Today, I’d like to share with you the Law of The Farm.
One day, then President Erap was in a cabinet meeting about the poor economy of the Philippines. One economist said, “Sir, we can’t do anything about it. It’s the Law of the Supply and Demand.”
President Erap said, “I’m the President of the Philippines. I will repeal that Law!” The Cabinet kept quiet, but one brave soul said, “Sir, you cannot repeal the Law of the Supply and Demand. It’s like the Law of Gravity, sir.”
And President Erap said, “I’m President of the Philippines. I will also repeal the Law of Gravity!”
Obviously, this story is purely fictional. But it was a joke endorsed by the former President himself when he was campaigning.
In the same way, the Law of the Farm is like the Law of Gravity. You cannot repeal that Law. The Law of the Farm governs the entire universe. Whether you like it or not, it governs your life.
The Law of the Farm is teaching us four important messages…
1. You Reap What You Sow
The Law of the Farm states that if you plant mangoes, you harvest mangoes. If you plant bananas, you harvest bananas. And if you plant a lot of mango seeds, you harvest a lot of mango fruits.
If you mate two dogs, very soon, you’ll have a baby dog. I’ll be very worried if you’ll mate two dogs and you get a baby cat.
You reap what you sow. You harvest what you plant.
This is how life works. This is how the universe works.
God rewards you. And He already wrote down His Rewards Program in every single atom of this universe. Because of this, the Rewards of God come naturally.
Some people ask me, “But Bo, I was verbally and physically abused by my parents,” or “I was raped as a child,” or “My husband left me for another woman…” These people say, “I didn’t plant those seeds. But these seeds destroyed my life.”
I agree. You didn’t plant those seeds.
But the Law of the Farm governs that too. If you’re not intentional, you end up reaping what other people sowed in your life….
2. If You’re Not Intentional,
You Reap What Others Sow In You
But you don’t have to.
You can live an intentional life.
Don’t let these poisonous plants live long!
Imagine you’re the landowner. In the middle of the night, some bad neighbor threw poisonous seeds on your land. You didn’t know until those poisonous plants started to grow.
But as owner of the land, you have the power to yank those poisonous plants out of the ground. You can uproot them.
If your parents broke up, or if your father abandoned you, or if you were abused, or if you grew up in poverty–you can be intentional and cut the curse of generational sin in your life. How? Starting today, follow Jesus.
But the opposite is also true: If other people can plant poisonous seeds in your life, other people can also plant perfect seeds–and you’ll be harvesting good fruits that you didn’t plant.
Why can this happen? Because we have the power to bless and curse each other.
Sometimes, you wish that God just gave people the power to bless but not the power to curse. But both go together. One can’t exist without the other. If God only gave us the power to bless but not to curse, then we won’t have the capacity to truly love. Because love cannot be love without true freedom.
If there are bad fruits in your life that you didn’t plant, look deeply into your life, and you’ll find that there are also many amazing, beautiful, and wonderful fruits that you didn’t plant. Both co-exist.
I’m Harvesting What My Father Planted
Let me give you an example from my life.
Dad was one of the most honest men I have ever known. In fact, everyone around him knew that. That was why if he joined any group–whether that be the PTA (Parent Teachers Association), or the PPC (Parish Pastoral Council), or the HA (Homeowners Association), or NAFC (Nora Aunor Fans Club)… If he joined any group, club, organization, company, just count a few months, and he’ll get elected as Treasurer. Everywhere he went, he’ll become the Treasurer of the group. (I was just kidding with the Nora Aunor Fans Club. Dad wouldn’t join that group. He was Vilmanian.)
When I was a young man starting out in my preaching ministry, there were many people who trusted me because they trusted my father. Even to this day, I’m harvesting fruit that I didn’t plant. It was my father who planted those good seeds in me.
I’m paying it forward. I’m now planting good seeds into my sons’ lives. I spend time with my boys. Everyday, I try to pass on my vision and values to them.
I need to be patient to see God’s Rewards, because…
3. Rewards Don’t Come Instantly But In Time
When I was a small boy, I wanted to have a huge mango tree in our backyard. Not for the mangoes, but for one simple reason: I wanted to build my own tree house.
Because when I was a kid, the biggest TV show on the planet was Tarzan. And Tarzan lived in a Tree house.
One day, after eating a mango, I got the seed, went to our backyard, dug a hole, and planted the mango seed. I imagined myself standing on the tree house. And I started rehearsing my Tarzan scream…. “Ahhhhhhhhh!”
That evening, over dinner, I asked my father, “Dad, can you help me build a tree house for me?”
My father said, “But son, we don’t have a tree….”
“Oh we will,” I smiled from ear to ear. “Because this afternoon, I planted a mango seed in our backyard.”
My father laughed long and loud. He then said, “Son, it will be at least 10 years before that seed becomes a mango tree big enough to hold even a plank of wood where you could sit on, much less an entire tree house. And by that time, I doubt if you still want a tree house. In fact, by that time, you wouldn’t be watching Tarzan anymore. (Dad was wrong. I still watched Tarzan. Because I had a crush on Jane.)
That day, I learned about a very important principle of the Law of the Farm. If you plant today, it doesn’t mean you’ll harvest tomorrow. You’ll have to wait for many tomorrows before you harvest.
Parent, what you plant into your children now, you’ll only see the results many years later. Don’t give up. Keep spending time with them. When you listen to them, you’re planting seeds. When you share your stories with them, you’re planting seeds. When you’re patient with them, you’re planting seeds. Even if you don’t see the results of your planting, just keep planting your love. Your patience. Your perseverance. Your faith.
As the Bible says, A man reaps what he sows. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:7-8)
4. God Will Reward You Even If Others Don’t
One Lola in Anawim, our ministry for the abandoned elderly, gave her daughter the papers to collect her SSS Pension each month. But ever since she did that, she never saw her daughter again. But the SSS Pension is collected every month. So the daughter was stealing from her aging mother. With painful sobbing, this Lola said, “I don’t understand why my daughter is repaying me in this way. I loved her so much.”
I told her, “Lola, if your daughter doesn’t repay your kindness, God Himself will repay you.”
God will reward you for everything that you have done. He is rewarding you for every single act of love that you do for Him and His people.
Sometimes in this world, just like that Lola, you’ll feel shortchanged. Sometimes, you won’t feel appreciated in your families, or in your offices, or in your ministries.
Sometimes, you feel your spouse is taking you for granted. Sometimes, you feel your kids aren’t even grateful for what you’re doing for them. Sometimes, your friends don’t acknowledge your love for them.
Sometimes, you feel your boss isn’t rewarding your work. After serving your company with selfless dedication, you feel your efforts aren’t recognized. For years, you’re the first one in the office and you’re the last one out of the office. But it seems now that it was all for nothing. You were the one who had sleepless nights to finish the project, but your Boss got all the credit. He never even acknowledged your contribution. You feel totally unrewarded. And you feel very hurt.
But God saw all that you did. And a time will come when God will reward you in ways that will surprise you. Have faith. Believe with all your heart.
But here’s my encouragement for you: Even if people will fail to reward you, God Himself will reward you. As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, He will reward you. You can chisel that on stone.
When human beings don’t reward you, that’s good news! Because God’s rewards are bigger than human rewards.
Have Faith: God’s Rewards Will Come!
Many years ago, I invested P1 Million in a business that was being run by my business partner. A few months later, he told me, “Bo, I’m sorry, the business failed. Competitors came into our territory.” He said that he didn’t even have milk for his baby. I felt so sorry for him, I gave him P5000–just so he could buy milk. I “wrote off” my one million as tuition fee for life’s lessons.
One month later, a friend called me up and said, “Bo, your business partner must be doing very well.”
Huh? “Why did you say that?” I asked.
“Well, he’s driving a brand new car. His cellphone is top of the line. Your business must be growing…”
I’ve lost touch with my business partner and I don’t know what has happened to him.
But this is what has happened to me: God returned to me all that I’ve lost–and so much more. Why? Because God has rewarded my kindness.
He doesn’t forget a single act of love and kindness that you do for others. Yes, He forgets your failures. He forgets your mistakes. In His compassion, He forgets your sins.
But He will always remember your acts of love for others.
I have a strong suggestion to you: Don’t even expect rewards from people. Don’t even think about it. If it comes, accept it with gratitude. But don’t look for it. Instead, look for your reward from God Himself. Because He promised. And He’ll deliver.
You’re running an ultra marathon.
There’s pain along the way.
But don’t focus on the pain.
Focus on the Prize of God.
May your dreams come true,
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