We've talked a lot about the Harvest over the past few weeks. By all accounts, the harvest has been something to look forward to, something to hope for, and something to work towards. But what about the harvests we don't want in our lives?
Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
That sounds like a pretty bad harvest to me. So the question is; have you planted seeds that would lead to a harvest of death and decay? I know I have. And, I am willing to bet that you have too.
God promises that the harvest we reap will be greater than the seeds that we sow. That's great when we are planting good seeds. I love that idea when it comes to tithes and offerings. It's awesome when it means I might be blessed with a promotion, a new opportunity, forgiveness or reconciliation. But what does it mean when we've planted seeds of sin in our past, or are planting them right now? What kind of future does that look like?
I've been wrestling with this idea this week; wondering what kind of harvest might be on the horizon, worrying that my past choices might come back to haunt me, and afraid of what that might mean for my life.
While I might question God's ways from time to time, I believe that God is always good. I believe that he is always looking out for his people. I believe that he has a plan for each of us which can ultimately lead to everlasting life. I believe that what Jesus did on the cross erases the eternal consequences of the bad seeds that we have sown.
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
So now our eternal consequences are covered. That's a relief. But we do have a responsibility to stop allowing our sinful nature to control us. That's the part of us that will continue to spread bad seed; the part that will not only lead to our own death, but to the death of relationships, fear, anger, and hatred. It will suck the joy right out of your life.
What about Earthly consequences? While in comparison to eternity, our time on this Earth is but a blip on the radar. But, it is the blip we are all living in right now and it is the blip that feels like our entire existence. I honestly don't know how to comprehend this piece of the puzzle. However, there are a few things I do know, and if you are living in fear of what might happen in your life, then perhaps this will help you.
Things I know...
- God loves me.
- God knows the true desires of my heart.
- God has a plan that is far bigger than me.
- God causes everything to work together for those that love him.
- I cannot be separated from God.
- I have the spirit of Christ living within me.
- God's grace and mercy are sufficient enough to cover anything that I have done.
Does this mean that we won't have to deal with the consequences of our choices and actions? Not necessarily. Does this mean that people we've hurt should just forget about the things we've done? Nope. Does this mean that when we follow God life will be all unicorns and rainbows? Not at all.
What this means is that you serve a loving God who has a plan far greater than what you can fathom. It means that even when those hard times come and the past comes knocking, God will be there to help you get through it.
Maybe that offers you comfort. Maybe it doesn't. But one thing is certain; it's true.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Gather with us this Sunday as we begin our new series, Expectant, and our journey towards Christmas.