Sowing and Reaping

2015 has now come and gone, and the reaping begins for the seeds I have sown this past year. As I ponder my plantings, how much of a harvest will be the result? Will it be a harvest, as in a productive lush green garden? A dry, barren dessert? A rocky canyon where very little can take root? Or somewhere in between with only minimal fruit?

God’s Word is very direct in Galatians 6: “A man reaps what he sows.” Not only does it matter “what” I sow, but also how much I sow. Second Corinthians 9 reminds me, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

As I head into the new year of 2016, I am challenged to be more aware of the seeds I am casting. I want them to be the seeds that matter most, take root in rich soil, and produce much fruit – not thorns or weeds. God desires to see that fruit not only in my life and others’ lives, but also for His Kingdom.

By Kim Hinson (kimspeaksforhim@aol.com)

Playing with Fire

Playing with fire. Just saying it sounds foolish. Who would do that? Let’s see…third graders, pyromaniacs, and people with too much time to aimlessly daydream.

What thoughts are enticing you? Daydreams of fortune and leisure? Revenge? Lustful thoughts — ewww, now that’s something no one in the family of God wants to talk about, but are any of us immune to them?

Proverbs 6:27 warns, Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? “Taking fire to your bosom” is like taking it to heart, indulging the daydreams, lingering over what-ifs and maybes and only-ifs. And as we embrace the fire, it burns with such rage as our pride or greed or lust fuel the flame.

Are you smelling smoke?  Christian, don’t play with fire.

The Race

We did it! We crossed the finish line of 2015’s race. And now, a new race begins in 2016.

As Paul was approaching the end of his life, he states in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” I have pondered what I want my charge to be not only for my life, but also in this new year, new race. I believe I found it. In 2016, I want to fight a good fight all year long; I want to go all the way to the finish line; all the while without wavering, I want to keep the faith through the mountaintops, valleys, and plateaus.

Why? Verse 8 of chapter 4 states, “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness.” Paul names it –a “crown of righteousness,” then confidently declares that it “IS in store for me.” No maybes or even wishful thinking. May we also be so confident in God’s promises.

Let’s head into 2016 with our racing shoes on and laced up tight.

By Kim Hinson (kimspeaksforhim@aol.com)

Walking Without Fainting

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

I Shall Walk and Not Faint:
– God is calling me to steady movement in the same direction. Consistency. Longevity. Pace.
– When God sends me on this new journey, when the waiting is finally over, I shall not be beaten by the elements, nor deterred from my own lack of strength. But for today, I confess I feel a touch vulnerable that either one could wear me down quickly. So I am confirmed; I must wait upon the Lord. I must submit to this process of renewing my strength.

Running Without Weariness

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

I Shall Run and not Be Weary:
– There is a time for everything. I realize I’ve been running for a long time, and actually now I have grown weary. Running while weary can’t last forever; eventually my pace slows, which only frustrates my driven nature, and without renewal I’ll soon keel over. I’d better listen to God and submit to this waiting on Him.
– I’ll be back to a sprint again, when God says it’s time. As I wait, God is preparing me for an assignment. God must be getting me into spiritual shape if I’ll soon be running again without fatigue.

Mounting Up with Eagle Wings

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

I Shall Mount Up with Wings Like Eagles:
– I’m going to fly. I’m being strengthened so that I might get higher, to have a God-perspective on this world.
– God will give me the wings when it’s time to mount up. And as I rise up to this God-perspective, to this God’s view, this time I’m going higher without having to claw my way up a mountainside. Not this time, thank you Jesus!
– Eagles wings: how majestic. How strong and steady. How honorable. God clothes me with honor and dignity. As I wait, I am undergoing a spiritual metamorphosis.

He’s Renewing My Strength

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Renewing My Strength:
– This verse is telling me that I need renewal; I’m not going to be consistently strong or expected to be on my A game all the time. Thanks, God, that’s a relief.
– There is positive purpose in all of this waiting. God will make me stronger and doesn’t always have to use adversity to do it. Just through resting in Him there is strengthening.
– I’m renewed as I relax my tight grip on what I pretend is my control over my little corner of the world.
– Strength. Stronger is what I’ll become, if I can just be disciplined to yield to the quiet, comfortable spiritual chair where God invites me to rest.

Waiting on the Lord

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

I’m Waiting on the Lord:
– With Contentment. I’m okay today. I don’t have to do or be anything in particular.
– I wait knowing that He’s eventually going to show up. I’m going to hear from Him.
– The waiting is temporary. The inactivity is not a life sentence.
– I have expectancy. When He speaks, He’ll say what I need to hear and the message will be worth the wait.
– As I wait, I’m not relegated to doing absolutely nothing. I can ponder the future, reflect on the past, get healthy, pray, and bless others.