Harvest of Blessing

Galatians 6:9   (NLT)   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.

We want to fight the good fight; we want to finish the race; we want to keep the faith. Our call is to persevere until the end. We do what’s good, what’s right, and what’s godly. We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. Christian life isn’t Galatians 6.9 - Harvest of Blessingalways easy; there are hard times. But we are expected to never tire doing what is good. No matter how long and hard our struggles are, they’re still very short and worth bearing in the light of the blissful and glorious eternity awaiting us.  For those who persevere, God’s word promises a harvest of blessing—now, and infinitely more so in eternity.

We can’t deny the reality of the principle of sowing and reaping; it is explicitly and clearly taught in God’s Word. The age of grace neither terminates nor prohibits God’s blessings and rewards as fruits of our labor. The principle of sowing and reaping works perfectly with the principle of grace. The harvest is multiplied times more than the amount planted. That is a good picture of God’s grace.

God’s Word encouraging us to continue doing good isn’t to give us a hard time; it is God positioning us under the blessings of an open heaven. Others don’t accept this because they see how it leads dangerously to boasting about our own efforts. We’re emphatically taught in the Scriptures how our salvation is by God’s grace through our response of faith; it’s not a result of works, or else we’ll be boasting about our own righteousness. We love that passage. We also love the fact that we’re created unto good works, and that God rewards us still. We guard our hearts against pride and self-righteousness; our hearts are already set; our boast is in the Lord. We don’t deny that. We also don’t deny the blessedness of planting the seed of good deeds.

We don’t get tired of doing good. And I pray we won’t. It’s wonderful to live under God’s blessings. To be blessed when we rise, blessed when we lie down, blessed in the city, blessed in our homes, blessed in the country, blessed when we drive, blessed when we work, blessed when we rest, blessed with our children, blessed with our spouses, blessed in our ministry, blessed in our businesses, blessed in our works, blessed in our endeavors, blessed in our relationships—we won’t and don’t get tired of those, rather, we enjoy them to the utmost.

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Kept From Trials

Revelation 3:10   (KJV)   10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Revelation 3.10 - Kept from Trials - 2The hour of temptation—the great time of testing will come, but we as God’s people need not worry or fear; God will protect us.

We’re not sure if this is a reference to the much debated Great Tribulation. Whether or not it is, we will still undergo this hour of temptation. Hearing such can naturally cause fear. The truth can be very daunting. Praise God, He gave us a very comforting promise–His much needed protection; He will keep us. He need not promise more. His protection is enough to carry us through no matter how horrible the events will be.

Dear Lord, You are a very powerful and present help at all times. You never leave us or forsake us. We’re comforted by the truth that whatever comes our way, no matter how difficult or scary they may be, You will be with us as our impenetrable shield. In You, we are and will always be safe.

Faith—All the Way

Hebrews 10:38   (KJV)   38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 10.38 - Faith - All the WayOur greatest pleasure is pleasing God. Praise God for faith with which we please Him. As people who are forgiven, our lives are characterized by faith; that’s our lifestyle. We understand that drawing back from the faith—falling from grace displeases Him. That’s the last thing we want to find ourselves in.

There are reasons others draw back. There’s the allure of sexual pleasures; there’s the pull of power; there’s the enticements of material accumulations. Some pursue riches and are shipwrecked. Some can’t stand the scorches of hardships unique to believers.

We persevere. Nothing compares to the glorious life of faith. It brings inexplicable miraculous exploits only God-empowered people experience; it also causes a lot of sufferings. Through all, we’ve learned to be content and to rejoice. Who can equal to such a life?

 

Too Good for the World

Hebrews 11:38   (KJV)   38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

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Believers who are persecuted and whose very lives are threatened that they have to lose their homes, leave their communities, and forced to leave life’s comforts willingly undergo such experiences not because they are not worthy of this world—that they are below the world’s standards. The converse is true; it’s the world that’s not worthy of them. That’s why they would rather suffer than compromise with the world.

There is the world; there is us. Our precious Lord Jesus makes it clear: there is no “unequally-yoked” marriage between the two. The world utterly hates us because we love our Lord. The world hated our Master; much more so will it hate His followers. No sweat. We’re not missing out on anything. We’ve been blessed with everything we need for life and godliness; our super-gracious heavenly Father gives us everything for our enjoyment.

Others can’t comprehend this. We live in ironies—or do we? Whatever we give up for our Lord, He returns to us—thirty, sixty, hundredfold, and with them, suffering. We have nothing, but we have everything. We live by faith in God that can move mountains, shut the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire, bring people back from the dead; it’s by that same faith in our God that we are tortured, cruelly mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawed, struck with the sword, beheaded, displaced, became fugitives. Ah, these are ironic in the world’s perception, but not with eyes of faith. We count all our earthly experiences for our Lord Jesus as honor and privilege; we see them working altogether for His sovereign purpose and for our best; we also see beyond all this bodily experiences–we see the glory awaiting. That’s why we don’t turn back.

 

To the Finish

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This is our prayer and declaration: we won’t draw back; we won’t turn away from God; that will be to our huge horrible disadvantage; perish the thought. We will persevere; we will endure to the end; we will enjoy the fullness of our salvation. God isn’t pleased with anyone who turns away; it’s our pleasure to please Him. He Himself promised not to leave us or forsake us. He is with us and will be with us throughout eternity.

We can count on His Word. No matter what the situation is, God doesn’t ever cower away. He doesn’t ever retreat. He fights our battles with us; many times, He even fights our battles for us. He climbs the mountains with us; He walks through the fire with us; He faces our challenges with us; goes through storms with us. He never took us this far just to leave us alone. He never taught us to fly just to let us fall. He’s with us for the long haul.

Yes, we face hardships, discouragements, and terrifying threats, but we hold on. All these trials are momentary and the rewards are unimaginable. God knows how to give good gifts to His children. He’s aware—He pays attention to everything we’re going through. There are temptations to give up, but we patiently wait. Our precious Lord Jesus is coming for sure, and He’s coming very soon. When He does, oh what a glorious day of rejoicing that will be. It will be worth it all-infinitely way more.