Sowing and Reaping

In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army.  They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah.  But David remained in Jerusalem …  (2 Sam. 11:2).  Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.  (Prov. 25:28).  I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment: thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.  I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest–and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.  (Prov. 24:30-34).  The kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish … The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them … At midnight the cry rang out: Here’s the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!  Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out … while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived… And the door was shut.  “Sir!  Sir!”  They said.  ‘Open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’  Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”  (Mat. 25:1-11).  Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked.  A man reaps what he sows.  (Gal. 5:7).  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. (James 3:18).  The fruit of the Spirit is … faithfulness … self-control. (Gal. 5:22).  Therefore, my dear friends … continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.  (Phil. 2:12-13).

For the first time in my professional life, I had a case involving a tax lien and tax deed. If you’re like I was three weeks ago, you don’t know what a tax lien is.  The simplified version is this:  if you don’t pay your real estate taxes, the county in which you live will give you and the whole county notice that they are going to have a tax lien sale and somebody can pay for your taxes.  Then, at least three years later — if not even a little longer than that — the person who paid your taxes will own your entire property, for a mere fraction of its true value.  Of course, there are all kinds of notice provisions — you will get lots of letters about it — but if you don’t pay your taxes and you refuse the notices, there is a distinct possibility that you will have lost your property.

It got me thinking about consequences.  And the seed we sow in all aspects of our lives.  So, friends, what is your garden plot?  And what seed are you sowing there?  What “notices” might you be ignoring?  What weeds might need pulling?

Whatever your answers, trust in Him.  Therefore, my dear friends … continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.  (Phil. 2:12-13).

Call and Service

This whole blog might just become “good quotes from My Utmost.” Oh well, I think they’re good, so I’ll share: Galatians 1:15-16 says: But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man

Chambers remarks: The call of God is an expression of His nature; the service which results in my life is suited to me and is an expression of my nature.

I like this a lot. I hadn’t thought about the call of God and my response to him in quite that way. God’s call — by his grace — is an expression of his nature. He calls us to Him. But, our service to him as a result of his call is an expression of our individual nature. Who God has made us.

Christians in America do a lot of talking and worrying and seeking about “God’s call on THEIR life…” Chambers perspective is, I think, better than the conventional Christian ideas in this regard.

As God helps me by revealing himself to me — and consequently revealing me to myself — I think the service I should be offering to him in my life will become more clear. What about you? What kind of service to the Lord is an expression of your nature?