Sunday, August 3, 2008

A 100-fold Harvest

Guess what I did this past weekend?  I spent 6 hours with Beth Moore!!  Well... me and 70,000 other women, but that's beside the point... :o)

Anyhoo, Lollipop and I went with my mom and my best friend, Gretchen (Thanks again, G, for driving up!  It just wouldn't have been the same without you!), to the 2008 Living Proof Live Simulcast-- a conference of sorts, led by Beth and her worship team in Louisville, KY ("Lua-vul," according to Beth) and then broadcast to 715 host locations. (Whenever Beth is speaking within a 6-7 hour radius, we go!  We've been to several of her conferences together, mom, G and me-- in fact, Big Man went with us to a live venue when he was just a wee babe, and Gretchen's younger son went once, too.  This time it was Lolli's turn and she was super!  She stretched her vocal cords a bit during the praise and worship time--a screech owl, mom calls her-- but then promptly settled down for a long rest when Beth began to teach.)  I must say that if you've never been intoduced to Beth Moore, you absolutely must "meet" her... I promise she'll bless your socks off!  (Click here to learn more about Beth and Living Proof Ministries.)

This weekend Beth spoke on a very familiar passage of Scripture-- Luke 8, the parable of the sower.  The lessons I learned are too numerous to recount here, but there is one point in particular that I'd like to share; it has given me much food for thought over these past few days. It comes from Luke 8:8, " 'And other seed fell into the good soil, and grew up, and produced a crop a hundred times as great.' As (Jesus) said these things, He would call out, 'He who has ears to hear, let him hear.' "  Now here's where the challenge comes in, the part I had never really considered before.  On Friday night, Beth said this-- The Word of God can have a 100-fold impact on your family and your family line if you study it... I'm talking about letting the Word of God have its full impact in you... God has placed a calling on each of our lives, but it will never happen apart from His Word.

OK... so on the surface that seems fairly obvious, doesn't it??  The seed, of course, is the Word; the soil is the believer.  God gives us His Word and wants us to read it and then internalize it; He wants us to take possession of it.   So, does knowing it fairly well count?  You know, being familiar with lots of passages?  Um, no.  Or does He expect us to know it, to retain it, to assimilate it?  And will future generations really be affected by the choices I make today?  That would be a yes.  In Deuteronomy 5:9-10, we are told that the Lord will show love to a thousand generations for those who love Him and keep His commandments.  A thousand generations??  If I love Him and keep His commands??  My impact can be that great?  Whoa... that's big.  That's really big.  I guess the question then is this-- am I living my life today like I really believe that to be true?

How much time do I really spend with Him?  How many mornings do I wake up, ready to meet with God before I begin my day?  Not many.   Why?  Because life happens.  The baby doesn't sleep or I already have to get up too early as it is to take the boys to swim practice or I'm just too tired and overwhelmed by my never-ending to-do list.  Excuses?  You bet.  Acceptable?  No way.  Ecclesiastes 11:6 says "Sow your seed in the morning."  And Isaiah 50:4 tells us that "He awakens me morning by morning, He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple."  Every morning, God is there, anxious to chat, ready to fill me with His Word so that I might grow in Him and share His love with others (like my children!).  But how often do I refuse to crawl out from under the covers?  How often do I hit the snooze button, over and over again?  How often do I miss out on precious time with my Lord?  Too often.  All too often.

So what to do, what to do... the choice is obvious.  Very early, while it is still dark, I need to rise to meet with God (Jesus modeled this for us in Mark 1:35).  I need to spend quiet time in His Word at the start of my day, before the worries and distractions of the world settle in.  I need to spend time absorbing it, memorizing it, and retaining it so that my mind might be transformed and renewed by its power.  So that I might be enabled by His indwelling Holy Spirit to live a life worthy of the calling.  So that my life might bring honor and glory to His name.  I must press on.  I must persevere.  And as result of my choice, I will be blessed.  My husband will be blessed.  Our childern will be blessed, and their children, and their children's children, up to a thousand generations.  Is it worth it?  Are they worth it?  Absolutely.  A 100-fold harvest.  That's God's promise.

But the seed on good soil stands
for those with a noble and good heart,
who hear the Word, retain it,
and by persevering produce a crop.

Luke 8:14  

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