Saturday, March 29, 2014

PLOUGHING/SOWING/REAPING

Suggested Reading: Hosea 9-10

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

A Farmer at Nazareth Village in Nazareth uses a sickle. Reaping before modern farm implements was a very labour intensive task. Over and over again, the Scriptures make the point that what we sow in our lifetimes, we will inevitably reap as a harvest, as in our key verse, either "mercy" or "iniquity."

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Hosea 10:12-13a

Sow for yourselves righteousness;

Reap in mercy;

Break up your fallow ground,

For it is time to seek the Lord,

Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

You have plowed wickedness;

You have reaped iniquity.

 

In Hosea 9 & 10 the message is clear. A Holy God and sin cannot co-exist. Therefore, sin must be dealt with. The sacrificial offerings were a way of covering sin by the picture they presented of the final sacrifice for sin by Jesus Christ (Messiah) on the cross. We can learn from Hosea. We must determine to live holy lives in order to please God. Every day we are sowing by our actions and we reap in our lives, and in our families, the consequences of sin. Breaking up fallow ground (ploughing) is hard work, requiring firm discipline. “IT IS TIME TO SEEK THE LORD!” Sin almost totally destroyed God’s chosen people. They sowed sin and reaped a crop of destruction and pain. While our sins are forgiven and we have the assurance of eternal life because of the cross of Christ, as long as we are in this life we hurt ourselves and our loved ones as a result of sin.

Jesus taught about sowing and reaping. When our hearts are hardened by sin, the Lord’s efforts to plant good seed are thwarted. Are there stones that need removal from our lives? Or have thorns grown in our lives which hurt ourselves and others? (read Luke 8:4-15).

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord God, I repent!!! I pray for Your rain of righteousness to fall on me, soaking me with pure and holy living. I seek You, Lord Jesus! Forgive my sin and change my heart and mind! May I take deliberate actions to move away from the occasion of sinning and from those who would entice me to sin. By repentance I break up the hard ground in my heart, and I ask for the good seed of Your Word to penetrate into my innermost being, producing a harvest of holiness!!! In the Name of Your 100% Holy Son, Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!!!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Here are some random thoughts. Surely Hosea 9:17 has been fulfilled, “They shall be wanderers among the nations.” Until 1948 God’s ancient people had not had a sovereign state for over 2,000 years. They wandered the world over. They are gathered back to Israel, but a national revival of faith in God and obedience to God is still to take place there.

Hosea 10:3b, “As for a king, what would he do for us,” reminds me of President Kennedy’s statement, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” It is rather obvious that the people of Israel were refusing to take responsibility for their own lives and wanted big government to do almost everything for them.

The summer I turned eight, my Uncle Harvey Lindsay, on whose farm we lived while my Dad was overseas during the WW2 years, taught me to break up the hard ground with a one-furrow plough behind Mischief, his one and only horse. He reprimanded me whenever I was distracted and took my eyes off the post across the field. By a steady gaze at that post, I was to plough a straight furrow. I’ve never forgotten that lesson. As long as I keep my eyes fixed on Jesus, and by focusing on His unchanging holy Person, I can continue to live straight.

Yours for consistently living a holy life by God’s grace given to us as we plough up the hardness in our lives, sowing daily the seed of God’s Word in our hearts and minds, and we surely will reap holiness before our Holy God!

David

37 thoughts on “Saturday, March 29, 2014

  1. Your farm experience is a great analogy for ploughing a straight course in life. So important it is to maintain our focus.

    “Turn your eyes upon Jesus
    Look full in His wonderful face
    And the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
    In the light of His glory and grace”

    Lord, You are our strength and our guide. Keep us this day in the light of Your path. Amen.

  2. Amen!! Thank you, David, for that personal memory and lesson, when you were eight years old. We need to be reminded constantly to keep our eyes on Jesus. He is our strength and source for everything–in earthly and eternal life.

    Today marks the seventeen year anniversary of my beloved sister Laura’s passing from a five year battle with cancer. There has never been anyone like my sister. We shared a bond of love, understanding, and kindred spirit, I have never known with anyone else. Yesterday, I was getting a battery. Low and behold, there in the same drawer, was something from Laura–my old cassette player I walked with a decade ago, ear phones, and two tapes of Laura

    • …Laura’s flute performances. I can’t remember the last time I listened to them. Instantly, I was rekindled by my sister’s love as I heard her angelic voice introduce a few of her pieces, and listened to her vivacious spirit play through her flute! What a blessing! I am reassured you are safe in the arms of Jesus and in the heavenly realms, my darling sister, Laura. Thank You, Jesus!

  3. God has called Isrealites His chosen people. I always thought that meant “favoured”. With my limited knowledge of the bible, it looks to me like God’s chosen people are singled out to be an example to the rest of us. If we sin we will be punished; if we love the Lord and obey his rules, we will be rewarded. Chosen or not, it seems the Lord loves us all so very much. Just a thought.
    The Angus Buchan Documentary on YouTube certainly illustrates straight furrows. May God bless us all on this snowy day in Alberta.

    • BUT thankfully when we admit our sin and ask God’s forgiveness, He wipes the slate clean….we are forgiven and He remembers it no more.

    • I get what you are saying, but I get nervous when I hear Christians say God punishes us when we sin, and rewards us if obey the rules. This can lead to all kinds of misunderstanding.

      It is more accurate to say Sin has consequences and it doesn’t matter if you are a pagan or the Pope if you sin you will experience the consequences of sin. The ultimate consequence of Sin is death. God is so Holy, that His holiness cannot bear to be in the presence of anything unholy. And sin makes all unholy, so if we stayed in our sinful state, God would have no choice to reject us from His presence. And you cannot blame God for doing that, anymore than you can blame a fire for burning your hands in you stick them into the flames. It is the nature of fire to burn, and it is God’s nature to be Holy.
      So to fix this problem, God’s plan was to substitute our unholiness, with His own holiness. And this was achieved on the cross, when Jesus who was both Divine and Human was the focal point of that transference. Our sinful nature in exchanged for His holy one on the cross and death for eternal life on Easter morning.
      But sin still exists and if we chose to sin now, we can suffer the consequence of the sin, or we can repent of it and have it forgiven through the cross of Christ. It is our choice.

      If we do not repent God will allow us to suffer the consequences of sin, in hopes those consequences are so unpleasant we will seek to repent of them. But it is our choice, we chose the to reap what we sow.

      As for rewarding good behavior. The law is like a recipe. The more you follow it, the more likely you will get the result you are looking for. But following a recipe perfectly doesn’t guarantee perfect results. You can be a perfect Christian, love God and obey all the rules and still experience suffering. You are not immune from bankruptcy, or disease, or marriages falling apart. If you think pleasant circumstances are the reward for following God’s way, that isn’t the point. The reward is a relationship with God, knowing Him, being with Him, experiencing Him. And we can now do that, because of being made Holy by Christ. That is the reward– not good things happening here on earth.
      And I know that is what Lynda meant, but for those who might read it and not understand that it is important to get that. I hope this wasn’t too long, but if so thank you for bearing with me while I stated what my heart wanted to say.

  4. I used to plow fields if you messed up the girst line the line yhere after were messed up to so you would go to the other side of the field to start a fresh line thank you Lord for keeping our eye to the plow and not look back thank you everyone for prying for my daughters Miranda said the nausea is gone so praise God thank you for continuing to pray for Miranda and Corrina and Ronda and Deborah and Krista and Shawna all of my si grown daughters and 15 grandchildren
    God Bless each and everyone of you Thank you 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Dear sister in Christ Brenda
      So happy to hear such a good report on Miranda. Thank you Lord Thank you Jesus for the power of prayer .
      Will keep you’re daughters and grandchildren in prayer
      Xxx Carole

    • Praise God, that your Miranda received a good report, Brenda!! God’s continued blessings to your entire family!!

  5. Thank you David for your input of sowing and reaping in our lives. There is much sowing and reaping here in this community, but have been praying for a harvest of souls to come into the house of the Lord and give thanks for God’s faithfulness. Have been much involved with snow removal and preventing floods and big banks of snow are all around my house, and it was suppose to rain but so far the sun is shining brightly in a blue sky in answer to my prayer, “Lord please let this snow melt gradually.”

    • God bless you dear one. Ger It seams, as though you are in Alberta. Is that right ? It could be anywhere here in Canada this year though. We pray for the snow to go slowly. Father you are in control of the weather, and everything else. Weather it snows and how fast it goes it is all in your hands. Lord we know you have your hands on the whole human race and you have plans for each and every one . Though we can not understand, help us each, to do your will day by day.

  6. Beverlee, we have something in common as this is also my dear mother’s birthday who was a great Mom and bore fourteen children. She was a quiet Christian whose actions always spoke louder than words and all of us loved her. I thank God for the privilege of caring for her for fourteen and a half years and looking forward to meeting her again in heaven someday.
    Have a great day friends in the Lord!

      • God bless you all, My Dear Mom was a Godly saint too though not so Quiet. Mom sure let me know when I got out of line. Mom is with God now 23 years and I still feel her presences , reminding me of write and wrong. It is a help in raising my own 4 children and now 3 grand babies. Praise God ! If I could only, be as devoted !!

    • Ahhh…. thanks for sharing that, Ger. Your mother was truly blessed and a blessing! What wonderful days in the house of the Lord! God bless you, dear sister-in-Christ!

  7. The straight and narrow path is not always to keep on BUT as our reading points out today with eyes FULL FOCUS on The Saviour we will make it.

    Thanks Pastor David and fellow bloggers. Love in Jesus for all.

    HALLELUJAH what a Saviour.

  8. Bless you, Pat, Catherine and Beverlee. Not from the West but the Maritimes, Pat. A good analogy David the Lord taught you early in life which you have put into practise. Blessings!

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