You say karma. I say, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Galatians 6 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.
6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.
18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.
The world likes to speak of karma, the idea that somehow the universe evens things out and you get what you deserve, good things for good actions and bad things for bad actions. Call it whatever you like, in truth it is a spiritual law of sowing and reaping. 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 says: Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed… 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. The seed we sow can be financial; it can be actions or it can be attitudes. In today’s text Paul says: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. If we sow to the flesh, if all that we do is centered around self satisfaction we reap corruption because there is no end to the desires of the flesh. No amount of money or material wealth can ever satisfy the one whose heart is filled with greed. The addict is always looking for the next fix of whatever he is addicted to. When we are wholly devoted to self fulfillment we become wholly corrupt, nothing other than fulfilling our lust matters. Paul says: Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. The problem is, often it seems that due time is a long time. God’s time is not like our time. Particularly in our current culture and society, we tend to want to see instant results. God operates in eternity. He is not locked into the tyranny of time as we are. 2 Peter 3:8 says: Do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. Sometimes it may seem that due time, the time it takes for us to reap from the good we have sown, is a lifetime.
In Matthew 5:3-12 Jesus says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.” The first promise is that, “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” The final promise is that, “your reward in heaven is great.” So is it then that we may have to wait until the end of this life, until we experience eternity in heaven, to reap the fullness of what we have sown. The answer I suppose might be both perhaps and no. First, perhaps there are things which we will never see the full fruit of in this life. The things we do, the seeds we sow, can affect future generations, so some of what we sow may be reaped by and in the lives of others. If indeed we must wait to eternity to see the fullness of our blessings we should know that even a lifetime to us is but a twinkling in the scheme of eternity. Regardless of what we endure and how long we endure it, our reward in heaven is great! God’s promises though, the blessings that Jesus speaks of, even the blessing of the kingdom of heaven is and are not just a distant future promise. Jesus says: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 4:17) The kingdom of heaven is not distant and far off. It is not only in a future eternity. It is at hand. It is within the grasp of those who will repent; those who will change the way they think and act. The kingdom of heaven is here and now for those who will sow to the Spirit rather than the flesh. In John 10:10 Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” The thief is that which causes us to sow and reap to the corruption of the flesh, in the end it will be destroyed. Jesus though promises and provides abundance to those who sow to the Spiritual life in Him.
In today’s text Paul says: So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Jesus says: “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31) He says: “I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:44-45) and especially: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
May the declaration and the heart of the psalmist be ours also as with him we say: Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass And fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light And your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Thank You heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ and precious Holy Spirit for Your faithfulness, that as I sow to You I will reap of Your kingdom. Amen.