Have you ever wondered about the parable of the sower in Matthew 13? Jesus said that a sower went out to sow and some fell here and some fell there; talking about hard soil and shallow soil and weedy soil. Then he mentioned the good land. When the seed was sown in the good soil, he produced some triple, some sixty, and some a hundredfold.
That could be a good return on your seed if you multiplied thirty, sixty or a hundred times. Well, the same principle also applies to your money… if your money were a seed and you planted it in good soil, it would give you a return of thirty, sixty or a hundred times. Fantastic…I give a dime and I get a dollar back or a dollar and I get a hundred dollars back…that’s the kind of investment I like to do. The problem with this is that that’s not what doubling means. Let’s do a little experiment: take a piece of notebook paper, now fold it in half from top to bottom; open it up and count…from where it is the fold up is one and the fold down is two…okay?
Well, fold it again; now fold it back from side to side; open it again and count that there should be four divisions. Okay, you get the idea. You have folded the paper twice now and you have four divisions; fold it twenty-eight times more and count them… and this will give you thirty times more. If you really tried to fold the paper thirty times, you found that it is impossible. He found that about seven or eight times is all he can fold a sheet of paper, unless he flattens it with his car and then he can get another fold or two. So calculating ‘double’ isn’t going to be done by folding a physical piece of paper, so let’s try adding. If you notice that when you folded the paper, it doubled in number with each fold, or in other words, made up one hundred percent with each fold, so the math is pretty simple. Start with a one-fold return and you’ll receive two.
A double return gives you four; three times gives you eight; then sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four, one hundred and twenty-eight, two hundred and fifty-six, which is only eight times. It sounds impossible… so it has to be God’s principle. I couldn’t bear not knowing what the real numbers would be, so I set about doing the math; with just thirty times you would get a whopping 1,073,701,824 (that’s one billion seventy three million seven hundred one thousand eight hundred and twenty four). Listen, we’re talking about nine zeros here; that’s phenomenal. Would you mind guessing how much that would be sixty times?
After all, that’s only thirty times as much. If you guessed 2,147,403,648 you are dead wrong. That’s right…bad, bad, bad. Sixty times is 1,151,973,021,073,889,216 (one quintillion one hundred fifty-one quadrillion nine hundred seventy-three trillion twenty-one trillion seventy-three million eight hundred eighty-nine thousand two hundred sixteen) which is a little more than double thirty times. How good is God… eighteen zeros! And that’s only sixty times. Guess, go ahead, I dare you… if you’re like me, I didn’t know these numbers existed. Now I can say them, but I still can’t figure them out…okay here goes…one hundred times is 1,201,064,595,207,167,685,882,431,343,616 seven billion six hundred eighty-five trillion eight hundred eighty-two billion four hundred thirty-one million three hundred forty-three thousand six hundred sixteen). Wow read this and impress your friends or let them look at you like you are crazy like mine.
Hey, I don’t care what people think of me, I care what God thinks of me. Anyway, these numbers are based on a seed planted or a penny or a dollar or maybe a hug or a kiss. The principle behind the fold is increase, which is what God is all about, contrary to popular belief. (A quick side note here… everything has been seen as positive so far, but if you plant a negative seed in negative soil, it produces negative results. Ever wonder why things don’t seem to go your way? ) What happens if instead of giving a dollar you gave a hundred or a thousand. If you received a hundredfold return and wanted to know how much it would be, simply multiply 100 x 1,201,064,595,207,167,685,882,431,343,616 = 10,106,459,520,716,768,588,243,134,361,600. I know the question is about to drive you crazy, so I’ll ask it and then try to answer it… why don’t I see this kind of return when I give?
Well, to be honest, this is a difficult question to answer. If you go back to the parable in Matthew 13, you will see that one seed fell on the road and produced no return, another fell on rocky ground and produced nothing, and another fell in the bushes and produced nothing; only that which fell on good soil produced something, but still not all the seed produced a hundred times more. One thing to keep in mind is that your seed must be planted in good soil to produce anything, period. I really believe that the better the soil, the bigger the harvest. Only God knows why the return is what it is going to be and I think it has something to do with the intention of your heart when giving.