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; speaking of hard, shallow terrain and overgrown terrain. Then he mentioned the good land. When the seed was planted in good soil, it produced, about three times, about sixty and about a hundred.
That could be a pretty good yield on your seed if it were multiplied by thirty, sixty, or a hundred times. Well, the same principle applies to your money as well … if your money were seed and you planted it in good soil, you would get a return of thirty, sixty, or a hundred times. Great … I give a penny, they give me back a dollar or a dollar and I get a hundred dollars … that’s the kind of investment I like to make. The problem with this is that it is not what folding means. Let’s do a little experiment: take a piece of notebook paper, now fold it in half from top to bottom; open it and count … from where the up fold is one and the down fold is two … okay?
Okay, fold it again; now fold it again from side to side; open it again and count that there should be four divisions. Well, 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 actually tried to fold the paper thirty times, you found out that it is impossible. He found that about seven or maybe eight times is all a sheet of paper can fold unless you flatten it with your car and then you can get one or two more folds. So the ‘folding’ calculation won’t be done by folding a physical sheet of paper, so let’s try adding it up. 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 they give you eight; then sixteen, thirty-two, sixty-four, one hundred 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 some calculations; with just thirty times you’d get a whopping 1,073,701,824 (that’s a 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 it would be sixty times?
After all, that’s only thirty times more. If you guessed 2,147,403,648, you are absolutely wrong. That’s right … wrong, wrong, wrong. Sixty times is 1,151,973,021,073,889,216 (one quintillion, one hundred and fifty-one quadrillion, nine hundred and seventy-three trillion, twenty-one billion, seventy-three million, eight hundred and eighty-nine thousand, two hundred and sixteen) which is a little more than twice the 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 tell them, but I still can’t understand them … okay, here it goes … one hundred times 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). Go read this and impress your friends or let them look at you like you’re 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 planted seed 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 … 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 don’t seem to be going your way? ) of giving a dollar, you gave a hundred or a thousand. If you received a 100-fold refund and you 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 some seed fell on the road and produced no return, another fell on stony ground and produced nothing, and another fell into the undergrowth and produced nothing; only what fell on good soil produced something, but even so, not all the seed was multiplied by a hundred. 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 giving back is what it is going to be and I think it has something to do with your heart’s intention to give.