We Will Reap

Music has a way of connecting with the human mind, even if someone is not the musically-inclined type. One of the most captivating songs in our American popular culture is Journey’s 1981 hit, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” The iconic piano-led introduction into the first verse compels hearers to belt out the lyrics of the song, a chorus that says, “Don’t stop believin’ // Hold on to that feeling.” There is something in the human spirit that is naturally inclined to quit when things get tough. From trying to pick up guitar, to leaving the softball team, to refusing to fight for our friendships and marriages, we are often professional quitters. Maybe you have seen this translate into your walk with the Lord, too. How many Bible study plans have you failed to execute? If we are honest, every one of us has given up on many good things throughout our lives. Paul wrote a letter to the churches in Galatia that specifically addressed the problem of quitting on the gospel. False teachers had begun to infiltrate the Galatian churches and spread lies that contradicted the doctrines of the apostles, and as a result the people began abandoning the truth of salvation by faith in Christ alone. Galatians 5:7-8 says, “You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you.” There was great tension between the apostle and the members of these churches. They had previously embraced the good news by faith, but when false teachers began to apply pressure on them, they started to walk away. Later on, Paul encourages them with these words in Galatians 6:9: “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” When the Christian life gets difficult and tiresome, there are promises in this verse meant to encourage us to persist in our pursuit of Christ.

With all of the challenges that we have been facing over the past several months, perhaps none of those things have been more mentally and emotionally depleting than the conversations about the continuous systemic racial inequality experienced by African Americans in the US. However, our city had a week of inspiration and progress regarding these things. Streets that were occupied long ago by marching members of the Ku Klux Klan were filled with hundreds of black and white image-bearers of God, marching in solidarity for the dignity of black lives on Saturday, June 6. A variety of wonderful discussions related to racism have preceded and proceeded the rally, and as citizens of the Kingdom of God, we believe the conversation is ours to lead. Justice is a biblical idea, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only effective way forward. We know these things to be true, but what happens when we grow weary of our labor? The answer: we remind ourselves of Paul’s words in Galatians 6:9, “for in due season we will reap.” Keep sowing seeds. Keep loving people. Keep standing for what is right. Keep fighting for justice. Keep preaching the good news. Do not give up because God will bring the harvest of our faithfulness in its due time. On that day, we will be glad that we did not quit because souls will be won to Christ and those crooked systems that oppress Black America will be straightened. Those who are not sowing seeds when it comes to opposing racial injustice should not expect to have a harvest to reap because they put no seed in the ground. If you are still on the fence about this, do not try to water soil later that has no seed in it. Cultivate the area, plant your seed and see how the Lord uses it to further his Kingdom. As we read last week, there is no season in which the gospel is irrelevant, nor is there a time and place in which it cannot bear fruit. Thus it is wrong for the church to be silent on this issue, and we have been called by God to stand for justice, peace, righteousness, and truth. Indifference or neutrality is not a biblical position. Those of us who have been on board for racial justice, do not give up. Keep protecting and feeding that seed so it will grow to bear fruit in the future. This is not the end, but the beginning of a better Barnesville and a ministry that is more effective in our community. “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

Scriptures to ponder: Galatians 2:11-14; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; Romans 1:13-17; 2 Timothy 2:12