Sunday, October 8, 2017

Planting good seeds in difficult times...


This week began with the horrific news of a mass shooting in Las Vegas.  Sometimes it feels like the darkness is winning.  That is, of course, exactly what the enemy of our souls wants us to think.  he wants us to sink into despair and hopelessness and helplessness. he wants us to think that there's nothing we can do to make a difference against the deluge of sin.  But, did you stay tuned to the news reports beyond the initial bad news?  Did you see and hear how in the midst of the chaos, ordinary people took heroic measures to help total strangers at the risk of their own lives? There was report after report of hundreds of people doing the right thing when face to face with overwhelming evil.

I hope you and I will never face the level of darkness that happened in Los Vegas this week, but we do all live in this sin sick world don't we?  What are some practical ways you and I can be lights in the darkness?  I think Hosea 10:12 can help us.

1) Plant good seeds of righteousness. On one news report I saw, it reported that people were bringing food and blankets to the hospital waiting rooms in Los Vegas for the friends and family members of the hundreds of injured people.  What a simple and practical way to plant good seeds of righteousness in a crisis!  It's as simple as doing the right thing, the God honoring thing, not only in times of difficulty, but in the ordinary moments of our lives. People expect you to cut them off on the freeway instead of smiling and yielding the right of way. Surprise them! Do the right thing on your job even if your co-workers slack off when the boss isn't watching. Be kind and loving to that cranky spouse that you'd rather snap back at. Write a note of encouragement to someone who's going through a difficult season.  Find a place to serve the hurting in your community.  If you will pray and then obey, God will show you what to do and when and where to plant your good seeds.

2) Plow up the hard ground of your heart.  It's all too easy to let our hearts get hard. Building walls of self protection is a common response to life's bumps, bruises, and cruelty. We often let roots of bitterness and rocks of offense take over when we've been hurt. If we're honest, a hard heart is a miserable heart.  A heart that's soft and yielded to God is a heart at peace.  We have to keep our heart soft and plowed up and trust God to be our heart's protection. We cannot be a light in this dark world without a heart that is soft enough for God's love to flow through.

3) Seek the Lord. If there's ever been a time in our world when God's people need to seek Him, it's now.  We need His divine wisdom and guidance.  We need His direction.  We need His love.  We need His strength.  We need Him to help us to stand strong in the face of adversity.  We need Him so we can help others to find the hope that we have found.

I love that this verse ends with the promise that God will come and shower us with righteousness. Oh, how we need a shower of God's righteousness in our world!  Let's do our part to plant good seeds even in the difficult times, to keep our hearts plowed up, soft, pliable and yielded to God and to seek God.  Our world needs desperately needs us to.

still following,
www.justfollowingjesus.com

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