Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Daily Encouragement (01/28/14) "The Seeds That We Plant"

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wisconsin winter scene (photo by GM)
Today's photo was taken by my cousin Georgia, who lives in Wisconsin.
Click here for a larger view along with today's Scripture verse.

"The Seeds That We Plant"

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"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10,11).

We are having another blast of cold arctic weather today with temperatures in the single digits as we begin our day with a wind chill way below zero. We do have a light layer of snow remaining on the ground which is a blessing not only for its appearance but also for its God-ordained function.

Lancaster County farm snowscapeFarmers appreciate the special characteristics of snow cover which is valuable for two reasons according to my farmer friend, Galen. The snow soaks in better when it slowly warms up, saturating the fields rather than just running off and it provides insulative characteristics protecting the vulnerable cover crops that grow through the winter. I also read that snow is a poor man's fertilizer since it contains several nutrients essential for plant growth such as nitrogen.* Whatever attitude you might have about snow, good or bad, consider the blessing snow is to farmers!

The Holy Scripture acknowledges this in our daily text which in turn illustrates the power of God's Word:
"As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater..." Here we have an absolutely scientifically observable truth. Without the moisture provided by rain and snow we have disastrous consequences to life. Just consider the effects of a prolonged drought.

As God works in the physical realm to provide for our physical needs, He also works in the spiritual realm to provide for our spiritual needs. "So is My word that goes out from My mouth."

Isaiah 55:11We may rightly consider this to mean those dramatic times in history when God has spoken audibly or through a faithful minister of the Gospel proclaiming God's Word. But as we quote the Scriptures and live by its teaching each of us proclaims His Word of Truth. Many times this happens in brief, barely discernible encounters but when the content of our proclamation includes His Word we have a promise that, "It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

We're assured by this passage that when we speak the Word of God into our own life or that of others it will bring about truth and transformation. It will achieve the purpose for which God sent it and yet it seems there are many times that we don't see fruit from our spiritual labor.

I (Brooksyne)
visited with a Christian friend over the weekend who's about the same age as me. I see Margie every week in one of the companies we serve as chaplains and we often talk about the things of the Lord.She gave her life to Jesus about four years ago. In our conversation I mentioned that in a couple of the companies I serve there are a number of young women and teenage girls who have no spiritual interest but rather choose to live for the world. Their shattered lives are testimony to the fact. They show little interest in what I have to offer as their chaplain.

It's a major challenge for me to connect with them, as I would like, so I try to befriend them and assure them I'm available (as they recognize their need). Margie said (to the effect), "I was there 30 years ago and had the same attitude as those girls. My neighbors often spoke truth to me and raised their families to honor God, but I couldn't embrace the light they offered and rejected the message these godly people tried to convey. As I look back I recognize the many seeds they planted which remained with me and had a great influence on my decision to follow Jesus all these years later."

Quote by Robert Louis StevensonLater that afternoon we visited a secular institution where the walls were colorfully painted with art work. Among the paintings were many inspirational quotes from famous poets and others who had overcome great odds such as Helen Keller who was blind and deaf. As I was taking it all in my eyes rested upon this quote, "Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant." It filled my heart with peace concerning the conversation I'd had with Margie just hours earlier regarding those who reject the truth we seek to bring to their lives.

Consider the many brief encounters that have shaped your life or in which you have impacted another soul. Of course, many of these you cannot even recall at this time. Those who have spoken a word of grace and truth into your heart by sharing a Scripture with you made a difference according to God's Word. "It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."

We are often the vessels that God uses to communicate His truth. A foundational part of our impact on others should be the Word of God and God promises His Word will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it. Remember today as you live your life for Christ and faithfully share His Word that even brief encounters make a difference!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Thankful manDaily prayer: Father, it is with love that You teach us through the Word that we are not to be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is in our transformation that we finally see clearly the spiritual forces of evil that seek to devastate our lives and destroy us for all of eternity. But now the evil one's masquerade is over and the light of truth is revealed. Your Word accomplishes that which You desire and achieves the purpose for which You sent it, to set us free us from our sins, to teach us the way to live, to make us bud and flourish, even as You do the plant life on earth. Keep us on the straight and narrow and spur us on to bring as many as possible along with us as we journey onward toward our eternal home. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Isaiah 55:11,12 - So Shall My Word Be"
  Video  Musicians not specified

"I Will Sing of My Redeemer"  Video  Homecoming singers

"I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"  Video 
Homecoming singers

* Blanket of snow is a poor man's fertilizer

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Personal Mission Statement "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
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