Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
I have found this little church tucked away in the woods out in the country that is a treasure. You would not be very impressed driving by it. An old day care converted into a house of worship. I am sure there are many who have missed this blessing simply judging a book by its cover. But when I say it is a Powerhouse for God, I am not exaggerating. Though they be few, God is acutely aware of their existence and ready to pour out His Presence the moment they are together. It is amazing. I have worshiped in many small congregations so I was not expecting much when their praise team took the stage. Music is usually the one thing that struggles in smaller churches but again who knew. With just one song, the Lord filled that place.
On our second day visiting, I sensed an undercurrent. I have felt it before and experienced it many times as part of church leadership. To be weary. To be tired. To agonize and travail. While as an outsider looking in, I see the great potential in each gathering, they see the bills, responsibilities spread thin among a few, and obviously those inevitable people problems. My heart hurts for them. As I have devoted my prayer time to rallying the troops and encouraging others. I know that there are many other people out there who are tired, weary of well doing, and in the midst of the tragic chaos of the world wondering, “What’s the point?”
“Don’t be misled-you cannot mock the justice of God.” You can live on purpose or you can live on pretense. You were created with purpose. God wrote out every day of your life and provided everything needed to live a successful, prosperous and godly life. The rest is up to us. You must sow and reap, or plant and harvest to see the fruits of your labor. You decide the field of choice. Will it be the world or the Kingdom of God? Those who choose to sow in God’s Spirit will reap the Fruit of His Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. All admirable and cooperative traits that will bless our everyday life will pleasing the Lord and adding to His Kingdom. Farming is work. It is hard work. With a whole lot of waiting mixed in.
Rye grass is a type of grass favored because it grows quickly. It is primarily used in months when grass typically might die out like fall/spring. Rye grass is used mostly for its immediate gratification as it tends to sprout very quickly and people like that. Many times it is mixed with other more hearty grass seed as a filler to feed the soil and establish the new grass coming in. This world likes those things that are fast and easy. We like things that are pretty, shiny and new. But when it comes time to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty, it’s a different story. How about this? Moving? Try to find help getting from one place to the other, suddenly everyone you know is busy or out of town. Right? Come on be honest. Every street corner usually contains a convenience store, fast food and a 24-hour pharmacy. There really isn’t much you cannot get from one of those three places and get it in a hurry. We are not conditioned for longevity in our society. Jesus promised those who endure to the end will be saved. Lord, I want to endure. I want to make it to the end. I want what you promised. Help me, Jesus. I am tired. I am weary. I am treading with my neck just above the surface. I don’t want to give up but man, it looks good right now. “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” But Lord, I am ready now.
Matthew 5:3-12 (NLT)
“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”
God blesses those who are poor because they will realize their need for Him and this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His Glorious Riches which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19) You will never know the Portion of God without poverty of some sort whether physical, financial or spiritual. God blesses those who mourn with comfort. It is only then that we experience the freedom of True Worship as our soul is set free. It is total brokenness that we can finally say, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!” (Psalm 30:11-12) God blesses those who are humble for they will inherit the whole earth. Humility comes at the sacrifice of pride. Pride is a strong opponent who will fight you to the finish but those who all the Spirit to take over will win it all. Not just entrance into the Kingdom, but victory in the world. If we can truly humble ourselves, surrendering our life to Jesus Christ, He will lift us up. (James 4:10) No more pawing and clawing our way, but He will pick us up and place us there from our humbled state. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be satisfied. Jesus came to give us a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10) To raise our standard of living to His Glorious Standard, but do we want it. (Romans 3:23) Those who hunger and thirst to maintain peace with God will attempt to do His Will every day. It will be a struggle but well worth it when they are content lacking no good thing. God blesses those who are merciful with access to the new mercy that He gives us in each day. (Lamentations 3:22-23) Mercy must be extended beyond ourselves to the outermost parts of the world. God blesses those who hearts are pure. They will see God. Pure hearts. Integrity and character in all things. Striving to be in right standing with the Lord in spite of ourselves. God blesses those who work for peace. They will be called the Children of God. The Armor of God calls us to put peace on our feet and walk in it. (Ephesians 6:15) When we do this the God of Peace crushes Satan beneath them. (Romans 16:20) God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right. The Kingdom of God belongs to them. Are you being persecuted for doing what is right or for being a hypocrite? It is hard to tell for some people in the church today. My boss recently told me that he doesn’t like to talk about the Lord with most Christians because of their arrogant attitude and contradictory lives. They are judgmental like they don’t need God’s Grace. I wish he was the first person to tell me that but he is not. Christians telling other people how to live and all the religious traditions they must adhere to are not relaying the Good News. It must always come wrapped in love, grace and mercy. Kindness and goodness are much better leaders than harsh condemnation. Finally, God blesses those who are mocked and lied about as His Followers – Heaven awaits them. None of this sounds easy, it’s not. To choose to live at peace with God, following Jesus and filled with the Spirit immediately creates conflict and contradiction with the world. If you are doing it right, it will only intensify.
I also noticed something as a side note. When I was typing the Beatitudes scripture, before each “for” is a comma. I began to take them out as they didn’t seem to be proper punctuation at least to me. The Holy Spirit stopped me and told me to put them back. A comma creates a pause. Waiting is always going to be attaining the Plan of God and His Prosperity of our mind, soul and body. He is a Perfect God who has a Perfect Plan and will not abort it just so you can be comfortable. He wants only the best for us so we are most definitely going to have to wait.
Romans 5:1-5 (NLT)
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
We have a hope that will not lead to disappointment. Do you believe it today? Do you believe that God will give you all that He has promised in His Word? Any good soldier will tell you that you don’t enter the company to fight one battle but rather to win every war. You are committed and commissioned to protect and guard your country against all assaults and sieges. It is willingness to lay down your life for the cause. What about Jesus? Are you willing to lay down your life, your comfort, yourself, your goals, dreams and aspirations for something you cannot see that is more than you could even think to ask for? Are you willing to endure the mocking, cruel and ostracizing world just to see His Word come to pass? The biggest challenge is humility because no one wants to look like a fool and most of the time we do…right before the Lord gives us victory.
To build endurance, there will be days and hours that we must be drained of all of our strength and power to change the situation so we can see the Lord. It is delineated in the Beatitudes. We must feel the hunger, thirst, desire and sometimes even pain to see where we end and the Lord begins. I will not lie. It is a dark and lonely place the day one contemplates quitting. I have been there many times. It is that tired, helpless and broken place that I find time and time again, His Grace is sufficient for me. In my absolute and total weakness, His Power has become my total and complete strength. We are given the illusion that winning a race means running across the finish line, arms held high with a crowd cheering us on. But sometimes in our quiet time, prayer closet or the end of our rope, it is crawling until we can just get one hand across that line maybe even a few fingers. That is when Jesus meets us right there, where we left it all on the field, and lifts us up! We become stronger. We are empowered. We become life changers because we are now changed. I know what I believe. It has been engrained in me through this painstaking process of Romans 5. I wouldn’t trade it for the world or anything it. God is good. His Word is true. It is worth waiting on. No one…can change my mind. I know the God who I serve.
I Peter 4:12-13 (NLT)
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
Good soldier of the Lord, do not give up. Do not be weary. If you are come to Jesus, bring Him every worry, care, stress, or anxious thought and LEAVE IT THERE. Let Him give you rest. I was talking to a friend last night trying to offer some encouragement. The Lord invites those who are tired and weary. He doesn’t invite quitters. The only way you will lose as I see it is to give up. If you are willing to just give it one more day, hour or minute, God will give you the grace and power to get through it. You cannot be surprised by what is going on around you oh faithful follower. For such fiery trials are reserved for the faithful, we cry out for more faith and confident hope in worship – where do you think it comes from? It is through each one that the true substance of faith becomes real – its called hope. You have great potential, purpose and power in Christ. There is wonderful joy awaiting those who decide to today to take one step closer to Jesus even when it hurts. His Glory will be revealed to the world one day. You can be part of that revival if you choose not to give up! This message is not for everyone. Not everyone is willing to lay down their life and live fully committed to following Jesus Christ. I pray that is not you today. I have been through the fire. I have been through the flood. I have given up and gotten up too many times to count. I can only testify for me, the one who I know best, hope has never disappointed me. The Lord has always provided. His Word has come true. His Power has come in my weakness. There is no turning back for me. I hope you feel that way, too! Worthy is the Lamb!
2 Timothy 2:1-10 (NLT)
Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others. Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. Always remember that Jesus Christ, a descendant of King David, was raised from the dead. This is the Good News I preach. And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.