Sunday, 5 September 2021
Title: Sowing and Reaping
By Elder Bryan Lee 李惠隆
Galatians 6: 7-9
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he 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.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
Jose Racasa and Walter Nishioka first met at the restaurant in the Hawaiian Radisson hotel on Waikiki Beach in 1998. Walter, 70 frequented the restaurant every Wednesday and had been coming for 5 years now. The food was good but the service was first class. Jose, 52 a Filipino immigrant was the waiter. Walter was always kind and polite and at the end of every meal would generously tipped Jose as a gesture of deep appreciation for the excellent service rendered.
Over the years both men had developed a strong friendship. As Jose served the many meals to his friend he came to know that Walter was battling with kidney disease.
Then one day Walter broke the news that he needed an urgent transplant. As time was running out to find a matching organ, Jose offered one of his own.
Amazingly, the kidney was a perfect match.
“I am totally indebted to that man,” Walter said. “I was in dire need of a new kidney, and the doctors said that it was unlikely that they could find a match in time. But with a good man here, and a lot of help from above, now I am alive and well.”
The kindness, courtesy and generosity that Walter sowed as a guest at that Hawaiian restaurant earned him much more than he ever imagined. A new kidney was never on the menu. Jose was not only his server, “but also my savior” Walter said. Walter had reaped bountifully.
Jesus says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16)
Thank God during this pandemic doing good works has also become a new norm in our church. It probably started when someone took the first step to bring cheer to somebody. It takes the love of God to make or order that meal and deliver to someone in need. Or to make that call to someone lonely or shut-in. Love is kindness in work clothes. As the song goes “It only takes a spark to get the fire going…….”
Now with the covid initiatives started, many more are getting involved to reach out to those outside the church heeding the command of our Lord to let our light so shine into a seemingly dark world made darker by this pandemic.
We thank God that in the midst of extreme restrictions we can reach out to the poor and destitute.
We must be a church that reaches out. We must be constantly giving and serving. We must be outward focused. Only then can we stay relevant to society as a body of Christ.
Our little acts of kindness to those outside of our church walls will grow into a passion for the unsaved. When we are faithful in little then we can be faithful in much. We are serving the Lord when we do this.
The donation of money, time and supplies to the covid initiatives is an act of love for God who so loved the world that He sent His Son to us. He loved us first so we can love others. He gave us first so we can give. Our profession of faith is empty if we are not engaged in good works. Faith without works is dead.(James 2:17)
I pray more in our church will get involved. Let us get the “fire of good works burning.” Let us not be discouraged even if we face opposition from within and without.
Doing what is right is not easy in this fallen world. God knows we can get weary doing good deeds and that is why Paul exhorts us to always give ourselves to the work of the Lord knowing that our labor is never in vain. (1Cor 15:58)
Jose Racasa gave his best as a waiter to the point of saving someone’s life. As people of God saved by His grace and empowered by His Spirit doing good becomes a norm. And so, Paul tells us in this passage to never grow weary in doing good for in due season we shall reap. Keep sowing, my dear brothers and sisters.
Lord, the fact that we are saved by your grace, we are of all peoples most blessed. Help us to go forth and let our light so shine in this darkened world so they may know you the only true God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
何塞·拉卡萨 (Jose Racasa) 和沃尔特·西冈 (Walter Nishioka) 于 1998 年在威基基海滩的夏威夷丽笙酒店的餐厅首次见面。 70 岁的沃尔特每周三经常光顾这家餐厅，持续这样大概 5 年了。食物很好，服务一流。52 岁的何塞是一名菲律宾移民，是服务员。沃尔特总是和蔼可亲，每顿饭结束时都会慷慨地给何塞小费，以表示对所提供的优质服务的深切感谢。
“我完全感谢那个人，”沃尔特说。 “我非常需要一个新的肾脏，医生说他们不太可能及时找到匹配的。但是这里有一个好人，得到上天的帮助，现在我活得很好。 ”
耶稣说：“16 你们的光也当这样照在人前，叫他们看见你们的好行为，便将荣耀归给你们天上的父。” （马太福音 5:16）
向针对疫情的慈善机构捐赠金钱、时间和物资是对上帝的爱，祂如此的爱世人，以至于祂将祂的儿子赐予我们。祂先爱我们，这样我们才能爱别人。祂先给了我们，所以我们才能给别人。如果我们不从事善行，我们的信仰宣称就是空洞， 是没意思的。没有行为的信心是死的。（雅各书 2:17）
我祈祷我们教会更多地参与。让我们的 “善行之火” 继续燃烧。即使我们面对来自内与外的反对，也不要气馁。
何塞·拉卡萨 (Jose Racasa) 作为一名服务员付出了最大的服侍：挽救了某人的生命。作为上帝的子民，我们被祂的恩典所拯救并被祂的圣灵赋予力量，心善理当成为常态。所以保罗在这段经文中告诉我们，行善永不厌倦，因为我们将在适当的时候得到收获。继续播种吧，我亲爱的弟兄姐妹们。