Alive - Dirty Harvest
Monday, January 13
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.’ “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.”
The disciples at the church of Sardis had a problem, they were more concerned with the reputation of life rather than Kingdom participation that could bring them life. If you’ve been a disciple or follower of Christ for any length of time you probably know exactly what Jesus is referring to in this verse. You can easily become so busy that life becomes more about the ‘stuff’ you have to do than it does about the One you’re doing it for. In the local church, all of the programs and little things that have to happen to make a service or other event go can take the place of Who the services and programs really supposed to be about in the first place. You have to ask yourself the hard question, “Am I so caught up with schedules and reputation, that I’ve missed Kingdom participation?” You see, everyone likes to be busy because it comes with the reputation of having ‘a life’. People fill the voids in their lives by adding more and more things to their schedules. Doing this gives them a feeling of importance and status, without realizing that these things are actually depleting them of life rather than giving them life. Just like the church of Sardis, reputation can trump truly experiencing life if you’re not careful to avoid that trap. To participate in the Kingdom means that you are not just busy for busy-ness sake, but you are truly experiencing life by being the Kingdom. Those around you are not just faces in crowd or numbers on your church’s attendance count, but they are people who you look at as a potential harvest for the Kingdom. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you move past reputation to true participation in the Kingdom of God. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Tuesday, January 14
3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria.
Have you ever noticed how verse 4 reads? It says that Jesus ‘had’ to go through Samaria. There was an extreme amount of animosity between the Jews and Samaritans because the Samaritans were Jews whose ancestors had intermarried with the Assyrians. They were a mixed race which made them unclean and unacceptable to the Jews. Jesus said He had to go through Samaria when the Jews would usually go well out of their way to avoid it. Why? Because where others saw ‘dirt’, He saw a harvest. You can probably recall going through a difficult time in your life. A time in which, if you’d been given the option, you would have avoided at all costs. In the life of a believer, faith is everything. You have to trust that when you go through difficult times, and circumstances that are are less than desirable, God is using that ‘dirt’ to strengthen your faith and bring you to a harvest. While God doesn’t ordain tragedy or suffering, if you’ll allow Him to, He will grow you through it. You can’t have authority over something you don’t have any experience in. So when you feel like it would be easier to try and avoid a problem, why not ask the Lord to grow you through it. This doesn’t mean that you’re looking for trouble it simply means that you trust Him enough to pull the promise out of your problem. If you’ll allow the Holy Spirit to guide you at all times, He will bring through the difficulties and you’ll and come out on the other side testifying of His goodness and walking in greater authority than you had before. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff.
Wednesday, January 15
6 Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour (noon). 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
Shame. It’s more than simply feeling guilty for something you’ve done wrong. Shame occurs when guilt is not dealt with and is left to fester. The enemy will begin to play on that guilt by throwing lies at you that tell you are unfit for use because of the mistakes of your past. If not dealt with in love, those who deal with shame can end up in a place of lonely desolation because it will drive them to avoid others altogether. This is where Jesus found the woman at the well. No one in their right mind would wait until noon to go outside and draw water in the Middle Eastern heat. She made it her routine to go draw water when she was least likely to run into someone else, someone who new about the dirt of her past. Little did she know that on this day she would come in contact with the one person who would change her life forever. If you have allowed guilt and shame to hold you captive understand this…Jesus already knows your past and He still loves you every bit as much as He ever did. In fact, your guilt and shame is the reason He died in the first place. The best news however, is that He not only knows your past and shortcomings, He knows your future and the incredible amount of potential you possess. Others may or may not be as quick to see you as Jesus does but, they will not be able to deny the change in your life when they see you on the other side of your encounter with the Savior. Don’t let shame hold you back any longer. Allow the Lord to grow a harvest out of the dirt of your past. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Thursday, January 16
17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
One of the greatest revelations you can receive is that everything you need to be successful and achieve what the Lord has planned for you is already built in you. The seeds of potential that you need to begin to growing and flourishing in the Kingdom of God were placed in you when He formed you in your mother’s womb according to Jeremiah 1:5. Notice how today’s scripture reference reads. When God was referring to Abraham He said, “…and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him…”. God said that all of the nations would be blessed ‘in’ Abraham. That’s an interesting way to word something. He didn’t that the nations would be blessed by him, or through him, or even because of Him. No, He said that within still childless Abraham was everything He needed to establish a great and mighty nation. If God saw that kind of potential in Abraham, then you must know that He sees the same potential in you! In spite of what you may or may not have done right in your past, what others have said or not said, what may or may not be recognized by the world, God has placed seeds of greatness in you. By faith, you must get ready for your harvest of righteousness because what you and others may have counted out, God is counting on. Just like the Lord saw the harvest that would come from the everlasting covenant He established with Abraham, He sees the harvest that will come when you align your faith with His plan for you. Your never too old, or too young, for the Lord to draw the God implanted greatness out of you life. Your are simply a decision to believe God away from experiencing your harvest. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Friday, January 17
13 Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
In spite of the fact that Jesus fully completed the redemptive work that it took for mankind to walk in righteousness before God, many people have bought into the lie that they must somehow live up to a certain standard to be worthy of the benefits of salvation. In other words, religion has taken the place of the relationship that the Lord wants to have with His people. Religion, or what you could refer to as works, seems to be what everyone turns to when it comes to encountering the Lord. Before Jesus, man was forced by the Law to bring certain sacrifices and perform certain rituals in order to be fit to worship the Lord. But the Blood of Jesus was presented as the final sacrifice that would ever be needed to enter into the presence of God. This is what Jesus was speaking of into today’s scripture reference when He said that He desires mercy, not sacrifice. He wants you to experience how good and loving He really is through a personal encounter with Himself. Not by you having to clean yourself up, or achieve certain standards of living. His act of mercy, the shedding of His Blood, has already been applied to you life. The cleaning up has already been done. Receive His act of mercy and enter into His presence without fear or shame. He paid a very high price for your righteousness because He desires to be in a working love relationship with you. - Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff
Saturday, January 18
Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.
What do you see when you look at the world around you? Do you see all of the issues and ‘isms’ that can seem so prevalent in society or do you see what Jesus sees? If you’re not careful and intentional about looking at things through His perspective, you can quickly become skeptical and judgmental toward the very people that the Lord wants to rescue. When most ‘Christians’ look at the world they are quick to notice and point out the dirt that they see in others all the while failing to realize that what they see as dirt, Jesus sees as a harvest. Everyone, even the most holy, upright person you can think of has dirt, things in their past that they’re not proud of. You cannot escape this world sin and short-coming free…it’s impossible. But, thankfully, Jesus chose not to focus on your sin. Instead, He chose to look at you as a harvest. He saw all of the dirt that was a part of your life and chose to use it a planting ground instead of a burial plot. He saw your potential and died to bring it to life. All He asks that you do in return is love Him by loving others. In other words, choose to look at people for who they are, not what they’re carrying. Just like when Jesus was walking the earth, the fields are still white for harvest. Only His love will bring them in. Only His people can reflect that love. Now, try it again. Lift up your eyes…what do you see? Love and Blessings, Pastor Jeff.
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