rev-joaquin-willis_web.jpgThe secret to reaping a permanent harvest starts with one’s willingness to obey the eternal law of the harvest. This law is expressed in many ways in different religions and cultures but basically it is the same law.

Natural law puts it, “Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you.” In Eastern law, it is, “What goes around comes around.” In Biblical law, Paul in Galatians 6:7b says, “A man reaps what he sows.” In Christ’s law, He states in Matthew 7:12 Message Bible, “Ask yourself what you want people to do for you then grab the initiative and do it for them.”

Anyway you look at it, Natural law, Eastern law, Biblical law, or Christ’s law, inherent in all views is the Golden Rule, “Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.” And obeying this law is the secret to joy, prosperity and eternal peace.

Studies have shown people are not leaving God, they just are leaving the church. Why? Because the church is failing to properly teach the law of the harvest; consequently, to many it has lost its moral authority and there is an absence of clarity in the people and in the pastor.

TD Jakes, in his latest sermon series, “Move,” said, “The church has become addicted to preaching merely messages of encouragement. This is all the ‘itching ears’ of the people want to hear and encouragement has become addictive to them.” Preaching encouragement and prosperity only is dangerous because it doesn’t include the needed rebuke and correction of sound doctrine.

Reaping a Godly harvest comes with a burden. We are to share it with struggling people and this plants a seed of compassion in society that grows into eternal wealth for all. Often strictly by chance or by inheritance, some reap a great harvest but, for others, it takes years of labor in God’s vineyard before they even see a seed breaking ground. 

In sowing Godly seeds of compassion and hope, we never really know when the harvest season will arrive. Continuing to plant while being unable to see seeds blossom into blessings shows we plant trusting God to bring the harvest. One, “Secret to Reaping a Permanent Harvest,” is found in I Corinthians 3:6, where we read, “Paul planted and Apollos watered but God made you grow.”

The Message Bible, Galatians 6:4-5, reads, “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”

When we find ourselves in the clutches of chance and the grip of change, watch out for the ego and the sin of greed.’ Paul, in Galatians 6:1, uses a specific Greek word for sin, paraptoma. It implies the sin one slips into unconsciously, as a man slips on an icy road or on a dangerous path.

Galatians 6:7-8, again from The Message Bibles reminds us, “Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others – ignoring God – harvests a crop of weeds. But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s spirit do the work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”

Working in the heat of The Son (or Sun) is tough work. You get tired and weary, with your back to the sun and face and hands in the dirt. It is humbling, digging, planting and watering, while thinking, “I’ll probably never see or eat a bite of the fruit of this harvest.”

Often it is thankless work that challenges us not to quit, knowing all along it would be easier to quit and to go pick fruit from other people’s trees than to continue to plant our own crop. But Galatians 6:9 tells us, “not to become weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.”

This is why God commands us to follow the laws of His harvest. In doing so, we live reverently before Him. In return He gives us eternal life, a legacy of prosperity, and therein reveals “The Secret to Reaping a Permanent Harvest,” a harvest that will last throughout succeeding generations.

The Rev. Dr. R. Joaquin Willis is pastor of the Church of the Open Door, 6001 NW Eighth Ave., Miami. To contact the church, call 305-759-0373 or e-mail