33. Don’t Sow for Show

Reading Plan

If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:

  1. MONDAY: Matthew 13:1-23
  2. TUESDAY: Galatians 6
  3. WEDNESDAY: Colossians 3:12-25
  4. THURSDAY: Romans 6:1-14
  5. FRIDAY: 1 Corinthians 15:35-58
  6. SATURDAY: 2 Corinthians 9
  7. SUNDAY: James 3:13-18

Sermon Notes: “Don’t Sow for Show” ⤵️

Preacher: Taylor Shytle
Passage: Ecclesiastes 11:6
Title: Don’t Sow for Show
Date: January 5, 2020

Sermon Notes are taken during the 9:30 Experience at the Columbia Campus. This sermon was preached locally.


  • The level you receive is the level you you’re ready.
  • New Year…? Yes
  • New you…? ehhh…
  • Quote often attributed to Albert Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
  • Translation for now: Are you doing the same things in 2020 that you did in 2019 and expecting different results?
  • This message today is about how to get better results.

Don’t sow for show!

Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let your hands not be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.
Ecclesiastes 11:6, NIV

1. Sow your seed.

Sow your seed …
Ecclesiastes 11:6a, NIV

  • What is sowing?
    • Sow into yourself
      • Read God’s Word
      • Get rest, sleep
    • Sow at work
      • Show up to work on time
      • Helping others at work
    • Sow at home
      • Giving gifts to spouse
      • Giving gifts to kids
      • Presence [spend time] with kids
  • Sowing is the part I can control.
  • Sow YOUR seed. Don’t try to sow someone else’s seed.
  • What is your seed? It’s easy to identify a seed in someone else’s life, but it’s harder when it’s your own.
  • Here’s how you figure out what your seed is:
    • Go to God and ask, “What’s my seed?”
    • Ask others what they see that comes easy to you
  • If you keep trying to sow a seed but you’re not seeing a harvest, that may not be your seed.
  • Seed = not just an action, but a belief, a dream, a vision
  • Your tithe is a seed.
  • Inviting people to church is a seed. (It’s awkward to invite people you don’t know, but if you focus on the people God has laid on your heart, the people already in your circle, it pays off.)
  • You sow the seed, you let God worry about the harvest.
    • I sow.
    • God grows.

2. Sow with your whole heart.

… let your hands not be idle, …
Ecclesiastes 11:6a, NIV

  • Do not let your hands be idle.
    • Means “put your whole heart into it.”
    • Colossians 3:23, NIV: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
  • Pastor Taylor shares a story about a woman who was in the hospital after a car wreck who used that time to pray for healing for others around her.
  • You can sow with your hands, but be idle in your heart.
    • We go idle in our heart when an expectation isn’t met… we stop believing God is good.
  • The only seed that won’t grow is the one you don’t plant.
  • Pastor Taylor shares a story from “the worst night of my life” where after spending a night in jail and getting caught using drugs by his wife, his mother tells him, “You have purpose.”
    • The fact that you’re in this room [or reading these sermon notes] mean you have purpose.
    • You can bring your “realness” to God.

So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.
1 Corinthians 3:7-8, NIV

  • When you sow for an outcome, that means only work for the outcome (results).
    • Don’t focus on the harvest. Focus on the sowing.
  • The NLT version of Ecclesiastes 11:6 says, “or maybe both.” God is the God of the “maybe both.”
  • Jesus went to the cross “for the joy set before him” (Hebrews 12:2)
    • Jesus died and was buried in the ground… like a seed.
    • And was raised to new life for our sakes… like a harvest.

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