Sunday, August 24, 2008

Denn Er Wird Dein Schicksal

What do you put in your mind on a regular basis? What do you sow to?

Paul said, "…whatever a man sows, that he will also reap" (Gal. 6:7). Herr Rainer Osterloh from Celle, Germany sent us this a couple days ago and I thought I'd pass it along to you so you could be blessed as well (Danke Rainer):

Achte auf Deine Gedanken,
denn sie werden Deine Worte.
Achte auf Deine Worte,
denn sie werden Deine Handlungen.
Achte auf Deine Handlungen,
denn sie werden Deine Gewohnheiten.
Achte auf Deine Gewohnheiten,
Denn sie werden Dein Charakter.
Achte auf Deinen Charakter,
denn er wird Dein Schicksal.

Like me, maybe you've heard that before in English…

Sow a thought, reap a word. Sow a word, reap a deed. Sow a deed, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny. —Anon.

…but I really like how he put it in his mother tongue which goes: "Pay attention to your… for they will become your…" It seems like a stronger command that way. This is so important, for the battle is for the mind today. It's imperative that we take control of the thoughts that go into our minds, for we need no destructive habits forming.

Pete said, "Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind…" (1 Pet. 1:13). Paul exclaimed, "..we have the mind of Christ" (1 Cor. 2:16).

Paul put it this way to Christians, "Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good…" (Gal. 6:7-10, nlt).

We can only take others as far as we ourselves have come. We can only export what we've first imported …for it is written, "The hardworking farmer must be first to partake of the crops" (2 Tim. 2:6). We could be too passive if we choose, but why be like that when there are so many people around us who are really hungry spiritually? So many people are drinking from the wrong well and they will indeed thirst again. The Bible encourages us not to be lax or inert saying, "He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap" (Eccl. 11:4). Sowing the seed of God's Word is important (first in ourselves and then into other's lives) …for more than mere decisions inside some church building. We can sow His seed everywhere we go--that's never out of season!

Toiling through the changing seasons in the sunshine and the rain,

Zealous sowing with compassion yields a wealth of golden grain. —Anon.

When it comes to tellin' unbelievers the Good News, I myself could also act like some uber-cautious tentative farmer who tends to keep his eye on the weather conditions... you know, looking for the perfect day to plant crops. Yes, as a Christian, I could become lazy in sowing to the Spirit instead of obeying His voice. That's so wrong... there's no time for in trepidation or excuses.

On a farm, the season of harvesting could quickly pass right by and there's the farmer who has sown nothing...empty handed—how sad! That opportunity is gone, and the harvest can be lost (see Eccl. 11:4). I could choose to remain fearful of the potential listener's response and then wonder, "Is this person even ready to listen to the Gospel? Is this the time to tell them?" Hey, who can tell what's going on in their mind or heart unless we try to talk with them? Some people might be feeling depressed and lonely..dwelling in darkness yet longing for someone to come along and lead them into the light.

We must recognize that there's limited time for all of us sow and reap. Remember the Ethiopian eunuch sitting in his royal limo of sorts. He could have passed right by if Phil was twiteling his thumbs too long. That guy in his luxury chariot seemed to have it all together like a lot of up-and-outers that I know (see Acts 8:27) but he was ready. This eunuch enjoyed much prestige, power and esteem I'm sure, yet inwardly he felt empty and he was out searching for the truth. He became ready because the Holy Spirit (in a "para experience") made him totally ready. He was multitasking; traveling and reading Isaiah's clear promise of the suffering Savior. He was trying to come to understand those words. But then Philip suddenly showed up and took the opportunity to explain to this man the Message about Jesus (v.35) and God's salvation plan. Phil obeyed the Spirit and went to him. Ask God to use you this week like that you sow to the truth in love and keep your eyes open watching for people who are open and willing.

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