Let Go of Your Seed!

Can you plant a seed without letting it go? No.

Our church is coming up fast on a multi-layer event that raises money for our myriad missions and outreach programs, and a while back God led me to donate one of my newest and favorite possessions. I won’t lie; I choked for a moment, but I’ve learned through the years that God never calls me to give up something unless He has something better in mind, a purpose (or multiple purposes) for my actions. Besides, when you plant a seed you get a harvest – as the Bible says, thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.

So the other day I had a thought: “I could bid on it and get it back.” In that moment, I had an epiphany. I didn’t need to. I didn’t want to. I had completely let it go and didn’t even want it back. This revelation led to an interesting conversation with God.

Long story short. Years ago, I’d been called to give away one of my favorite things and I’d done it almost instantly, but begrudgingly. For years (not kidding) I’d had this niggling thought of, “Man, if only I’d not…” In our conversation, God reminded me about that event and pointed out that I HAD NEVER LET GO of that seed. Because I had never truly let go, the seed had never been truly planted – regardless of the fact that it was in the other person’s hands. So I had never received the harvest He had wanted me to have.

So… When God calls you to give something, be it to someone personally, to a ministry, to a charity auction…whatever, LET IT GO. Don’t judge how you think that person should handle it. Don’t dwell on the fact that you don’t have it any more. Don’t let regret hang around. LET. IT. GO.

You cannot plant a seed in the ground if you do not let it go first. You cannot plant a seed in ANY ground if you do not let it go first. And if you don’t have a planted seed you don’t have that seed’s intended harvest.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

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Meditations: Hebrews 4:2b

Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014
Copyright Clarissa Pardue 2014

Hebrews 4:2b
NIV

…the message they heard was of no value to them,
because those who heard it did not combine it with faith.

 

“They,” in this case, are those who Moses led out of Egypt. In the previous chapter, the author shares what God said about that generation and how their refusal to trust in and obey Him resulted in them not being able to enter into the rest that God had promised to give them in Canaan. They heard the same message that the next generation heard, but they only heard it; they failed to mix the message with faith, with action.

Some think that faith is merely believing, that if they hear a message and believe that message, then they have mixed the message with faith, but the Bible speaks otherwise. A message mixed with faith results in action. In the case of the Israelites who had fled from Egypt, the action would have been the taking up of arms and conquering of Canaan. They only heard the message, however. They did not really believe. Their faith, such as it was, was dead, useless.

James reminds us…

2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?

2:17 …faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead

2:20 …faith without deeds is useless…

2:26 …faith without deeds is dead.

I had to fight the temptation to copy all of James 2:14-26 here. It reveals so very clearly that faith and action absolutely must work hand-in-hand.

I do not want to miss out on that rest my God has promised me. I want all that He has set aside for me. I refuse to miss out!

Having made that decision, what is required of me now? Action! As I hear the message, if I do not want it to be of no value to me – do not want to be counted as no more worthy than that group of faithless Israelites – then I absolutely must combine the message with faith, faith that steps out and does whatever the message calls me to do.

It was that combining of message and faith that resulted in my salvation in the first place. Who knows how many times I’d heard the message previously? All those earlier hearings had been of limited value, however, because I did not act on them, did not combine them with faith. Yet on that one, specific day, while I probably heard the very same message spoken in much the same way, I reacted differently. I combined the message with faith and took a step toward the altar, I accepted all that Jesus did for me when He offered His life up as the sacrificial substitute for mine, and I was forever changed. Far from being of no value to me, that morning’s message was priceless.

Remembering this – the moment and the results of what happened in that moment – how can I fail to ensure that the message always is of value to me? Yet I do fail. There have been far too many times in my life when I’ve heard a message and done nothing with it, not even mixed it with a tiny bit of faith, a little bit of action. What have I missed as a result? What seeds did God try to plant that I let die before they bore fruit, killed by my own negligence, my own lack of faith-based action?

I can’t change the past. I can only repent and commit to a changed future…and I do.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Trust

One of the responses I received to a One-word Challenge I offered on Facebook, “trust” is a word I couldn’t resist blogging about. I recently finished reading The Complete Jewish Bible, and it tends to use “trust” where most other translations use “faith.” It took me a while to notice it, but there is almost an easier feel when you read “trust God” as opposed to “have faith in God.” Perhaps it’s ridiculous, since they mean the same thing, but it’s true for me. “Trust God” seems easier somehow.

When I think of the word “trust,” I also go pretty directly to my life verse: Prov 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord…” I have broken this passage down repeatedly, looking at it from various angles, yet interestingly enough I’ve never looked up the literal definition of trust before. So today I pulled out my Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible to learn more about the Hebrew word.

#982 – batach – a primary root; prop. to hie for refuge [but not so precipitately as 2620]; fig. to trust, be confident or sure:–be bold (confident, secure, sure), careless (one, woman), put confidence, (made to) hope, (put, made to) trust

It’s interesting that it says this trust is not quite like “chacah” (2620), in that the latter word indicates fleeing to protection. Instead, this trust is more about finding our permanent refuge in God, knowing that in His presence we are as safe as a child in his father’s arms. A child riding securely in his father’s arms is confident and sure; he’s bold, secure, and free from care. Having put his trust, as well as his self, in his father’s arms, he has hope that all will be well.

This, then, is the trust our Father wants us to have in Him. He not only wants us to come as little children (Luke 18:17), He wants us to live with Him as little children in this sense, trusting Him so implicitly that we do what He tells us to, all He tells us to, when He tells us to…knowing that, when we do, everything will be all right.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

 

Door Opening Dreams

“Dreams open doors.”

God spoke these words to me, and then explained further. Whether for good or evil, our dreams open doors.

I’m obviously not talking about what we dream while we sleep, but rather the thoughts we think while awake. We know from II Cor. 5:10 that we are to cast down “imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” These are the evil dreams He spoke of, those imaginations that inspire fear and, once they get hold of us, create feelings that can completely overpower our faith.

The thing is, dreams – godly dreams – are some of the very things God created the imagination for. By creating pictures with our imaginations, daydreaming if you will, of the things we know God wants us to do, or be, or have, we are building up our faith – and our faith opens doors to our future.

Consider what happens when you hear someone give their testimony, how it inspires you to think, “Well, if He did that for them He can do what I need too!” This builds your faith. Take it further and imagine God actually DOING IT and your faith is built more.

The world got hold of this truth long ago. They use fancy phrases and scientific labels, but the bottom line message is that if you can see yourself doing something, if you dream of it long enough, imagine clearly enough, you have a much better chance of actually DOING it. Athletes have used this “technique.” Business tycoons use this “principle.” It’s time for the church to wake up and use what God designed for His purposes from the very beginning. It’s time for us to open doors with our dreams.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C