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Is There a Difference in 100 Times and 100 Fold?
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 right soil, it produced, some three times, some sixty times, and some a hundred times.
It could be a pretty good return on your seed if multiplied thirty, sixty, or a hundred times. Well, the same principle also applies to your money…if your money was a seed and you planted it in good soil, it would pay you back thirty, sixty, or a hundred times. Fantastic…give a penny, get a dollar or a dollar back and get a hundred dollars…that’s the kind of investment I like to make. The problem with this is that that’s not what crease 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… where the fold up is one and the fold down is two… okay?
Alright, fold it back together; now bend it again from side to side; open it and count that there should be four divisions. Alright, you get the idea. You have now folded the paper twice and have four divisions; fold it another twenty-eight times and count them… and that will give you thirty times. If you really try to fold the paper thirty times, you find it’s impossible. You’ve found that about seven or maybe eight times is all you can fold a piece of paper unless you flatten it with your car and then get an extra fold or two. So the “fold” calculation won’t be done by folding a physical piece of paper, so let’s try adding it up. If you notice that when you folded the paper, its number doubled with each fold or, in other words, it was made up to one hundred percent with each fold, then the calculation is quite simple. Start with a one-ply return and you get two.
A double yield gives you four; triple 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 seems impossible… so it must be God’s principle. I couldn’t bear not knowing what the real numbers would be, so I set out to do some math; at just thirty times you will get a whopping 1,073,701,824 (i.e. one billion seventy three million seven hundred one thousand eight hundred twenty four). Look, we’re talking about nine zeros here; it’s phenomenal. Do you want to guess what would be sixty times?
After all, it’s only thirty times more. If you guessed 2,147,403,648, you are absolutely wrong. It’s true… false, false, false. Sixty times 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 times. How good God is… eighteen zeros! And that’s only sixty times. Guess, go ahead, I dare you…if you’re anything like me, I didn’t know these numbers existed. I can say them now but I still can’t understand them… okay, there you go… one hundred times is 1,201,064,595,207,167,685,882,431,343,616 (one nonillion, two hundred and one octillion, sixty -four septillion, five hundred and ninety-five sextillion, two hundred and seven quintillion, one hundred and sixty-seven quadrillion, six hundred and eighty-five trillion, eight hundred and eighty-two billion, four hundred and thirty-one million, three one hundred and forty-three thousand six hundred and sixteen). Wow, read this one and impress your friends or let them look at you like you’re crazy like mine do to me.
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 dime or a dollar or maybe a hug or a kiss. The principle behind the fold is increase, which is God’s purpose contrary to popular belief. (A quick note here…so far everything has been seen as positive, but if you plant a negative seed in negative soil, it produces negative results. Have you ever wondered why things don’t seem go your way?) What 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 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 crazy, so i’ll ask it and then try to answer it…why don’t i see that kind of feedback when i give?
Well, to be honest, that’s a tough question to answer. If you go back to the parable of Matthew 13 you will see that one seed fell on the way and produced no return, others fell on rocky ground and produced nothing and others fell in the weeds and produced nothing; only what fell on good ground produced anything, but even that, not all seeds produced a hundredfold. One thing to consider is that your seed must be planted in good soil to produce anything, period. I sincerely believe that the better the soil, the better the harvest. Only God knows why the return is what it’s going to be and I believe it has something to do with your heart’s intent in your giving.
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