Working the Heart’s Soil
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea 10:12.
Let every church member consider the breaking up of the fallow ground, the careful cleansing of the soil, and the depositing and harrowing of the seed, which is the laborious work of the husbandman. It is a rough and searching process. The harrowing of the seed is not always pleasant to the receiver, and sometimes disabling to him because he does not sense the virtue of the Word and become submissive under the tilling process in spiritual life. The sins committed require the sincere repentance that needeth not to be repented of, but when the hard soil is broken up and the stubborn clods are broken to pieces then the precious seed can be sown and harrowed into the soil. This represents the severe discipline of God. Often rebellion is manifested, and the discipline of God must continue until the determined will is broken and the end is gained.
In things spiritual as well as natural this work must be done. Often severity is needed to bring in the spiritual harvest. It is God’s great law that without the proper sowing of seed and the tillage there will be no harvest in sheaves. An experience is lacking. Divine blessings wait only for human spiritual working of the soil of the heart and the industry to care for the soil while the Lord is sowing His seed.
As a man soweth he shall also reap. All who study the Word with full purpose to cleanse away from the life all sin, and who search the Scriptures to learn what is truth, will welcome the truth of the Word as a Thus saith the Lord. They will repent under the sharp reproofs of Bible truth. . . . If a man sow true repentance he will reap the reward of sound good works. If he continues in the faith he reaps peace. If he becomes sanctified and cleansed from his appetite for cheapness and folly he shall . . . reap righteousness and perfect love. . . . A continuance in the well doing in overcoming makes him a daily victor because he keeps the mark of Christ’s perfection ever before him.
That I May Know Him p. 281
—–Today Brian and Esther and the children will be driving to Panhandle Campmeeting and there is a blizzard warning for their area. Please pray for their safety and for the safety of the others who will be driving there. Pray also for Ron as he is not feeling well. Rose
When I was about six years old, Gary and his parents discovered that there was another child in the neighborhood—me! He lived several blocks from my house and until then had no one to play with. In answer to his begging to be able to have a playmate, his parents walked with him to our house and asked if Gary could play with me sometimes. My grandmother invited them in and after being assured that they were fine people, gave her consent. I was not allowed to cross the street by myself, so Gary always played in my yard. We spent many hours playing together. I was so happy!
As the years passed, our horizons broadened. We often played at his house or just roamed the neighborhood together just having fun. It seemed as if we would be friends forever. Then, when I was almost ten, something happened that changed our plans. My mother got married again and I moved across town to live with her. Within a year, my grandparents moved to Florida. Gary and I seldom saw one another after that. I really missed him.
One day, near my fourteenth birthday, I happened to meet Gary when we were both downtown. We stopped to catch up on all that had happened since I had moved away. It seemed as if we would renew our friendship. I invited him to my birthday party in hopes that would assure that we would continue as friends.
It wasn’t a very big party. Only my two friends Gloria and June were there besides Gary. He was delighted to find that he was the only boy and began showing off. My mother was not pleased. Soon, it became apparant that he was attracted to them. He was totally ignoring me. He even went so far as to get their phone numbers so he could keep in contact with them. I was deeply hurt. He never asked for my phone number so we could keep in touch.
I thought of a day, about six years before, when I still lived with my grandparents. Gary and I were walking back from an errand at the store, when we saw twogirls walking toward us. They stopped and talked to Gary. He totally ignored me. One of the girls asked him who I was and he told them that I was his cousin. I was shocked! I was brokenhearted and felt betrayed. I suddenly realized that he was not a friend at all. He just played with me because he had no one else who lived that near.
How often we, too, deny that we know our Heavenly Friend, just as Gary had denied me. How many times we allow other interests to build a wall up between our Dear Saviour and ourselves. We seem to be a friend to Him, but when we should declare Him to those around us, we keep quiet. We show by our actions that we are ashamed of the One Who gave His life for us. Jesus warned, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:26 Paul reminds us, “if we deny him, he also will deny us.” 2 Tim 2:12
God’s Holy Word reveals an incident of denial that stands as a warning for us today. After the last supper was over, Jesus began to plainly explain to his disciples what was about to take place. He told them, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.” Peter felt that he would never betray his Lord and Friend. He felt “ut Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.” Mark 14:27-31 That very night, at Jesus’ trial, Peter denied that he knew Him.
May we never deny our Great Redeemer no matter what may come our way. May we be bold to confess before others that Jesus is our Saviour, that He may confess before His Father and before the entire Universe that we are His friends. May we so live each day, that those around us will see in us the reflection of His character is my prayer.