Quest for Hope
Sowing and Reaping 3-7-16
The Lord is always teaching me in practical ways about His Kingdom. On Saturday morning, my devotional time was spent in reflecting upon the spiritual armor God provides. When I put on the full spiritual armor of God, I can stand in His strength. I needed that righteous armor many times this past weekend; God is so good to make sure we remember His promises are available at all times! Today, the Spirit is taking us to Psalm 1 where we will look at sowing seed and reaping fruit; a promise from the Lord that when we put the Word (seed) into our spirits it will flourish and cause us to prosper (fruit). Likewise, if we do not mediate on the Word or allow it to penetrate our hearts to bring about change, we will reap a joyless and scattered life apart from the purposes of God.
Psalm one and two are really to be read together; they become what is called a missional prayer book that help us read the rest of the Psalter. Yet, we will read just Psalm 1, today, for the devotional. This prayer reminds the reader that a steady diet of the Scripture is essential for engaging in a fallen world. Scripture is God’s gift to humanity for the faith challenges of life. We are to be shaped by Scripture because it is our guide for living; otherwise, we will find ourselves disoriented and off the path. Realignment with the Scripture is an ongoing portion of the Christ follower’s journey; because it is how we realign our thoughts with the character of God.
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
As we read this prayer, the text causes us to evaluate our hearts and locate where we see ourselves on salvation’s journey. Are we filled with joy? Remember, joy is not based on circumstances. Joy is found in the presence of God. Are we fixed and unmovable in our faith bearing much fruit even when we are faced with challenges? The fruit of the Spirit is a growing process that reveals the work of God in the human heart. We cannot produce spiritual fruit in our own strength; only the Spirit can produce endless love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, thoughtfulness, and self-control within us. If this joy, strength, and prosperity describes us, then we must be delighting in the Word and the work of God’s Kingdom in the world. We prosper because God watches over us and keeps us moving forward. We must remember that the Psalter is filled with people who experience and express great praise for God’s faithfulness in prayer, as well as intense sorrow and feelings of abandonment; alas the human journey. Each prayer causes us to ask, “What do I need to allow the Spirit to change so I can sincerely pray this Psalm?
Prayer: Heavenly Father and loving Savior, thank you for providing Spirit-breathed Scripture so I may remain faithful to the work of your Kingdom. Please help me to listen, identify, interpret, and learn from your character that is expressed within your Word every day. Thank you for the indwelling joy of my salvation. In Jesus’ name. Amen.