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Religion has taught us that we can't enjoy heavenly rewards until after we die. But nothing could be further from the truth. God intends for us to make use of our heavenly rewards here on this earth where we need them!

You see, as believers, we each have a heavenly account that functions much like a natural bank account. The Apostle Paul refers to that account in his letter to his Philippian partners. He commended his partners for giving to him, not because he wanted gifts from them, but because he desired fruit that would abound to their account.

Paul's partners had made deposits in that heavenly account through their giving, so he was able to boldly say, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

Jesus also spoke of that heavenly account when He said, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (Matt. 6:19-21).

I'm sure you already know how to lay up treasure in your heavenly account by giving financially into the work of God. You know about the spiritual law of seedtime and harvest. You know that when you give to God of your material resources, He multiplies it and gives it back to you a hundredfold (Mark 10:30).

But let me ask you this: Did you know you can do the same thing with persecution? Did you know that you can plant it as a seed by obeying God, by leaping and rejoicing in it instead of taking offense? Sure you can! And when you do, it will bring forth a harvest of blessing!

What's more, because persecution attacks your soul and the very Anointing of God on your life - which is far more precious than anything money could buy - the value of the harvest it brings is absolutely priceless. The seed of persecution when planted according to the Word will be worth far more to you than any financial seed you could ever plant!

Now, I'll be honest. It's a tough seed to sow. You have to sow it out of commitment. It doesn't feel good to do it. But the harvest is worth the pain. I know that not only from my own experience, but from watching the experience of others.

For instance, one friend of mine has refused to take offense at the bigotry directed against him because of the color of his skin. He has so succeeded in blessing and loving the white people who have persecuted him that now some black people are mad at him. "He doesn't even know he's black anymore!" they'll say.

But my friend doesn't take offense at them either. He just prays for them and goes right on gathering up his harvest. It's quite a harvest, too! That man has favor everywhere he goes. He's invited to places few people get to go. He's blessed financially beyond most people's wildest dreams. The man is getting rich off racism!

Someone might say, "Well, that sounds good! I wonder if it would work like that for me?"
It will if you'll put it to work. Look at Luke 6:27 where Jesus explains this principle and says, "I say unto you which hear." In other words, this will work for anyone who will listen. All you have to do is hear it and do it.

It's Worth More as a Seed
For the most part, we've misunderstood what Jesus was saying about turning the other cheek and giving to the guy who tries to steal from us. We thought He was saying we should just lie down and let people run over us. But that wasn't His point at all!

He was trying to teach us about this seedtime, harvest principle. He was trying to show us how to get blessed. He was saying, "Don't sue the person who stole your shirt and try to get your shirt back. Give it to him. Then give him your coat too. Those things will be worth more to you as seeds than they would be if you kept them. If you'll sow them instead of fighting to keep them, the power of God will go to work on your behalf. He'll multiply that seed and bless you with a hundred times as much!" If you fight, you do it on your own. If you give, all of heaven will get in the situation with you.

I'll never forget the first time God was able to get the truth of that principle through to me. It was years ago when Gloria and I were on our way to preach a meeting in San Francisco. I was walking through the airport with a little Minolta camera hanging over my shoulder. Back then, that was the ministry camera and Gloria was the ministry photographer. So that camera was important to us.

I had walked around that airport for a while when suddenly I realized my camera was gone. Someone had stolen it right off my shoulder! To put it very mildly, I was irritated.

I started looking around the airport for the thief. I thought, "If I find you, you turkey, I am going to whip you good!" But right in the middle of my upset, the Spirit of God interrupted my thinking. If you take that attitude, He said, you'll lose that camera! "What are you talking about, Lord?" I answered. "I've already lost it!" "No, it isn't gone yet."

I'd learned from Oral Roberts about the seed, plant, harvest principle, so I caught on to what the Lord was telling me in a flash. I said, "Lord, I see it!" Then I turned to Gloria and said, "Listen, let's agree on this. I'm giving that camera to whoever took it off my shoulder. I'm sowing it as a seed into that person's life and I'm praying that God will use it to get him saved. I'm believing that every time he touches that camera, the Anointing of God will come on him and draw him to Jesus. Even if the police catch the thief with the camera in his hand, I will say, 'Don't charge that man with any crime. I have given him that camera."

Of course, Gloria agreed and we boarded the plane to San Francisco. After we got settled in our seats, I started talking to the Lord about the seed I'd planted. I said, "Lord, I know that camera had value and we need a camera in this ministry. But I don't want another Minolta. It's a good camera, but it doesn't have enough range to do what I need. What I want is a Nikon F"

This was back in the early 1970's when just the body of a Nikon F was worth anywhere from $700 to $900. The two lenses I needed were worth about the same amount, so to buy the whole outfit, I might have to pay up to $1800. But I wasn't worried. I had my seed in the ground and I started getting excited. I started expecting the harvest.

What a Deal!
Can you see what happened to me? I could have been sitting there seething over that stolen camera. I could have been sitting there getting offended, cutting myself off from the Anointing of God. But I wasn't! I had forgotten all about that thief. I was too busy being thrilled with the new camera God was giving me to worry about how the thief had done me wrong!

A few days later, Gloria and I were walking along the street in San Francisco when I spotted a Nikon F camera box sitting in the window of a small shop. I went in and asked the store clerk how much they wanted for it. "We don't have a Nikon F." she answered. "Yes, you do. It's right there in the window."

She reached over and got it, looked puzzled and carried it to a Japanese gentleman in the back of the store. "How much is this?" she asked him. He threw up his hands and said something in Japanese that I didn't understand. So I just dug around in my pocket and found some traveler's checks. "Here," I said, "I have $250. Will you sell it to me for that?" "OK!" said the Japanese man.

Of course I was excited about getting just the body of a Nikon FA for that price. But before I had a chance to say anything about it, the store clerk dug around in a drawer, found a Nikon 50-millimeter lens and handed it to me along with the camera. Glory to God, my crop was coming up!

You'd like that kind of harvest too, wouldn't you? Well, you can have it. Just start taking those opportunities for offense and planting them as seeds. Instead of crying over how badly you've been hurt, turn those hurts into harvests and start laughing at the devil. Take everything ugly he has ever thrown at you and sow it as a seed.

Begin now by praying: "Father, in the Name of Jesus, right now I sow as seed in the kingdom of God every hurt, every bad feeling, every theft, and every evil thing any person has ever done or said to me, my family, or my ministry. I release every person who has ever hurt me, and I forgive them now. I lift each one of them up to You and I pray for those people. I pray, Father, that they'll come into a greater knowledge of You. I pray that their spirit be saved in the Day of the Lord.

Now I declare before You, My God in heaven, that I expect a reward. I believe Your Word and by faith I set my sickle to my harvest. I believe I receive a hundredfold return for every wrong deed done to me, every unkind word spoken to me, and every dime stolen from me. I expect to receive a blessing of equal benefit. I claim it. It's mine and I have it now in Jesus' mighty Name!"

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Author Biography

Kenneth Copeland
Web site: Kenneth Copeland Ministries
For the last 50 years Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have been passionately teaching Christians all over the world how to apply the principles of faith found in God’s WORD to their lives.

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