Sow What?

He who sows righteousness will have a sure reward. —Proverbs 11:18

On the clock tower of my alma mater is an Art Deco bas-relief sculpture titled The Sower. The inscription beneath it is from Galatians 6:7, “Whatsoever a man soweth.” Michigan State University remains a leader in agricultural research, but despite many improvements in farming techniques and crop production, this fact remains: Seeds of corn will not produce a crop of beans.

Jesus used many farming metaphors to explain the kingdom of God. In the parable of the sower (Mark 4), He compared the Word of God to seeds sown in different types of soil. As the parable indicates, the sower sows indiscriminately, knowing that some seed will fall in places where it will not grow.

Like Jesus, we are to sow good seed in all places at all times. God is responsible for where it lands and how it grows. The important thing is that we sow. God does not want us to reap destruction, so He wants us to sow what is good and right (Prov. 11:18). The apostle Paul elaborated on the metaphor when he warned believers not to sow seeds of corruption. Instead, we are to sow seeds that will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:8).

The answer to the question, “Sow what?” is “Sow what you want to reap.” To reap a good harvest in your life, start sowing seeds of goodness. By Julie Ackerman Link

Sow a thought, reap an act;
Sow an act, reap a habit;
Sow a habit, reap a character;
Sow a character, reap a destiny. —Anon.

A buried seed brings fruit; a selfless life reaps an eternal harvest.

Peace With Ourselves

Romans 12:1-8

In the 12th chapter of Romans, Paul indicates that some people tend to think more highly of themselves than they should. It is also true that others are tempted to think more lowly of themselves than is appropriate. What thoughts should we have about ourselves?

A godly sense of self-worth offers a valuable solution here. It lies at the heart of a peaceful life and provides the solid middle ground between the ditch of self-disparagement on the one hand and the precipice of self-exaltation on the other. This resting place in Jesus stems from simply seeing yourself the way the Lord sees you.

When you are born again, God sees you as His beloved child and the owner of a new identity. Because your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3), you can say that you are complete in Christ. And because of His Spirit within, it is possible for you to live a righteous life.

At the same time, you retain old patterns of sin, which are still capable of expressing themselves. It is all right, therefore, to be grieved by some things you do while rejoicing over progress. That is how God feels. Keep in mind, however, that His delight or displeasure with your conduct in no way alters either His love for you or your identity as His. The Lord always sees you as His own and as a person of infinite worth.

Ultimately, you’ll reach full spiritual maturity in Christ. But in the meantime, never forget that you are not what you do. You are what you are: a child of God (John 1:12).

Joy in Believing

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” (1 Peter 1:8)

After His resurrection, the Lord acknowledged the legitimate need for evidence of such a mighty miracle, honoring the request of Thomas to see for himself that He had, indeed, returned from the grave. Nevertheless, Thomas could and should have believed the evidence from the other disciples,when they testified of the empty tomb and the previous appearances of Christ. Consequently, the Lord Jesus gave a mild but loving rebuke to His doubting disciple. “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

It is not that the Lord wants us to be credulous, believing something with no basis except blind faith. Today we have an abundance of solid evidence, more even than the disciples themselves had, and there is no excuse not to believe. Nevertheless, we must believe; “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it” (Romans 8:24-25).

We cannot yet see Him with our eyes, as Thomas did, but we see Him with our hearts, and that is enough. As we read of Him in the Word, we see Him on the cross, taking “our sins in his own body” (1 Peter 2:24) and it breaks our hearts. Then we read of the empty tomb and the linen clothes, and are like John, who “saw, and believed” (John 20:8). Then we “rejoice with joy” (literally, “exult with exceeding gladness”), which cannot be told vocally any more than He can be seen visually. One day soon we shall really see Him in His glory, and “when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2). HMM

Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness

Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holiness.—Psalm 30:4.

GLAD with Thy light, and glowing with Thy love,
So let me ever speak and think and move
As fits a soul new-touched with life from heaven,
That seeks but so to order all her course
As most to show the glory of that
Source By whom alone her strength, her life are given.

OUR Christianity is apt to be of a very “dutiful” kind. We mean to do our duty; we attend church and go to our communions. But, our hearts are full of the difficulties, the hardships, the obstacles which the situation presents, and we go on our way sadly, downhearted and despondent. We need to learn that true Christianity is inseparable from deep joy; and the secret of that joy lies in a continual looking away from all else—away from sin and its ways, and from the manifold hindrances to the good we would do—up to God, His love, His purpose, His will. In proportion as we do look up to Him we shall rejoice, and in proportion as we rejoice in the Lord will our religion have tone and power and attractiveness. CHARLES GORE.

Christ the firstfruits

Christ the firstfruits. 1 Corinthians 15:23

Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. —If the firstfruit be holy the lump is also holy : and if the root be holy, so are the branches. —Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. — If we have been planted together in the likeness of his death we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. — The Lord Jesus Christ … shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

The firstborn from the dead. — If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

John 12:24. Romans 11:16. 1 Corinthians 15:20. Romans 6:5. Philippians 3:20,21. Colossians 1:18. Romans 8:11. John 11:25.

Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting

Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Daniel 5:27

The LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him, actions are weighed. — That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. — The LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. — Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 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.

What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? — What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.

Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts. —Thou hast proved mine heart; thou hast visited me in the night; thou hast tried me, and shalt find nothing.

1 Samuel 2:3. Luke 16:15. 1 Samuel 16:7. Galatians 6:7,8. Matthew 16:26. Philippians 3:7. Psalm 51:6. Psalm 17:3.