Message Recap - 1/21/11Grace & Consequences: Part 2

Monday, January 24, 2011

We started a new series last week! It's off to a great start, but if you missed Part 1, you can check it out here:

Part 1

(May or may not work...)

Salvation is by grace and grace alone. Grace is not a license to sin, but it is freedom from sin.

Let's look at Galatians 6:7-10, which says:

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. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

Everything you do is a seed, sown either to please yourself or to please the Spirit.

Do you ever ask yourself, “What am I doing? Is everything I'm doing making a difference? If I'm doing the right things, then why doesn't it always turn out right? Why is there sometimes hardship?” We all feel that way some times, and some days are better than others.

There was a guy in the Bible who had a day like that, and he wrote about it. His name was Asaph (maybe that explains why he was having a bad day), and what he wrote is found in Psalm 76:1-16.

Asaph was having a bad day. Most of us have felt like Asaph at one time or another. We've felt like everyone else does the wrong thing and it turns out right, while we do the right thing and it never turns out right.

Or maybe for you it's the opposite. You think that no matter what you do, you'll never get caught, never get punished.

Check out Galatians 6:9 again: At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Notice that it says, “If we don't give up.” In the original Greek this means, “If we don't give up.” Go figure.

It's tiring when you don't see results right away, when you are working and not feeling like you're accomplishing something. It is wearying when you cannot see results. But things don't always happen right away; the consequences of our actions are not always immediately apparent.

Here are three illustrations of this principle:

1. Agriculture. One farmer plows, plants, cultivates, and sprays his field. The other does nothing. At first, to someone who doesn't know about farming, the first farmer's field looks worse than the second. At least the second guy has something growing, even if it is weeds! But by harvest time, the difference becomes clear. The first farmer will reap a harvest, while the second will have only weeds to harvest.

2. Health. For example, picture two friends, both about 18 years old. One is committed to living a healthy lifestyle; eating right, exercising, etc. The other doesn't care; he decides to eat whatever he wants and never work out. For the first five years or so, there's not a huge difference. But by age 30, the difference is obvious. The one who has made poor choices will be overweight and likely have a heart problem, while the other is healthy. The longer this continues, the more the difference is evident.

3. Finances. Think of two people at 18 again. One saves his money, the other spends it. One puts away money every week, no matter what. The other blows. At first, the one who saves looks poorer. He doesn't have nice stuff. The other guy has so many toys! But as life goes on, the one who saved builds wealth, while the one who spends gets deeper into debt.

Don't be fooled, don't be tricked, don't be misled. It's so easy to see only with our natural eyes and not understand what's really going on under the surface. But you cannot mock the justice of God – you will reap a harvest, if you don't give up.

All seeds grow. But sometimes they grow at different rates. Dandelions grow practically instantly. Corn takes 2-3 months to grow. Oak trees take decades. The pattern tends to be that good things take a long time to grow, while bad things grow quickly.

Seeds may grow at different rates, but don't be fooled! You will reap a harvest!

For those sowing seeds to please the Spirit, don't give up! God's justice will not be mocked!

For those who think you're outsmarting everyone, who are living a double life and think you're getting away with it; it's not too late! Give up; sow different seeds! You can reap a different harvest!

The next 15 years of your life will be defined by what you do in the next three. You will either reap the benefits or endure the consequences of what you do right now.

Don't worry about the past, don't give up. Sow the right seeds! You cannot mock the justice of God.

0 ,:

Post a Comment