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Tag Archives: you reap what you sow

The Size of Your Harvest

The term harvest can be found in ancient Egyptian calendars.  Based upon this geographic location in the Middle East, the harvest season coincides with the low water portion of each summer.  The final season on the lunar calendar, the harvest begins immediately following the season of Emergence.  While the weather doesn’t always cooperate with modern calendars, a typical harvest begins in the Spring and concludes each fall.  However, this too varies depending upon the crop planted by farmers.

Now [remember] this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows generously [that blessings may come to others] will also reap generously [and be blessed]. Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift], 2 Corinthians 9:6-7.

According to the apostle Paul, spiritual harvests are influenced by your degree of giving.  Blessings are proportionally tied to what you put into life or the lives of others.  Those who are consistent, disciplined and work hard will be rewarded with a plentiful harvest.  Meanwhile, the lazy, lethargic and inconsistent workers will only get what they put into their trade.  Thus, you can’t expect good results when half hearted attempts are made on a daily basis.

The one who is taught the word [of God] is to share all good things with his teacher [contributing to his spiritual and material support]. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked [He will not allow Himself to be ridiculed, nor treated with contempt nor allow His precepts to be scornfully set aside]; for whatever a man sows, this and this only is what he will reap. For the one who sows to his flesh [his sinful capacity, his worldliness, his disgraceful impulses] will reap from the flesh ruin and destruction, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life, Galatians 6:6-8.

The size of your harvest depends upon two factors.  First, your willingness to give of your resources, talents and time.  God doesn’t want people to experience regret.  Cheerful givers begin with an acceptable and reasonable tithe with an expectation that as God blesses you this amount with increase.  The second aspect is based upon your motives.  Are you self seeking, expecting something in return?  Or is your inspiration for giving driven by the Holy Spirit?  In the end, hoarders receive their harvest on earth.  Those who seek God and his righteousness first will be blown away when the Lord opens the storehouse to heaven, Malachi 3:10.  May 2018 yield a mighty harvest.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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The Hanging of John Brown

Funerals and wakes are meant to celebrate someone’s life.  This time of reflection gives individuals a chance to say goodbye, paying respect to people whom may have touched your life.  Following the hanging of John Brown, a wide array of Americans paid homage to this abolitionist.  Poet Henry David Thoreau gave a speech simply entitled Remarks After the Hanging of John Brown where he referred to this man as the Soul’s Errand.  In a recent documentary produced by Ken Burns, John Brown is called the Meteor that ignited the Civil War.

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done, Psalm 78:4.

Historians remember John Brown as a failure in most aspects of his life.  Unsuccessful as a businessman, Brown felt compelled by God to help end slavery.  Following the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas by pro-slavery forces, Brown and his supporters fought back by killing five men in May of 1856.  However, three years later John Brown’s fortune would change.  During a raid on the federal armory in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, John Brown tried to form a resistance to set slaves free.  Yet, this attempt ended in the death of some men, desertion by others and his own conviction for treason by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Thus, John Brown was hung in public.

But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, Matthew 6:20-21.

There are two certainties in life. First, you will die unless Jesus returns prior to your death. Second, the seeds that you sow in life will produce a legacy.  While speeches at memorials focus on the good that individuals accomplished in life, not everyone will paint a rosy picture of interactions with you.  In view of this fact, I hope that I can develop a sense of urgency to dedicate my life toward worthwhile causes.  Life is too short to give up before you taste success.  Therefore, seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness by setting your heart on eternal treasures; a fate that John Brown was wiling to die for.

by Jay Mankus

When Evil Never Leaves

Evil is one of those traits which is shocking.  Whether its heinous, malicious or repulsive, the presence of such actions are chilling.  Any type of demonstration can leave eye witnesses shivering with fear.  According to Solomon, this cloud of darkness never leaves some souls.

Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good, Proverbs 17:13.

The concept of evil is often left to Hollywood.  Whether its a horror, murder mystery or science fiction film, few come face to face with a resident of evil.  Apparently, anyone who seeks revenge will be cursed with evil spirits that never leave,  This belief is similar to the Bible’s sowing principle, “you reap what you sow.”

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life, Galatians 6:8.

In view of this scary information, its vital to avoid entering a world of darkness.  Instead, begin to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, relying on prayer to guide your way.  By doing this you will steer clear of the hauntings that other lost souls have endured.  Learn from the mistakes of others by fleeing from evil.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

What’s Behind Blessings and Curses?

There is something fascinating behind the lives of the rich and famous.  If you have ever had the opportunity to visit resorts, visit wealthy neighborhoods or vacation in exquisite destinations, its amazing what money can buy.  Yet, one has to wonder, what has led to the accumulation of mass possessions?  While the answers vary, discipline, hard work and persistence are involved.  However, at some point the blessing of God must be considered.

The LORD‘s curse is on the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the righteous, Proverbs 3:33.

During my 10 years as a high school teacher, I spent numerous hours developing curriculum.  One of the most intriguing chapters I taught was based upon an 18th century case study.  A pastor’s family and criminal were placed side by side, examining the descendants of each for 2 generations.  The findings revealed the pastor’s children, grandchildren and great grandchildren went on to pursue higher education, serve the military and become self-sufficient.  Meanwhile, this alcoholic turned criminal gave birth to needy individuals, costing local, state and the federation government over 1 million dollars.

You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, Exodus 20:5.

Few people fail to recognize the conditional relationship crafted into the 10 commandments.  Growing up Catholic the verse above was omitted from CCD, similar to Sunday School in evangelical churches.  This passage suggests that God will not allow those people who chose to ignore God’s principles to prosper.  Unfortunately, modern sermons highlight the loving God of the New Testament, often canceling out the teachings of the Old Testament.  Yet, behind blessings and curses, you reap what you sow, leading to one or the other.  In view of this truth, choose obedience today.

by Jay Mankus

 

Why Some Don’t Get Over the Hump?

There have been times in my life that I wanted to know, “why me Lord?”  Whenever you experience disappointment, failure or rejection, its not selfish to want understand why you have to endure yet another trial.  The Bible is full of servants questioning God for the hand each has been dealt.  Yet, I recently came across a passage which might explain why I haven’t gotten over the proverbial hump.

Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism, Colossians 3:25.

According to the apostle Paul, individuals are repaid for each wrong doing committed.  While the world is full of favoritism with many getting free passes on past transgressions, the Bible has a different standard to live by.  Subsequently, heartaches I have faced could be directly or indirectly related to prior poor choices made by me.  Whatever the reason for the rough stretches I have undergone, maybe I need to ask God for forgiveness before I point the blame toward heaven.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows, Galatians 6:7.

Perhaps, this is what the apostle Paul is referencing above.  A growing number of people pass the buck today, blaming others or situations instead of taking personal responsibility for their own actions.  Despite this attempt, God can’t be mocked.  Thus, until Christians recognize the sowing principle, they won’t be able to get over the hump.  When you come to this realization, practice the words of James 5:16.

by Jay Mankus

Sinning, Stupidity and a Slippery Slope

You don’t have to be Forrest Gump to say something that you regret.  It only takes a careless word, foolish act or fopa caught on film to ruin one’s reputation.  Perhaps, this is the difficult lesson Donald Trump is learning following his generalization of Mexican immigrants.  Whether you are blatantly sinning or do something stupid, is the media ready for the slippery slope for those who are politically incorrect?

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets,” Matthew 7:12.

I wouldn’t call the band Ratt prophetic, yet their classic song Round and Round reveals a simple truth, “what comes around goes around.”  Or as the apostle Paul proclaims, “you reap what you sow,” Galatians 6:7.  Taking this one step farther, Jesus makes the finger pointers aware of their actions, “you will be judged in the same manners that you judge others,” Matthew 7:2.  Therefore, before you pick up a stone to throw, jump on the pile of bashers or incite a mob, be careful what you wish for.

And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself, Matthew 22:39.

Currently, Donald Trump is the media’s whipping boy.  However, tomorrow it could be you.  Sure, the elite do control the bully pulpit, yet the Lord controls the universe.  Subsequently, no one is perfect and stupidity is not immune to the wise.  I’m not sure what source or standard cultural leaders are following today, but when the shoe is on the other foot, a ground swell of forgiveness will likely emerge.  Therefore, follow the golden rule by treating others as you want to be treated.

by Jay Mankus

 

Are You Leaving a Trail of Breadcrumbs Behind?

Will Smith played Detective Del Spooner in the 2004 film I Robot.  A hologram chooses Del to investigate the murder of Dr. Alfred Lanning, who saved Spooner’s life years earlier after a car accident nearly ended his own life.  Trapped by his work at United States Robotics to roll out a new line of S5’s, Dr. Lanning turns to Hansel and Gretel to leave a trail of breadcrumbs behind after his death.

The farmer sows the word, Mark 4:14.

Oddly enough, Jesus uses a curious expression in one of his well known parables.  Often overlooked, Jesus compares the sowing process to a farming planting his annual harvest.  However, there is a twist, your actions leave behind an imprint.  Thus, individuals are either leaving a trail of breadcrumbs behind that reflect biblical principles or worldly desires.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap, Galatians 6:7.

If someone was designated to shadow you, following your attitude, behavior and words of the last 24 hours, week or month, what clues would this person uncover?  Are you living a consistent life, clear and easy to recognize?  Or would certain inconsistencies confuse, throw off and make discerning souls question the existence of this life?   The four words of Mark 4:14 struck my heart with conviction, causing me to re-evaluate my own witness.  May Jesus’ teaching inspire you to become a modern day farmer who sows the word of God, prepared to become a fisher of men, women and children.

by Jay Mankus

 

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