Beloved, anyone who has known me prior to July 3, 2009 can testify that I was quite the materialistic person. I was selfish with the money I had. In fact! I was so selfish concerning money, I caused a woman early in my youth to spend her entire check on me. Why? I wanted clothes and I did not want to spend my own money in which I had. This happened twice with two different women on two separate occasions. I thought I was “the man” yet I have come to know now being in the Lord, such actions were far from being a man, but closer to a menace. I was even a thief. I stole and I relished in it! Even though I got caught and for a small window of time was facing the possibility of jail time, it did not deter me from increasing my desire to steal and my willingness to invest into tools that would assist me in my thievery. I thank God in Christ for what He has done in and through my life. If not for Him, I would not have seen my sin for what it was. That very thing separating me from the knowledge of Christ and the privilege of knowing Him as I do now—Personally, intimately and powerfully. Praise the Lord! Receive His Word now and the Lord bless you by it! Amen.
With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles [those who are imprisoned by their own selfish hearts and are blinded from rejoicing in the knowledge of Christ] do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.
But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
(Ephesians 4:17-32 NLT)
This using your hands for good hard work and then giving generously to others in need is quite the extraordinary life to live and this can only come by Jesus and His mighty Spirit. I spoke of this to someone who is near and dear to my heart just a short while ago being (February 26, 2015). I told them that what we were apart from Christ, He uses it for His glory. Meaning, if you were a thief and a selfish man such as myself apart from Christ, now being in Christ, you are a generous man. You give as you know the Lord speaks to you concerning money in this manner: “What is money if not to be generous with it!?”
This is a promise from God we can all jump for joy in: What you were prior to Him, in Him, you will no longer be. He will cause you to rejoice in your works and deeds as you will no longer have to keep them in the dark where no one can see, but expose them in the light for all to see! Praise the Lord.
“If you want to live securely in the land, follow my decrees and obey my regulations. Then the land will yield large crops, and you will eat your fill and live securely in it. But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ Be assured that I will send my blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the large crop of the sixth year. In fact, you will still be eating from that large crop when the new crop is harvested in the ninth year.” (Leviticus 25:18-22 NLT)
It’s truly exciting to take in how gracious the Lord was with a people who at best were unruly and selfish. Oh how this applies to me! Thank you Jesus. From (verse 18-22) it isn’t about how good a people had it but how excellent is the grace of the Lord to those who trust in His Word and obey it.
To a farmer; one who cultivates the land to produce his livelihood, to know that they would willingly have to stop working for an entire year is sheer madness. However, the Lord is not only asking a people to do such a thing but to trust He knows best, and in turn, they will have enough to live on. In fact, by His Word, would have more than enough to live off of it for three years straight while they are able to produce even more! Now that’s the favor of the Lord. Halleluyah!
Beloved, upon reading the title of this post, one would think its beginning doesn’t reveal what is being spoken in Leviticus. However, upon a closer look, we can all see that the lives we live and what we do with them is like the farmer scattering seed and looking to produce a crop from that seed. Surely, our lives are like a field. Our hearts are such a seed that has the ability to yield something quite good. And the Lord is the One who provides the increase, like the rain, so many farmers pray to God to send their way! Oh that we would be found in Christ, being new creatures and not like the old, producing from our lives, from a thankful heart to God, that which will produce more than enough for all to feed on including ourselves for many years without experiencing shortage but always having abundance. Amen.
Oh, how I rejoice in the Lord!
– F. Lugo
Originally written on (2/5/15).
Originally written on (2/5/15).