A Time to Flee

Matthew 10:23   (NLT)   When you are persecuted in one town, flee to the next. I tell you the truth, the Son of Man will return before you have reached all the towns of Israel.

There’s a time to stay, and there’s a time to flee. Protecting our lives, ensuring our safety isn’t wrong. It can be more fruitful, not just in self-protection or family-preservation, but even in fulfilling our mission.

Matthew 10.23 - A Time to FleeWe don’t need unnecessary or avoidable martyrdom—that’s a waste of life. Life is precious—even the physical and temporal. Although it’s far less valuable compared to our eternal spiritual existence, it is important nonetheless. That’s probably one of the reasons why self-preservation and survival is innate in each of us. That doesn’t change for us who have been born again—who have received and are assured of eternal life; we just have a much better and proper perspective of them.

Dear God and heavenly Father, Giver and Sustainer of life, we thank You so much for Your gift of life—both the temporal and the extremely more important eternal life. Please give us wisdom and discernment when a time comes for us to flee. But help us do so not in cowardice, but in obedience to your leading. Lead us to a mission-minded escape when it becomes necessary, and only when it’s necessary and more beneficial to our calling and mission. It’s not always easy to explain such action; there will always be those not open to reason. But we pray that if ever we flee, it’s because the persecution is real—not imagined. And as we go, lead us to better grounds where we can sow the seed of the Gospel, where it will have a greater yield and harvest—in Jesus’ Name, amen.

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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.

We Give Because We’re His

Numbers 31:54   (NLT)   So Moses and Eleazar the priest accepted the gifts from the generals and captains and brought the gold to the Tabernacle as a reminder to the Lord that the people of Israel belong to him.

Our giving to the Lord is one way of expressing our belongingness to Him. Not everyone who gives to God belongs to God. But giving is a beautiful gesture of gratefulness for the precious privilege of being invited to be and accepted as part of his family, as one of His children.

Numbers 31.54 - We Give Because We're HisThe truth is the Lord owns everything; He doesn’t need anything from us. What we give Him comes from Him anyway. It just appears like we’re giving. Still, we have a choice. We can choose to use all of God’s gifts for ourselves without giving or spending for His work and His Kingdom, but we choose to “give” back to Him. That’s the least we can do with the overflowing blessings He allows us to enjoy.

God gives us victory upon victory; it’s just appropriate that we give Him a portion of the spoils. I would be willing to give Him everything because of so many victories He gives us. He honors us tremendously; He values us very highly. He honors our words; He gave our words power of life in death. He honors us by entrusting us our fellowman, even His creation. He gives us access and allows us to live in His divine laws—principles that are often paradoxical to the world’s ways of doing things. The world would rather keep everything they get, would rather keep accumulating and hoarding. They would rather receive than give. But the Lord would rather have us give than receive; for Him, we’re more blessed that way. He would rather have us love people, not use, misuse, and abuse them. He would rather have us serve them than lord it over them.

Being His people carries incalculably huge amount of perks, blessings, and promises. We don’t operate only in the sphere of senses—of the material; we operate in the supernatural. We operate not by sight, not by feelings, not by senses alone, but by faith; we function in the supernatural world as well. When He asks us to give, it is not because He wants us lacking and with less; it’s because He wants to multiply what we have and fill us to overflowing. Giving to Him and to His work then is a huge honor, privilege, and blessing.

Giving and Receiving?

Luke 6:38   (KJV)   38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Clearly, giving and receiving, sowing and reaping are Scriptural principles. To remind ourselves again: our giving is motivated by love. We don’t give so we can receive. The Luke 6.38 - Giving and Receivingsowing part though? We don’t want to be hypocritical ever, but the truth though is: when farmers sow, it’s for the purpose of harvesting. I guess it’s not wrong to believe or anticipate harvest as long as love is our underlying motive in all we do.

Although this principle is often associated with material things, it goes way beyond that. This is true with other very important factors in Christian life. Because we believe it, it’s much easier to obey our precious Lord, even in His commands that the world sees as very unfair.

We sow love; we reap love. That’s right. That’s why we can love our enemies; that’s why we can do good even to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, pray for those who hurt us. As we sow love, and blessing, good deeds, prayer, mercy, etc., we can expect to receive them in “harvest” measures. Remember, what we harvest is multiplied times greater than the seeds we sow.

Through this, our uniqueness shines brighter. We get to show our difference as children of the most High Who loves even the most rebellious among us.

Let’s Eat

John‬ ‭4:34‬   (‭KJV‬‬)   Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

Doing God’s will is our food; that’s why we hunger for it.

Doing God’s will becomes our complete meal when we finish His work.

Our food is already served–big; we just need to partake of it. His will is for us to harvest as many precious souls as we can, and to do it until the end. The harvest is plenty, and they’re ripe and ready.

Children of Peace

Luke 10:6  (KJV)   And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again.

In sending His disciples out to minister, Jesus gave them very important instructions. The instructions were very specific; some were challenging; some were comforting. One of them was to lift the often daunting and unproductive burden of convincing those unwilling to accept the Good News they were bringing. There will be sons of peace. There were people who will accept them and support them; they were to stay with them, work with them and share the blessings with them. There were those who weren’t. There were people who will reject them and/or the Gospel; they were not to force them.

Man and women of peace – they are people who have peace with God and who have the peace of God, or are about to have them; they will have peace with us. We gloriously share the same God, the same experience, the same purpose. They’re saved, or are being saved and will be saved. They will naturally and joyfully receive us and the precious message we bear. They’re the ones we need to diligently work with, to willingly invest time and energy with. Our task with them will be surprisingly easy. Although we’re called to present the Gospel to everyone, we’re not cruelly tasked with the unnecessary burden of trying to convince the close-minded and hardhearted. Time is short; Jesus will come back – maybe very soon; the harvest is plentiful; there are multitudes waiting and ripe to be harvested unto salvation. Let’s figure out who they are and work on them – these sons and daughters of peace.

Dear Lord of the harvest, please help us to go into the harvest field with enthusiasm and wisdom. Lead our paths to the sons and daughters of peace.