Have you ever wondered about the parable of the sower in Matthew 13? Jesus said a sower went out to sow and some fell here and some fell there; talking about hard ground and shallow ground and ground full of weeds. Then He mentioned the good ground. When the seed was planted in the good soil it produced, some threefold, some sixty fold and some an hundredfold.
That could be a pretty good return on your seed if it was multiplied back to thirty, sixty or an hundred times. Well the same principle holds true with your money as well…if your money were seed and you planted it into good soil ti would yield you a return of thirty, sixty or an hundred times. Fantastic…I give a penny I get a dollar back or a dollar and I receive an hundred dollars…that’s the kind of investing I like to do. The problem with this is that is not what fold 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 the fold is to the top is one and the fold to the bottom is two…agreed?
Okay, fold it back together; now fold it again from side to side; open it back up and count there should be four divisions. Alright, you get the idea. You have folded the paper twice now and have four divisions; fold it twenty-eight more times and count them…and this will give you thirty fold. If you really tried to fold the paper thirty times you found out that it is impossible. You discovered about seven or maybe eight times is all you can fold a piece of paper unless you flatten it with your car and then you might get one or two more folds. So calculating ‘fold’ is not going to be done folding a physical piece of paper so let’s try adding it up. If you notice when you folded the paper it doubled in number with each fold or in other words it was compounded one hundred percent with each fold so the math is fairly simple. Start with a one fold return and you receive two.
A two fold return gives you four; three fold gives you eight; then sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four, one hundred twenty-eight, two hundred fifty-six which is only eight fold. Sound impossible…then it has to be God’s principle. I could not stand not knowing what the real numbers would be so I set out to crunch some numbers; at just thirty fold you would get a whopping 1,073,701,824 (that’s one billion, seventy-three million, seven hundred-one thousand, eight hundred twenty-four). Listen, we’re talking nine zeroes here; that’s phenomenal. Care to take a guess what sixty fold would be?
After all that is just thirty fold again. If you guessed 2,147,403,648 you are absolutely wrong. That’s right…wrong, wrong, wrong. Sixty fold is 1,151,973,021,073,889,216 (one quintillion, one hundred fifty-one quadrillion, nine hundred seventy-three trillion, twenty-one billion, seventy-three million, eight hundred eighty-nine thousand, two hundred sixteen) which is slightly more than double the thirty fold. How good is God…eighteen zeroes! And that’s only sixty fold. Guess, go ahead I dare you…if you are like me, I did not know theses numbers existed. I can now say them but still cannot wrap my mind around them…okay here goes…one hundred fold is 1,201,064,595,207,167,685,882,431,343,616 (one nonillion, two hundred-one octillion, sixty-four septillion, five hundred ninety-five sextillion, two hundred seven quintillion, one hundred sixty-seven quadrillion, 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 one off and impress your friends or let them look at you like you are crazy like mine do me.
Hey I don’t care what people think about me I care what God thinks about me. Anyway these numbers are based on one seed planted or one penny or one 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…so far everything has been viewed as positive but if you plant a negative seed in negative soil it produces negative results. Ever wonder why things just don’t seem to go you way?) What if instead of giving one dollar you gave one hundred or a thousand. If you received an hundredfold return and wanted to know how much that would be just 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 mad so I’ll ask it then attempt to answer it…why don’t I see this kind of return when I give?
Well to be honest, this is a tough question to answer. If you go back to the parable in Matthew 13 you’ll see that some seed fell on the pathway and produced no return some fell on rocky ground and produced nothing and some fell in the weeds and produced nothing; only that which fell on good ground produced anything but even at that not all seed produced an hundred fold. One thing to look at is your seed must be planted in good soil to produce anything, period. I truly believe the better the soil the greater the harvest. God alone knows why the return is what it is going to be and I believe it has something to do with the intent of your heart in your giving.