Paul taught about generosity using the example of farming: “He who sows sparingly, will also reap sparingly…” This made a lot of sense to the agricultural community of his day, but farming isn’t as big an industry in North America as it once was, so I have a feeling if Paul were talking to the church today, he might also be using the stock market to make his point.
Think about it this way: if you had bought 10 shares of Apple stock at $3.56 a share in 1997, those shares would be worth over $12,600 today. That’s a pretty good return for 10 shares of stock. Now say you had decided to take a huge leap of faith and invested in 100 shares of this young, technology company. Today, that stock would be worth almost $127,000! This is the stock market version of Paul’s “law of the harvest” principle.
Farmers know there’s no guarantee that a seed planted will produce a great harvest. The same is true with stocks. You can invest in a certain stock and have great hope for the “harvest” or return down the line, but it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. But what Paul is teaching in the “law of the harvest” is that when it comes to giving generously to God, we will see a great return.
What does that “return” or “harvest” look like? It is people coming to know Christ; it is people growing in their faith and walking with Jesus. The more generously we give to Christ-centered, great commission churches and organizations, the more we will see lives changed. This is the law of the harvest – this is the first principle of living and giving expectantly.