHERS you are about to be given the KEY to UNLOCK your MIRACLE!!
Another way to sow is to:
Just be sure not to simply do nothing. Do something to SOW today and then you can look forward to tomorrow's Lesson, which will give you a simple way to help others while also help yourself.
If you are ready to make a commitment to GOD to finish the course, by CLICKING HERE you've agreed, and are ready to document this first step of your Restoration Journey in your "My Daily Journal" form. Take your time, sit down, grab your coffee or tea, and pour your heart into your Journal.
Also, if you want to be paired with a LIKE-MINDED ePartner after your Rebuilding, be SURE to pour out your heart in EACH lesson.