Ecclesiastes 3 reads ” There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
Today, October 2, 2015 is a day to mourn.
However, we cannot lose sight of why we are here and what’s our calling. If we want to see change, true lasting change, then we must begin to sow good seed within the gardens of our lives. Why? So, we can reap a harvest of blessings and not a harvest of curses.
Our lives are so much like gardens it’s quite amazing. When we plant a garden the first thing we need is good, loose and fertile soil. It’s impossible to plant a fruitful garden on rock hard soil. When we harden our hearts, or close ourselves off from God we are not allowing our Heavenly Father access to our hearts and we become unable to have the seeds of love, peace, hope, and forgiveness sown into our lives.
There are so many who have been wounded by religion. Some who felt called to become members of a church and through circumstances they became wounded either by church leaders or other’s within the church. Often times our reaction when we are wounded is to close ourselves off from God. We blame God and believe He was the one that hurt us and we want nothing to do with Him.
Many atheists or agnostics blame God for events that have occurred within their lives and left them wounded. Some look at society or the world and say, “if there is a loving God then how can there be so much violence and hate in the world.” Yet, they don’t hear the slander and hate filled words that exit their lips when they are in a simple disagreement.
It’s easy to point the finger at others. It’s easy to place blame. It’s difficult to accept responsibility without using the modifier ‘but’.
A closed heart leads to a callous heart. A calloused heart turns to stone. It’s impossible to plant and expect a harvest from a heart of stone. That’s why we must open our hearts to God. If you desire to experience unconditional love, joy, peace, and hope He is the only source.
In 1 John 4:8 it reads; “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” It continues in verses 9 thru 10 giving us the example of how God demonstrated His love for humanity. “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
Jesus tells us in John 15:13-14 “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.”
A closed heart will never experience unconditional love. A closed heart will not experience freedom. Freedom is only obtained through an open heart to God.
In John 8:34 Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.”
Sin is disobedience to God’s will and law. In Galatians 5:19-21 Paul shares, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Paul writes in Romans 3:19-20, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
In Psalm 14:2-3 it reads, “The LORD has looked down from heaven upon the sons of men To see if there are any who understand, Who seek after God. They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt; There is no one who does good, not even one.”
All of us have sinned. All of us sin. There is no way we are able to meet God’s standard. In 1 John 1:8 it reads, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
When we close ourselves off from God and sow the seeds of our sin nature the garden within our heart produces crops of hate, rage, jealousy, lust, fear, anxiety, and loneliness. Who would ever desire to eat at that table?
In 1 John 1:9 it reads, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
When we open our hearts to God, He promises us in Ezekiel 36:26, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.”
The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the only One who can replace a heart of stone, with a heart of flesh. It’s only the heart of flesh that will produce life’s best.
In Galatians 5:22-23 we read, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Jesus tells us in John 15:9-12, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
When we ask Jesus for forgiveness and allow Him to become the Lord of our lives, God gives us a heart of flesh, imparts His Spirit into us and we are finally able to sow a beautiful crop within our lives. The Messiah desires our joy to be made complete.
In Revelation 3:19-20 Jesus says, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
In John 8:31-32 the Messiah tell us that, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Only Jesus can set us free. Only He can place a new heart within us, and only then can we begin to sow into a life that will produce a harvest that will change the world around us.
There are no amount of laws, no amount of governmental control, and no publicly elected official that can change the world in which we live. The world can only be changed as we allow our hearts to remain open and allow God to change us so that we may grow to love others to the depth that He loves us.