Day 25: Harvest in Righteousness

Last night on a walk with a friend through the forest and farmlands, a harvesting we witnessed so touched our hearts. Later, on our walk, I began to share of how often I have walked and prayed through such deep heartache in these very forest and farmlands in the past few years, and how the Spirit has repeatedly flooded my heart and soul with such peace, turning my bitterness and pain into a heart broken open by Christ’s love for for His Body, as living Words of prayer have poured forth from my heart and lips. I told her that God had reminded me of this harvest of righteousness, when I had wanted to condemn and shame myself for the lack of harvest I saw in my simple and quiet life.

I had looked for physical manifestations of this righteousness, but God reminded me to look in faith to the unseen, and to His bountiful gifts to me in the simple and quiet, as He turned me to these Words from 1 Corinthians 12:22-26 (ESV): On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.  If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:7


Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

John 12:24 (ESV)

I bless us to seek and find the joy of the LORD and His strength rising in us in prayer and worship, as we rejoice in the Lord and His abounding grace for us. I bless us to stand still in absolute awe of God’s bountiful and merciful gifts to us and to sing of His great love for us. I bless us to arise and shine in the light of God’s love, grace and truth – Jesus working in us, for us and through us.

I bless us to see how the once bitter seeds of the law of Moses sown into us as children are now breaking open unto sweet eternal abundant and abiding life in Christ Jesus and His all-sufficient sacrifice at the Cross for us. I bless the LORD to show us how all the fires of suffering and loss have only carried His gifts of new life to us.

I bless us to see Christ’s all-sufficient sacrifice reflected in our deeper rooting in His love through the fires of His jealous love. I bless us to see how God has repeatedly called forth a flooding of His Holy Spirit power in our weakness through these very fires to yield an abiding and abundant harvest in and through us .

I bless us to see and thank God for turning the law of Moses that once accused us into the sweet honey of His living and active Word, in Christ’s sacrifice for us. I bless us to see and praise God for giving us over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life might now be revealed in our mortal body, as death at work in us yields life for others.

Harvest in Righteousness

Guard thy heart
My child
Let not one bitter accusation
In thought or deed
Take root and 
Thistles reap.

Oh yes 
My dear
Pierce it does
Just as My crown of thorns
But even then 
Draw near.

Let each thorn
Beckon to you "come"  
Pour all out 
That not one bitter word 
Root where tender
Heart resides.

Come, I'll soothe
And bind and balm
For, this wound 
I have inflicted
Is not sent to harm you
But to heal you.

Now receive
Each and every 
Seed of Moses
No longer in condemnation 
At the feet of man
But buried in the good soil 
Of My heart for you
As life abundant.

In the dying
Of each bitter seed of wheat
Behold my love and mercy
 Now turn Your every 
Bitter
Into sweet.
 
See each Promise
You have clung to
Now no longer
Hope deferred remain
But in My death
And resurrection
Bountiful desires 
Manifest.

Not eye for eye
And tooth for tooth 
But love so strong 
Each seed of Moses
Be broken, bled
My blood for you

In undeserved mercy
Pouring.

Behold now 
In death's shadow
Your idols are no more
For taking up your Cross
To rest in Me
You see by faith
And not by sight
My broken Body
Now made whole.

Behold now
In the dying 
To your old
A tree of life 
In love's jealous fires 
Awaking.

Strongly rooted
Through desert fires
Rising up to new life
In the Spirit's flooding
See Eden teeming
With fruit for food
And leaves 
For tender healing.

Grace upon grace
In the fullness
Of My love 
For My blessed Body
 Watch Me
Now every month 
A bountiful crop
Harvest in righteousness.


Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
    but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.

Proverbs 13:12-13 (ESV)


The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And one who is wise gains souls.

Proverbs 11:30 (NASB)

Day 24: The Fire of God’s Jealous Love

I don’t often color pages, but this one beckoned me to slow and savor long ago and today, as I prepared this day’s offering, I realized how it is the fire of God’s jealous love through the Holy Spirit in us that empowers us to follow Jesus into His holiness and peace beyond all human fathoming.

It reminds me of what my dear friend Bettie once shared in her blog post about the intentional prairie burns in Wisconsin that are designed to make the soil more fertile. You can read her beautiful and encouraging post here: Holy Ground, Holy Fear. When it seems like God’s fire has left nothing standing: look closer and see Jesus – the pure Word of God and His holy peace – arising there. That’s where God’s giving – of His Son’s living sacrifice for us all – has only just begun.

Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury, and the expression of his face was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He ordered the furnace heated seven times more than it was usually heated.

Daniel 3:19 ESV

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalm 12:6 KJV

I bless us to look upon the ashes of our life and to see Jesus arising there. I bless us to look and see that it is God who has created the craftsman who blows on the charcoal fire and produces a weapon suitable for its task; and that it is God who has created the destroyer to cause havoc for our good.

I bless us to see how no weapon formed against has ever and will ever succeed against us, because, just as the three men in the fire, we too will refute any accusation raised against us in Satan’s court, as the fourth man – Jesus – rises in the fire with us to vindicate us, as the fire burns away the ropes binding us. I bless us to taste and see that we are not our own, but Temples of the Holy Spirit set apart and holy unto God in Christ Jesus.

I bless us to know and experience in our whole body and soul, and proclaim with great confidence, that the purifying fire of God’s love is for us and not against us. I bless us to bless God for sending His all consuming fire and to declare that fire boldly not as His punishment, but as the glorious heritage of the Lord’s servants, proving our righteousness is from Christ alone. I bless us to rejoice in our afflictions, to know and remember that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. I bless us to know and experience that hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

FIRE

On the fire
You lay
All my dreams
Of striving
They'll see.

You gave
Your all for me
All my earthly
Held in esteem
In Your love burning

To ash consuming
The dross
Your Spirit's burning
It's finished
Declaring
Nothing but the Cross.

My heart ever leading
To stay
When I'd rather go
To go
When I'd rather not
Birthing holiness in me.

Kindling
Freedom
From fear
Moment by moment
In jealous flames

An all consuming
Love flaming in me
Jesus
Pure gold
Revealing.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

Matthew 24:34 Berean Study Bible

He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

Daniel 3:25 ESV