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The Principle of Sowing and Reaping

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Life Principle 6

You reap what you sow, more than you sow, and later than you sow.

Judges 2:1–4

Today is the father of tomorrow.

What we are today is the result of what we have been thinking and the way we have lived in the past. Those who act wisely today will have wisdom in the future to make wise decisions. The same is true when we come to the subject of finances. Those who save wisely today will have plenty tomorrow. Those who spend everything they have today will have little or nothing in the future. It is a shortsighted person who thinks only of the now, doing as little as possible, for on payday he will have no way to avoid the poor quality and small quantity of his rewards. The nation of Israel had to learn this in a very personal way. Their waywardness and failure to do what God instructed them to do often placed them in a position where they would not have His blessings.

The Lord gives principles in Scripture to serve as warnings and as an encouragement. His Word states, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). This is an unalterable law that affects everyone in every area of life, family, work, and pleasure.

Every farmer understands the meaning of this principle: We reap what we sow, more than we sow, and later than we sow. Let’s look at each part of the principle to make sure we understand its full implications.

1. The principle applies to everyone, both Christians and non-Christians.

This principle is irrevocable; there is no escape, either for the believer or for the unbeliever. It is a law of life.

Did you notice how Galatians 6:7 begins? It says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.” Herein lies the root cause of the careless and indulgent lifestyle of many people. They are deceived. They either do not believe the truth, or they think they will somehow be the exceptions to God’s laws.

To mock God is to turn up one’s nose at Him, to hope to outwit Him—a foolish thought, as 2 Corinthians 5:10 reveals: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”

If you were required to appear before the judgment seat of Christ in the next five minutes, what kind of crops would you have to show?

The Principle of Sowing and Reaping

2. We reap what we sow.

The fact that we reap what we sow is good news for those who sow good habits, but a frightening thought for those currently involved in ungodly activities such as promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, neglect of family, or mistreatment of others in order to climb the ladder of success. We cannot sow crabgrass and expect to reap pineapples. We cannot sow disobedience to God and expect to reap His blessing. What we sow, we reap. Let us not deceive ourselves: We will reap the harvest of our lives.

3. We reap more than we sow.

Why do farmers plant their seed? Because they expect to harvest a great deal more than they sow. A single seed that sprouts can yield dozens, scores, even hundreds of seeds. It is the same way with both sin and righteousness—a small decision to do either good or bad reaps a much bigger crop, for either joy or sorrow.

Jesus used the picture of a sprouting seed to show that when we allow God’s Word to produce good things in us, the results multiply: “The one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” (Matt. 13:23). On the other side of the ledger, the prophet Hosea describes what awaits those who choose to sow seeds of wickedness: “They sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind” (Hos. 8:7).

4. We reap later than we sow.

Some are deceived because their present seed does not appear to be producing an immediate crop. So they continue down their course, mistakenly believing that there will never be a harvest. But unlike the crops of the field, which get harvested at approximately the same time each year, there is no regular timetable for the harvest of life. Some crops we reap quickly; others take a long time. But do not be deceived—their season will come. And by going the second mile now and giving more than is required, we will reap rich dividends later.

“For whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” What a comforting and assuring thought to those who faithfully labor under difficult circumstances. Faithfulness in such situations will produce a rich harvest in the future, for our heavenly Father always keeps His promises.

Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILINGEYES2 11/23/2014 9:32AM

    Words of wisdom. Too often people sowing good are impatient or those sowing bad think there are no consequences for their actions. Thanks for the reminder.

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PICKIE98 11/23/2014 6:03AM

    Farmers are the biggest gamblers on the planet. The "whales" of business. Who has more faith than a farmer as far as their livelihood goes?

A good and smart farmer has faith that HE will lead them into a good crop. God gives us free will and a brain. He also steps back and lets us choose, never letting us fall too far. What a comfort.

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NUTINLOOKSLIKE 11/22/2014 7:37PM

    Good points! This topic keeps coming up LOL

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The Unreasonable Will of God

Friday, November 21, 2014

Life Principle 5

God does not require us to understand His will, just obey it, even if it seems unreasonable.

Joshua 3:8

Do you often find yourself wondering why God doesn’t answer your prayers or why, despite all your best efforts, the circumstances of your life still don’t work out? The answer could lie in your level of obedience to the Lord. Or waiting may be the result of God wanting you to be still, trust Him, and watch for His cue to move forward.

Any area of disobedience needs to be addressed. Sin prevents us from experiencing His best. Perhaps God has asked something of you, and in response, you have either ignored His words or done only part of what He asked. True obedience to God means doing what He says, when He says it, how He says it should be done, and as long as He says to do it—regardless of whether or not you understand the reasons for it—until what He says is accomplished.

Before you try to make a list of everything God has ever asked you to do or not do, consider this: Is there one particular area of your life in which you struggle to obey the Lord? As you read Scripture, does He continually bring a specific sin to mind? When you go to Him in prayer, does the same issue surface repeatedly? If the Lord is bringing something to your mind right now, consider this: It could be that you have been living in the same uncomfortable situation for years because at some point, you chose to do things your way instead of God’s way.

The Unreasonable Will of God

Following His will instead of your own can make a tremendous difference in your life, which is why you must make obedience to Him your top priority. But to do so, you need to understand why submission plays such an important role in your relationship with God.

An excellent biblical example to illustrate the point is Noah—a man who obeyed God, even when what the Lord asked him to do didn’t seem to make much sense. God called this man to build an enormous ark—something that seemed both impossible and illogical—and Noah complied without asking questions (Gen. 6–9).

Will it always be popular to obey God? No. Will people criticize you? Probably. Will they think you do some ridiculous things? No doubt. Will they laugh at you? Yes. But think about this: Noah chose to walk with God in the midst of a corrupt society. In fact, it had grown so wicked that God determined to destroy every living human being on the face of this earth, with the exception of one family—Noah’s. We can only imagine what those evil people must have said to Noah as they watched him day after day. But soon after the raindrops started falling, all mocking stopped.

Noah obeyed God despite what other people thought of him, and the Lord spared him from the great flood that covered the earth. If he had listened to his critics, Noah would not have built the ark, and he would have been swept away with everyone else. Instead, he chose to obey God, regardless of any misgivings he might have had.

When we choose the path of obedience, we must be prepared for the negative responses we will undoubtedly receive, knowing that God has an excellent reason for His command and will help us in extraordinary ways. We must never focus on the things or the people who try to distract us from doing God’s will. The Holy Spirit enables us to obey every one of God’s commandments and always directs us in the very best way possible. Therefore, whatever He requires of us—whether it be painful or joyful, profitable or costly, reasonable or peculiar—our heavenly Father will give us the ability and strength to be faithful, regardless of what others think or how our circumstances appear.

Obedience must be a priority in every believer’s life. It is the only way you will ever become the person God wants you to be and the only way you will ever achieve the things in life that He has so wonderfully prepared for you. It is the Holy Spirit who enables you to walk obediently before the Lord in His strength and His power.

So choose to obey Him, even if you don’t understand why He asks you to do something. Have faith that His instructions are for your good (Jer. 29:11). That way, you can become the person He wants you to be, do the work He desires of you, bear the fruit He enables you to bear, and receive all the blessings He has prepared for you.

Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSPENCER7 11/21/2014 11:37PM

    I enjoy watching Dr. Stanley on Sundays and reading the In Touch magazine devotions daily. I also like to watch and listen to Joel Osteen. Two different styles of preaching, but both effective.

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ALLENJOSEPH 11/21/2014 8:20PM

    A lot of food for thought of your lovely blog. It's an abundance of Spiritual Food!
Thank you for this beautiful blog, and the time you took to write it.
May God bless .

emoticon Janis

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JANEGIBE 11/21/2014 7:51PM

    Good Blog... Never look back but choose to go forward.. He has great plans and as human nature.. We overlook Blessings that are right in front of us.. Great reminder to all of us.. In His Love and Grace Just Me Jane

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Energized by His Presence

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Life Principle 4

The awareness of God’s presence energizes us for our work.

Deuteronomy 20:1

How can you get the most out of your work? Here are three suggestions.

1. View yourself as a servant.

Jesus came to earth not to be served, but to serve—and He instructed us to adopt the same attitude (Matt. 20:25–28). Paul wrote, “Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord” (Col. 3:22).

If Paul told slaves to do their work heartily (and they received no paycheck), then what about the rest of us who do get paid? “Well, they don’t pay me nearly enough,” you may say. Okay, perhaps you are not paid adequately—but taking longer lunch hours, clocking out early, or coming in late is not the way to even things out. If you are compensated for eight hours, you need to give eight full hours. Why? Because you are a servant of God, and as His representative, you have a responsibility to do good work.

Besides, the best pathway to promotion is servanthood. Whoever wants to be a leader must adopt an attitude of humility (Mark 9:35). A prideful employee is seldom seen as a candidate for promotion. Instead, it is the humble, godly worker who diligently labors that management sees as leadership material. Never doubt the impact of your attitude on everyone around you—the boss included!

But who’s your real employer? That leads us to our second suggestion.

2. Realize that you work for the Lord Himself.

Your employer exercises supervisory authority over you, but Jesus Christ is your Lord. You work for Him: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men” (Col. 3:23).

If you are a Christian, Jesus Christ is the supervisor at your place of work—and He not only watches you from afar, He’s right there with you. You and I need to give a full day’s labor, regardless of whether we think management is fair. Jesus is ultimately the One we serve, and He’s always on site. You and I should do our very best because the Holy Spirit is present, equipping, and energizing us.

Energized by His Presence

We make a terrible mistake by segmenting life. We may think that Monday through Friday we go to work, Saturday we play, and Sunday we worship. God has not designed life that way. If Jesus Christ is our Savior, we can’t exclude Him from any part of life. It isn’t right to teach a Sunday school class with everything we have, then meander into work the rest of the week—we must honor and glorify Him in everything we do. It eliminates the temptation of doing our work merely to be seen by men when we commit ourselves wholeheartedly to Jesus (Matt. 6:24).

Do I mean that your mundane job is also the Lord’s work? Yes! Ministry is not just what you do at church. You worship God every day of the week—on Sunday, you do so in church; on Monday through Friday, you show your devotion to Him by doing a good job at work. Your exalted status as a child of God dignifies your labor, and your office or place of employment should be better off because you are there.

You serve the Lord Jesus Christ (Col. 3:24). Do you have a good testimony in the marketplace for Him? Are you one of your company’s most faithful employees because you serve God? Does your attitude reflect the joy you have in considering Him the real CEO?

3. Realize your pay comes both now and hereafter.

Paul wrote, “From the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance” (Col. 3:24). Of course, you must get paid now to take care of your household expenses. But if you have done your very best and given all you have, you will never really get paid all you are worth. The wonderful thing to remember is this: you may get insufficient wages here, but you will get rewarded beyond measure in heaven. God will much more than equalize everything in the Judgment (1 Cor. 3:11–15; 2 Cor. 5:9, 10; Eph. 6:7, 8), and He will certainly reward you justly.

Do you see yourself as a servant? Do you consider Him your real Boss and work in a manner honoring to the Lord, no matter how menial or boring your job might seem? Have you realized that you have a tremendous reward coming later for faithful labor performed now? If so, you are getting the most out of your work.

Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLORY- 11/22/2014 7:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KIM22211 11/20/2014 10:42PM

    great blog! thanks!

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RHOOK20047 11/20/2014 7:13PM

    Being a Servant Leader was the focus of the conference I attended last week. It was awesome. This is an affirmation of what I learned... Have a great rest of the day, and a great weekend and thanks for being part of this team!


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JANEGIBE 11/20/2014 5:24PM

    Servant.. and getting ready to watch a movie.. Good blog Sweetie.. I am amazed you are on the ball.. I guess the switch got you going... Just Me Love You emoticon

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SINGINGLADY47 11/20/2014 5:20PM

    emoticon my sister. Thank you. I need to remember this one everyday. Mama Judy

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LILORITA 11/20/2014 2:58PM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing!

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NUTINLOOKSLIKE 11/20/2014 1:23PM

    emoticon for sharing!

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ALICEART2010 11/20/2014 1:09PM

    Charles Stanley is great! Thank you!

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Our Anchor in Times of Storm

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Life Principle 3

God’s Word is an immovable anchor in times of storm.

Numbers 23:19

The words of King Darius echoed through Daniel’s mind as servants lowered him into the lion’s den. “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you” (Dan. 6:16). Workers then laid a heavy stone over the opening to the underground chamber.

Even after assessing his dire situation, Daniel did not waver in his faith. The next morning, King Darius found Daniel untouched and proclaiming, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me” (Dan. 6:21-22).

How did Daniel survive? Were the lions not hungry? Historians tell us animals used for such planned executions went unfed for days in an effort to ensure the death of the accused. But Daniel’s fate was never in the hands of men. His life belonged to God, and therein lies the victory. Daniel survived by placing his trust in God and his faith in the Lord’s promises.

Each of us can remember times when we wished we had a sure word from God—something we could cling to when doubts and fears arose. God knows when we need encouragement, guidance, and hope. This is why He provides specific promises in His Word, that we might understand His nature and trust Him. In emotionally devastating times, God’s promises are essential to our spiritual welfare.

His Word is therefore a compass, a guide, and an instruction book to life. Just as we use instruction manuals at work or in the kitchen, we are to use God’s Word as our resource for wisdom and truth. No one would think of baking a cake without a recipe, nor would a mechanic rebuild a car engine without a manual.

Some of God’s promises are conditional, but we can stand in faith on all of them. It’s not a matter of naming and claiming a promise; however, promises should be coupled with prayer and an earnestness to know God’s will for our lives. While God wants each of us to experience His best, He also wants us to know and enjoy His presence in a personal way that best expresses His sufficiency. Claiming a promise without leadership from His Holy Spirit will lead to disappointment, disillusionment, and frustration.

Our Anchor in Times of Storm

At times God brings a specific Scripture to mind that ministers His hope and reassurance to our hearts. At other times, He challenges us to pray and seek His wisdom on a certain issue. When we look to God in faith, He will lead us according to His will. Of course, this may not happen overnight. Many times God wants us to meditate on a certain Scripture over a period of time before He gives His guidance.

When King David sought God’s heart regarding his desire to build the temple, the Bible says: “Then David the king went in and sat before the Lord” (2 Sam. 7:18). David didn’t order his men to begin construction. He waited for God’s leadership—and it was a good thing he did because the Lord wanted David’s son Solomon to do the job instead.

God honored David’s attitude, however, and gave him a wonderful promise: “Your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me forever; your throne shall be established forever” (2 Sam. 7:16). The Lord always honors our desire to seek His guidance and wisdom. If we will come to God expecting Him to answer, He will never disappoint us.

In Daniel’s day, God spoke through visions, dreams, and sometimes audibly. Today, He speaks primarily through His Word, since He never wants us involved in anything that contradicts Scripture. Any verse can be taken out of context and twisted. But if we are true to God’s Word and understand Scripture within its context, then we will realize how to apply His principles and promises to our lives—and find strength to cling to the Lord in the most difficult situations. Instead of being emotionally blown one way and then another, we learn to stand firm in our commitment and trust in Christ.

Therefore, consider God’s promises your spiritual anchors. Once you learn to follow Him, pursue His lead wherever He goes because He never fails to keep His promises. Rather, He is teaching you to depend upon Him through meditating on His Word and listening for His voice.

Are you willing to patiently wait for Him to fulfill everything He has promised you and rescue you as He did Daniel? Never try putting God on your time schedule. Instead, cling to Him, anchor your heart to His Word, and leave room for Him to bring everything together according to His plan and timing.

You’ll be glad you did.

Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEGIBE 11/20/2014 5:33PM

    I missed this one.. Really good.. I am so Proud of you.. Love Ya.. Just Me

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RHOOK20047 11/20/2014 11:19AM

    Great reflection, I needed this today! Have a great day and a great weekend, and thanks for being part of this team!


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GARDENCHRIS 11/19/2014 9:18PM

    yes He is!

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NUTINLOOKSLIKE 11/19/2014 9:00PM

    Quite often It's INCREDIBLY difficult for me to remember that God's time is not always our time, and His plan is not always our plan. Thanks for the reminder! :)

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A Life of Obedience

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Life Principle 2

Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.

Exodus 19:5

Obedience can be a challenge, especially when we feel tempted to believe that we stand to lose more through our obedience than we might gain. However, obeying God is essential to pleasing Him—not just in times of temptation, but at all times.

When God commands us to obey Him, He is giving us a principle by which to live. He is also setting a framework around our lives that forms a hedge of protection from evil.

Can you remember the last time you felt tempted to do the opposite of what you knew God desired for you to do? Most likely, a struggle erupted within your heart. The questions arose: Will obeying God cost me more than disobeying Him? Can I experience greater happiness by committing this sin than I would by obeying God?

When we choose to obey God, we take the way of wisdom. His promises of blessing for obedience far outweigh any possible consequences. He asks us to submit ourselves to Him and leave whatever happens to His loving care.

As we grow in our walks with the Lord, obedience becomes the avenue by which we know Him better. When we obey Him, He pulls us closer to Himself and teaches us more about His precepts and His love.

A Life of Obedience

Disobedience sends a message to the Lord, declaring that we know better than He does when it comes to our lives and the circumstances surrounding them.

God loves us and is committed to us. He commands our obedience, not because He is a strict taskmaster, but because He knows the devastating effects disobedience and sin will have on our lives.

Satan, however, has another goal in mind. He seeks to tempt believers to disobey God, usually by telling them the Lord’s promises cannot be trusted and that we can enjoy life more if we ignore His commands.

Remember, disobedience always has fierce repercussions—feelings of guilt, shame, and worthlessness, broken lives, destroyed marriages, and bitter disputes, among them. While sin can never change God’s eternal love for His children, it certainly disrupts our fellowship with the Savior and alienates us from His blessings. In times of disobedience, we become spiritually weak and unable to discern right from wrong. We sink deeper into sin’s grasp and find it impossible to reverse our sinfulness on our own.

As we apply the following principles to our lives, we will begin to obey God with confidence and joy, knowing that He can be fully trusted to keep all of His promises:
•Trust God with your life and all that concerns you.

There is no way to go wrong if you place your hope and trust in God. He created you and He loves you with an eternal love. Therefore, He will always lead you in the very best way possible.
•Wait on the Lord for an answer to your problem or situation.

When in doubt, refuse to move ahead unless you know God is leading you.
•Meditate on God’s Word.

When you saturate your mind with the Word of God, you gain His viewpoint. When a temptation comes, you will know right from wrong and can act accordingly.
•Listen to the Holy Spirit.

God continues to speak to His people today. He speaks to us through His Word, the Holy Spirit, and through the words of a pastor or trusted Christian friend. We become sensitive to the Spirit of God by spending time with Him—praying and studying the principles in Scripture.
•Be willing to wait or walk away when the way before you is unclear.

If you desire to please God above all others, obedience to Him will require you to remain firm. If you do not sense clear guidance in your situation, ask God to confirm His will to you in His Word. He will never contradict Scripture. His will for your life always lines up perfectly with what the Bible says.
•Be willing to endure conflict.

When the nation of Israel entered the Promised Land at God’s direction, she had to face strong enemy opposition. God rarely empties our lives of trouble and conflict. If He did, we would not have any reason to depend upon Him. He allows enough difficulty to keep us turned toward Him.
•Leave the consequences to God.

Obedience may not be easy—you may receive criticism from others or face fierce obstacles and opposition—but it will always put you in a favorable position before God. He will take care of all that concerns you. Stay on the path of obedience and leave the rest to Him.

Adapted from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, © 2009.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUTINLOOKSLIKE 11/18/2014 6:11PM


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LACEYKYLE 11/18/2014 4:25PM

    emoticon Jill! Great teaching about obedience. I know I needed to read that!

emoticon and AMEN!!



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SINGINGLADY47 11/18/2014 12:14PM

    I love this. If we would just obey his will and let him have his way with our lives, we will not go wrong. Trust and obey. Thank you for posting these truths. Hugs, Mama Judy

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