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Sermon Illustrations: Sowing & Reaping

His name was Fleming, and he was a poor Scottish farmer. One day, while trying to make a living for his family, he heard a cry for help coming from a nearby bog. He dropped his tools and ran to the bog. There, mired to his waist in black muck, was a terrified boy, screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the lad from what could have been a slow and terrifying death. The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the Scotsman's sparse surroundings. An elegantly dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy Farmer Fleming had saved. "I want to repay you," said the nobleman. "You saved my son's life." "No, I can't accept payment for what I did," the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer. At that moment, the farmer's own son came to the door of the family hovel. "Is that your son?" the nobleman asked. "Yes," the farmer replied proudly. "I'll make you a deal." Let me take him and give him a good education. If the lad is anything like his father, he'll grow to a man you can be proud of." And that he did. In time, Farmer Fleming's son graduated from St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become known throughout the world as the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterwards, the nobleman's son was stricken with pneumonia. What saved him? Penicillin. The name of the nobleman? Lord Randolph Churchill. His son's name? Sir Winston Churchill.

The following story appears on the Internet on a site intended for lawyers: A Charlotte, North Carolina, man bought a case of rare, very expensive cigars and then insured them against fire. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile and having yet to make a single premium payment on the policy, he filed a claim against the insurance company, stating he had lost the cigars in "a series of small fires". The insurance company refused to pay but the man sued - and won. The judge stated that since the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable, without defining what it considered to be "unacceptable fire" it was obligated to compensate the insured for his loss. Rather than undergo a long and costly appeal, the insurance company accepted the judge's ruling and paid the man $15,000 for the rare cigars he lost in "the fires". When the smoker cashed his cheque, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of arson. With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning the rare cigars and sentenced to 24 consecutive one-year terms. Sunday Mail 9-11-97 p58

Not a bright idea. Florida motorist with four drink-driving convictions pretended to be a former neighbour when applying for a new licence. Unfortunately, he was arrested because his former neighbour was a sex offender who neglected to put his name on a state register, as required by law. Sunday Mail 12-10-03 p91

Two guys invest in a bank at 6% simple interest. One invests $100,000, and the other invests $50,000. At the end of the year the one who invested $100,000 has made another $6,000. But the one who invested $50,000 has only made another $3,000. The guy who made the $3,000 can't march into the bank and say, "Hey, how come he made $6,000 and I only made $3,000? That's discrimination ..." Why will his complaint fall on deaf ears? Because what you sow is what you reap.

We must sow the Word of God into our own lives. Many Christians are like farmers standing around waiting for someone else to sow their field - they think it's the preacher's job.

A soccer referee in Brazil abandoned a match in embarrassment after he pulled a pair of lacy red knickers from his pocket instead of a red card when sending a player off. His wife has started divorce proceedings. Sunday Mail 15-2-04 p88

God gave a Son and He reaped a family. Duane Vanderklerk

What would you think of a farmer who said, "I'm not going to plant any corn seeds this year. When God gives me some corn, then I'll plant some seeds." So every day he's out there in the field checking it out for corn. "Hey God, where's my corn?" That guy's never going to get any corn. Sowing comes first, then you reap - this is the most basic of principles.