We are partway through our series on understanding how to obey Jesus and love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus explained that the entire law and the prophets were based on these two commandments. Last week, we began looking at Galatians 6 to find out how Christians are supposed to be spending their time, and we found out that there are two main ways: Bearing each-other’s burdens, and sharing our blessings. The first 5 verses of Galatians 6 teach us how to bear the burdens of others: Legalists exploit the sins of other people, Christians restore the people themselves. Legalists condemn other people, Christians love people. Legalists add burdens (they make conquering over sin harder), Christians bear burdens (they make conquering over sin easier). Why do legalists and Christians act in these ways? Look at verse 3 – thinking you are something when you are nothing. Legalists will look at themselves and see things that they have done, while Christians look at themselves and see what God has done. So let’s read the passage again, especially paying attention to verses 6-10 to find out about the other way Christians are supposed to be spending their time. The second way Christians should spend their time is by sharing blessings. From the very beginning of the church, sharing was one of the marks of Christian experience (Acts 2:41-47). In the context, Paul is referring to sharing material blessings with one another. Paul begins with urging us to share with one another. He gives us the teaching in verse 6: “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.” Then reiterates it in verse 10, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” The teacher of the Word of God shares spiritual treasure. And those who are taught ought to share their treasure. Remember, Jesus told us that what we do with material things is an indication of how we value spiritual things. He said in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” God does not tell Christians to give simply that pastors and teachers and missionaries might have their material needs met, but that Christians might receive a greater blessing. And so Paul says in verses 7-8, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” The basic principle of sowing and reaping is found throughout the Bible. God has ordained that we reap what we sow. The farmer sows corn and expects to reap corn. The reason Paul is writing this to the Galatians is that there are some that maybe aren't ready to be restored and so he wants to drive home the point to them that they'd better shape up, because the consequences of what they're doing are bad. And so he says be not deceived, God is not mocked. What you're doing now is going to reap for you a terrible consequence. If you keep sowing to the flesh, verse 8 says you're going to reap what? Destruction. And so his last kind of effort toward those people who haven't yet seen that he is telling the truth and are still hanging on to the Judaisers heresy is to warn them of the consequences of such behavior. Sowing to the sinful nature produces a harvest of destruction, a harvest of moral decay. Sowing to the Spirit produces a harvest of moral and spiritual growth. False teachers were leading them astray. They were led astray into a kind of life that was legalistic and they were trying by self-effort to earn God's favor. Paul says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked” (6:7). The Greek carries the idea of a person sneering or thumbing their nose at God. How many times in your life have you said I shouldn't do this sin, but I'm going to do it anyway. I've done that. I know I shouldn't be doing this, but I'm going to do it anyway. You know what you've done, you've mocked God. You say could a Christian be deceived? Isn't this talking about unbelievers? I think it is a general principle that applies to anybody. There is going to be consequence to your behavior. And the consequence will match the behavior, no matter who you are. You know, some people say well, I may be wrong, but God will understand. Well, God may understand, but that isn't going to change the law. If you stand and beat your head against a stone wall, God may understand, but you're going to get a headache regardless. And so if you apply this law at any point, it is going to be true. What you sow, you reap is true for anybody anytime, Christian or non-Christian. You say, you mean a Christian could be deceived into thinking he can behave himself like he wants to behave when, in fact, he's going to reap consequences? Sure we can be deceived to think that. You say well, who would ever deceive us? You know who? Jeremiah 17:9, one of my favorite verses in the entire Bible: "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” You deceive yourself. Only we call it rationalizing. 1 John 1:8, "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. You don't even need an outside source to be deceived. James 1:22 - "Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” You know how you deceive yourself? You go out and say oh that was a terrific Bible study or Sermon and your behavior doesn't change. And you deceive yourself into thinking that because you know the facts you're really growing. In the end, it does not matter how many answers you have to all of the questions about the Bible. What matters is that when you stand before Almighty God and give an accounting of your life that He will be able to say ‘Well done, you good and faithful servant.’ Not only do we deceive ourselves, false teachers can deceive you. You know, one of the things I do most often is to correct false teaching. Matthew 24 says many are going to arrive leading all kinds of people astray. And it says that men are going to be deceived again and again. False teachers are very busy deceiving us. And that's why it's so important for the church to teach the word of God. There's nothing as tragic as Christians who've been Christians for any length of time who knows little to nothing about Scripture, and so they make themselves vulnerable to false doctrine. When you see these guys on TV or on the radio trying to get you to buy into their philosophy of Christianity or their however many step plans to turn your life around – go to the Lord in prayer, and turn to Scripture to see if what they are saying is true. If it isn’t, turn that garbage off! You deserve better than that. We deceive ourselves, others can deceive us, and finally – you guessed it: the devil works to deceive us. Revelation 12:9, "And the great dragon was cast out that old serpent called the devil and Satan who deceives the whole world.” Don't be deceived. Don't be deceived into thinking that you could never violate God's laws. You say, I'm a Christian. I'm under grace. God's not going to do anything to me. Listen, there is an unbreakable law in the universe. You violate it Christian or not and it's going to bring consequences. What are the consequences? He talks about that back in chapter 5, verse 19. John Stott says: "Every time we allow our mind to harbor a grudge, nurse a grievance, entertain an impure fancy, wallow in self-pity we are sowing to the flesh. Every time we linger in bad company whose insidious influence we know we cannot resist, every time we lie in bed when we ought to be up and praying, every time we read pornographic literature, every time we take a risk that strains our self control, we are sowing, sowing to the flesh.” Bad company? You mean – I shouldn’t be hanging around with certain people? Yes! “Bad company corrupts good character.” 1 Cor. 15:33 Some Christians sow to the flesh every day and wonder why they don't every reap holiness. You can't. Holiness is a harvest of sowing to the Spirit. If you see an unholy Christian, with sin in his life, it is because he sows to the flesh. In the case of the believer, corruption results. In the case of an unbeliever, death. Some of us say well, you know, I've been sowing a long time. And I've been trying to sow to the Spirit. When does the harvest come? John Brown the great old puritan said, "Christians are like children. They would sow and reap the same day.” Some say I'm getting tired of sowing. I haven't seen the harvest yet. Verse 9 is for you. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. You're getting weary of welldoing. You're getting tired of teaching, tired of serving the Lord, tired of sowing when you haven't really seen a lot of reaping and you expected more, then maybe you ought to look at Jesus who endured. And the next verse in Hebrews 12, says "you haven't yet resisted unto blood. You have died yet in your endurance. Be faithful. Believe me I tell you God is faithful and the rewards will come. The rewards will come. Robert Louis Stevenson put it this way: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow.” You know, one of the problems that every Christian fights is spiritual laziness. Spiritual laziness, but not weary in doing good. Doing all the beautiful deeds that he's talked about. It's good in the simple sense of good. Not just in word, but in deed, welldoing, keep it up. Now, I suppose there are a lot of Christians who think nice thoughts and think about doing good deeds. You just don't ever do them. Be not weary in welldoing. The seed that is planted does not bear fruit immediately. There are seasons in the soul just as there are seasons in nature, and we must give the seed time to take root and bear fruit. There is no such thing as instant character in the Christian. It takes time to cultivate and bear fruit in the Christian life. But if we persevere, we shall bear fruit. Therefore, verse 10, because God's laws are unbreakable, because we're to sow to the Spirit, because we're not to become weary, therefore when we have opportunity let's keep on doing good unto all men especially unto them who are of the family of believers. Looking at the Greek, it's not saying do good when others come and give you an opportunity. It says do good by looking for opportunities. Make opportunities to do good. And we are to do good to all people, never forget that. 1 Peter 2:15 says "So is the will of God that with welldoing, you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.” In other words, people are criticizing Christianity and the greatest way to stop the criticism is to do good to them. How kind you are to your neighbor, how loving. That's the heart of your testimony, believe me. It's the heart of your testimony. In 1 Timothy there is an indication of how our goodness affects others. It talks about how women are to dress. And it says "they are to dress in a certain fashion because this becomes women professing Godliness. And not only are they to dress this way, but with good works. Because this really adds to the testimony, this is the testimony. And I'll tell you something, I'll promise you that if you're shy about sharing Christ and saying anything, if you start doing good, bending over backwards to do good, God will give you the time and the opportunity to say what you need to say. And if you have a lot to say and you don't do good, your testimony undermines what you say. Do good to all men, "especially to those who are of the family of believers. You say well, how do we sow to the Spirit? Practically, you do good to everybody, especially to Christians. Remember it, God will not be mocked. Therefore, choose life – choose to sow to the Spirit. So, Christians can minister in two very effective ways to one another. One is by bearing burdens. And the other is by sharing blessings. Let me close by asking you: Are you a burden bearer? And do you share your blessings with others? Do you know that you will reap whatever it is you have been sowing? Are you sowing to the Spirit?