Spiritual farming

Farmers are patient people. Really, they are. Especially gardeners. Every spring, they must work hard to plant the seed. They prepare the soil, and put the seed in the ground and then . . . . They wait. Day after day goes by and the ground looks the same. And the next day it still looks like dirt. And the next. And the next. In order to reap a harvest, they must have faith. You see, the reason that farmers, gardeners, and all of us have food to eat is because someone had faith in the principle of sowing and reaping. The someone sowed, and he patiently waited for the harvest. No matter how many days he looked at the barren ground and saw nothing, he was faithful.

It’s a lot like our spiritual lives. We sow either good works, or bad, and in the end we reap. Galatians tells us, “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” The next verse expounds on that idea in saying, “For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” Pretty simple eh? Just like your garden, you put in whatever you want to get.

From this we can draw some conclusions. First (and obviously) if you sow to the flesh you reap corruption. Obviously, if you sin you’re going to mess up your life. But remember the patient farmer? Things didn’t look like they were going to grow at first. And that’s exactly how it is with sin. You plant sin, and then you look at the ground and say, “I don’t see anything.” What’s the big deal? The ground looks the same!” Next day, you plant some other sin. And the ground of your heart looks the same. After a while, all those seeds start growing and bearing fruit, and before you know it you are overwhelmed by the sin in your life and there seems to be no escape! All those previous sins are bringing more sins every day and it’s only by the grace of God that you can break the cycle.

You can put your faith in the principle of sowing and reaping.

Second observation. When you sow righteousness, you gain a reward. Here’s one more situation. You plant righteous living in the ground of your heart. And the next day you’re like, “What’s up with all the hard work? It was a real struggle to plant that and I got nothing!” Next day, you plant, but there’s still no harvest. It’s tempting to quit. It really is. It’s not easy to keep going. That’s why so many people sign up for the gym on New years and quit before they’re in shape. They didn’t sow long enough to reap.

You may think, well I sowed. Shouldn’t I reap? Well, yes, you will. But the Bible also tells us, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” A farmer fills his field with seed, so he has enough harvest to live, and we must do the same. We can’t live off the harvest of one or two seeds. We need a bountiful harvest.

God knows that it isn’t always easy to keep going. That’s why he gives us promises to encourage us. He tells us that we will reap what we sow. He tells us there is a reward for righteousness. He tells us to keep going. Wherever you are, and whatever your situation, I say to you: “Keep going.” Keep sowing. It may not be easy now, but you will reap a harvest. However bountiful your harvest is, depends on what you do now.

I leave you with Galatians 6:9, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

And just one more Scripture I couldn’t leave out: “The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.” – Proverbs 11:18

Your reward is sure. Keep going!

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What if God is waiting for you?

If you gave most people a chance to be rich, they would take you up on it. I mean, who doesn’t want money? Money gives you power, choices, and most likely a better level of comfort. Who doesn’t want respect or honor? Most people like to be respected. And almost everyone prefers life instead of death. The Bible gives us two things to incorporate into our lives to find riches, honor and life.

It’s quite simple, Proverbs 22:4 tells us, “By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.” That’s it. One verse, and if you’re not careful, it is easy to overlook. No more comment is made on the subject. Since we know that the Word of God is true and valuable, we can recognize the value of this one verse.

If you think about the world, they run after riches constantly. The constantly scramble on top of one another trying to get to the top so they can have  brief moment of fame and the idea of respect. Lastly, most worldly people are trying to find meaning in life, and trying to prolong it without every quite enjoying it as much as a servant of God can.

Sadly, many Christians join in on these pursuits without realizing that God has called them to a higher purpose. Yes, riches, honor, and life are all desirable things, but God has designed us to seek after more. We are not called to run after the things that the world clamors for. God wants us to run after Him. He tells us to take action. The action is in two parts, but those elements are related.

He wants us to humble ourselves, and fear Him. Those things aren’t difficult or complicated to do, they’re just not what humans usually want. Humans want glory and honor. But God calls us to honor Him. Humans desire that others be lowered, but God calls us to lower ourselves.

When we decide to willingly surrender our “honor,” and recognize God’s power, and conform our life, then God tells us that He will reward us with honor, and money [power], and life.

There are some that claim that it is not God’s will for every Christian to be rich. Well, I’m sure it is possible, but you cannot deny that God has rewarded many of His servants with riches.  And whether or not the previous claim is true, I honestly believe that a there is a large amount of Christians who do not have riches, honor, and life because they have failed to humble themselves and fear the Lord.

Can you not see our God, ready to bless His servants with abundance, but holding back because He knows that their heart is not right, and such a blessing would turn them away from Him. Or He waits because He knows that such a person would not glorify Him with the riches He would give, but would only attempt to satisfy their own lusts.

What if God is waiting for you? What if His heart is breaking because He desires a deeper relationship with you, but you are holding back? What if He longs to bless you materially as wells as spiritually so that others might see His goodness and glorify Him with you, but He holds back because you have not obeyed.

We may never know what God might have given us if we had obeyed sooner, but we can decide to obey now. We can choose to humble ourselves and fear the Lord. Such a choice will not only bring a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God, but will also bring His blessings of riches, honor, and life.

Then one day, it could be said of us, as it was said of David: And ______  “died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour”

But the verse doesn’t end there-

It continues with: “and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.”- 1 Chronicles 29:28

David feared the Lord, and was rewarded. But David left a legacy. Solomon, his son, took the throne after him. And Solomon followed his father’s footsteps in fearing the Lord. The Lord rewarded Solomon with greater— well, I’m sure you know the story.

“Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.” – 1 Chronicles 29:12

What will they think of me?

Conflict isn’t fun. Most people like to avoid conflict. I like to avoid conflict, but conflict is necessary. There are countless times when a person must stand up for principle. When Christians find themselves in these situations they don’t need to fear. The God of the universe has ordered that they should obey His laws, and He will not punish them for carrying out His orders.

Proverbs 21:2 declares, “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” Most people like to think that they are right all the time. I mean, who honestly believes that what they believe is incorrect? If you carry that idea to its logical conclusion it’s only possible with split personalities. But in contrast, God ponders or judges the hearts. The Lord is the one who declares what is right and what is wrong.

The next verse tells us, “To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” Here we have another profound statement. God isn’t interested in what people offer to Him willy nilly. God accepts their gift, but He isn’t necessarily pleased. God is pleased with those who do right and follow His commands.

When a person doesn’t follow God’s command, such as the the liar and the thief in verses 6 and 7, God tells us that whatever they gain is worthless and their own works will destroy them. God’s laws are very important.

The title of this post is, “What will they think of me?” So going back to the original idea of conflict, are you ever afraid of standing up for what God commands? Have you ever thought, “What will they think of me if I  . . .?” We don’t need to be concerned about the opinions of others. We don’t need to worry about the approval of the people around us. If we work for God’s approval, then He will insure that we receive our proper recompense.

Proverbs 21:1 even tells us, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” God in special control of those people who are in authority. We need not think  about any retaliation that any unjust authority would have for our stand on God’s law.

God is control. He can protect us from their negative reactions, and if He chooses to allow them to “punish” us for taking a righteous stand, then we can know that we will be rewarded for it!

“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:10

Chronic sleepiness?

Have you ever felt seriously tired. I mean, you woke up tired, you dragged yourself throught the morning tired, you got through the afternoon and you were still tired. It seems that our society lives with an intense desire to sleep. I know those days, they’re terrible.

But there’s certain days that I feel like I’m tired, until I’m on my own time. Like, as soon as Im done with all my obligations, I feel fine. I feel awake. Suddenly, the world is brighter, who needs sleep? This phenomena has a name. It’s laziness! I’ve found that if I’m sluggish to do things that matter, and suddenly awake when it comes to recreation, it’s a heart problem.

God wants us to live our lives with purpose! He wants us to act like we are always serving Him. Colossians 3:23 reads, "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;" Did you catch that? ‘Heartily’ means something like, ‘putting your heart into it.’ Perhaps something like having a passion for or having a love for. God also wants us to serve Him out of love. (Rev 2:1-4)

So I ask you: Do you suffer from chronic sleepiness that goes away as soon as work goes away? Do you ever want to just sleep when you should be accomplishing something of value? I challenge you, seek to serve the Lord with diligence that comes out of love for Him. Ask Him to teach you to serve Him as He would have you.

If you desire to change, God will help you. And by serving Him well, "ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." – Colossians 3:24

What do I get anyway?

God created heaven with amazing blessings. Yes, I said bountiful. God made streets of gold, foundations of precious stones, a sea of glass, trees with good fruit. The place is nice. When I was younger, I would always ask, “What are we going to do?” Because honestly, as a kid, I wasn’t impressed with golden streets, I wanted toys and things to play with. I thought I’d be bored.

Just like I did, you might ask, what do I get? I’m serving God. I’m doing His will. What do I get? Yeah, it’s a selfish way to think, but I’m sure we have all been there. What do we get? I mean, even though we know we don’t deserve a piece of the pie, we still want it anyway. We want to know what’s coming to us.

Well, my fellow Christian, let me give you a hint. In Genesis 15, Abraham is talking to God after he refused to take the riches that the king of Sodom offered him. When Abraham refused, God came to Abraham and told him. “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” – Genesis 15:1

I want you to think about this. We are heirs of Abraham. God calls us friends just like he called Abraham His friend.

Let’s realize one more thing. Christ died for us. Christ’s reward for dying for us is us.

Abraham’s reward is God, and we are heirs of Abraham.

So our reward is God, and Christ’s reward is us.

Isn’t that beautiful? When you became a Christian and surrendered your life to Christ, you accepted a reward. A great reward. An exceeding great reward. Fellowship with God for all eternity is your reward for following God.

So maybe I was wrong in my previous post. We do get a piece of the pie. We get the whole pie. God presence and friendship is ours to cherish forever.

Isn’t that the sweetest blessing?

 

 

Everybody loves treasure!

Imagine someone finding a treasure map. The paper is cracked and aged. The writing is faded and worn. The map has been creased so many times that it is almost torn straight through. The person examines it closely, leans in to decipher the ancient lettering and then they straighten up, toss the map aside and say, “I don’t get it.” They walk away and leave the unknown treasures for someone else to find.

We would think that person to be foolish. I would have been better however, if they had spent time trying to understand. If they had applied themselves and wanted to understand. If you had found a real treasure map, I’m sure that you would take the time to understand. And so would I, because in the end there is reward.

How foolish is that person who would throw away treasure simply because they did not take the time to  understand the map. How foolish are we, when we read a scripture that is not easily understood, and do not take the time to allow God to show us it’s meaning.

In John 3, Nicodemus came to Jesus. He didn’t get it. And he asked questions. He wanted to understand. He desired to know what Jesus meant. Jesus explained himself to Nicodemus. He made the truth very plain. In fact, John 3:16 is part of that explanation.

God wants you to understand His Word. If you don’t get it, ask Him to explain himself to you. Don’t harden your heart and live without the riches of the wisdom of God. Just like Nicodemus, God is willing to explain His Word to you. Won’t you take the time and ask Him to explain it? There is a reward for understanding God’s word.

“If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” – Proverbs 2:4-6

Is it all loss to you?

Is Christ your all in all? What do you seek most of all? Are you upset when you give things up to serve God, like you’re missing out on the best in life? Christ should be everything to the believer. We should esteem Him as our greatest treasure.

Paul says in Philippians 3:7, "But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ." Previously, Paul had been speaking of how out of all the Jews, he was chief. He pretty much gives us his resume. In the end, the list does not compare to Christ. Paul tells us that what he had believed to be his greatest blessings, He realized they were all nothing and worse than nothing.

I would like to challenge you, make Christ your all in all. Christ was crucified and rose again so we could have life. Don’t allow that truth to become old in your memory. Meditate on His sacrifice. Remember His love. Make His greatest gift your greatest treasure. Count all things as loss. Remove anything from your life that would diminish your dedication to Him. If you do, you will find your life to be one of great reward.

"And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." – Luke 18:29-30

Is God on your mind?

Have you ever had something on your mind and you just couldn’t stop thinking about it? Maybe you fell in love and all you thought about was that guy/girl. Or perhaps you were waiting for a video game to come out and that’s all you wanted to think about. God wants us to make Him and His commandments our meditation.

Psalm 1 speaks of a man who is blessed. In verse two it says he is blessed because, "His delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." The word meditation means to think, ponder, muse, murmur, and speak. It simply means that you are thinking on something so much that you eventually murmur and speak it to yourself. Some meanings of meditation even get into singing. In short, God should constantly be on our minds. He should be the thing that we anticipate, we long for, we treasure, we love with all our being.

You see meditation is always associated with a reward. For Isaac, his wife came; for Joshua, he had good success; for the psalmist, he had more understanding than all his teachers. When we refrain from sin and meditate on God and His Word, we will not only grow closer to God, but also receive blessing.

Let’s ask God to teach us to meditate on His Word.

"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." – Psalm 1:3