Harvest of Blessing

“Dear Brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. 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.” Galatians 6:1-10 NLT

When you read this passage what sticks out to you? Is it that we are all to help each other back on to God’s path when we are sinning? And while helping that we are not to fall into temptation as well? Is it that we share in each other’s burdens? Is it that none of us is too important to help another human being? Is it that focusing on helping others will keep us from trying to be better than anyone else? Is it that we will always harvest what we plant? Is it that we should not get tired of doing what is good? Is that by doing good we will reap the harvest of blessing?

What’s great about this passage is that it speaks to all of us. We are, each one, responsible for our own actions and for helping those around us and with an air of humility, knowing that we are not too important to help. Wouldn’t it be great if we went to one another asking for help when we get too close to our sin? Alcoholics do this when they get too close to having another drink. But I can’t think of any other group that is self-aware enough to say, “hey, I feel like sinning.” But wouldn’t it be wonderful if they did or if we could see when someone is about to sin.

Like, “ooh I see Jenny is thinking impure thoughts I better go see if she needs my help.” But that’s not exactly something you can see. You might be able to see, “oh wait a minute, Micheal looks like he is going to gossip, I better go stop him.” But really how much of our sins are visible? I don’t know about you, but I try to hide my sins. I mean it’s not like I walk around waiving the red flag that signals that I will be sinning soon. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was something like that, that would help us prevent sin.

It’s only when our sin becomes visible that we seek help. And sometimes our sin is so great that reaching the end of our rope or rock bottom is the only thing that makes us reach out to others. This is of course the perfect time to help others but wouldn’t it be great if we could prevent sin? I think this actually might be possible because when we help others, in the moment when they need us most, we open the door for them to need us again. We open the door to us needing them as well. Starting a relationship by helping each other is how we prevent sin in the future. The starting of the relationship is the planting. We are planting seeds of love, of compassion, of forgiveness, of trust, and like the author says, whatever we plant will grow to harvest.

Lord, please help us to be more aware. Help us to stop and look and listen to those around us and help our focus to be on each other and not just “getting the work done.” Lord, help us to be better Christians and better friends and better sisters and better brothers and better moms and better dads and better wives and better husbands and better cousins and better aunts and better uncles and better grandparents and better kids to all those around us, those we know and those who are unknown. Lord, help us to reap the harvest of blessing. We thank you Lord for spending time with us and we ask all these things in your loving name Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
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Shiny Leaves or Real Fruit

I was reading a devotion today inĀ Voices of the Faithful: Inspiring stories of courage from Christians serving around the world compiled by Kim P. Davis with introductions by Beth Moore. I bought the devotion at a Women of Faith Conference many moons ago. I had heard Beth Moore speak and I liked the way that she lived by her calling. She was/is called to work with women only and she doesn’t apologize for it. I like that strength of character.

So anyway, a while ago I was doing that series on God’s Faithfulness and I haven’t quite finished it yet but I will continue to write on that series I just want it to be more natural and not as forced.

Anyway I picked up this devotion merely for the title. It is a devotion throughout the year so I turned to today’s date to see what it had to say and I was surprised by the gem I found there.

The verse for the day was about harvest and the author went into what harvest means and how that relates to the work of ministry. What interested me was the exposition on Mark 11:13-14 and how from far away the fig tree looked good. Its leaves were shiny or showy but it didn’t produce any fruit. Then the author went on to ask a piercing question, “Are we abiding in Christ to produce real fruit, or are we producing showy leaves?” (128).

This question applies to both our own personal walk as well as what the church does. Do our programs produce shiny leaves or do they produce real fruit? Does size matter more than content?

Do we read controversial topics without real depth for our personal walk? Do we instead choose to focus on something that matters for us, that will in the end bring us closer to God?

Are we shiny or do we produce real fruit?

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