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Monday, March 27, 2006

"Breaking Up The Unplowed Ground"

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers righteousness on you" (Hosea 10:12).

John Deere tractor with subsoilerThis morning I stopped by to see a farmer friend of mine. He told me several days ago that he had been preparing his fields for planting and was using a subsoiler to break deep into the soil. I was interested in what this looked like, so he showed me the equipment and explained how it works. Essentially metal teeth plow deep into the ground to break up the subsoil, preparing a hard packed field for planting in several weeks.

Our lives get kind of like hard soil.  We need more than surface work; we need the Holy Spirit to do some heavy-duty renewing.  Hosea uses the metaphor of "unplowed ground".  Farmers know that a well-prepared field is essential to a good crop.  Jesus taught in the Parable of the Sower about the seeds that fell on the hard path.  These seeds never had a chance because the birds came and devoured them.

Today there are many forces that can cause spiritual hardness in our lives. In a sense we need to work the soil in an ongoing way so that we keep our hearts soft and receptive to God's truth.  Hosea says, "break up your unplowed ground" indicating our responsibility in acting upon God's call.  Today may we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives as we respond appropriately to His leading, as He "breaks up our unplowed ground."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen C. Weber

Brooksyne's Prayer: Lord, I confess to You that my heart can easily become like fallow ground. Sometimes destructive attitudes that I don't deal with right away remain in my heart and cause me to be hardened toward you and others that I love.   I invite the work of the Holy Spirit to cleanse, renew and refresh me as I yield my heart to the searchlight of Your Word.  As I seek You, Lord, You will come and shower Your righteousness and blessing upon my life.  

My farmer friend has a modern John Deere but we reminisced this morning about the wonderful "putt putt" sounds of older tractors. Another friend of mine has a 1942 John Deere with the great sound. Here's a photo of me on it and if you care to listen here's how it sounds!   Click here for sound.
1942 John Deere tractor
1942 John Deere tractor

As I prepared today's message and consider the work of the farmer there's a great analogy in a song titled "Field of Souls" that I enjoyed by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, although this sample clip is by Wayne Watson. Although I was only able to find a short sample clip of this song it's enough to remind us of our different roles in spreading God's message.

Correction from Brooksyne: On Friday I told the story of little Aaron who hid a bag of M&M's in his pocket so that I would not ask him to put it back on the shelves.  The story is much better in context so if you haven't read it, you might want to do so.  Anyway, we received quite a lot of feedback on the story, but more importantly I was corrected in my error of attributing M&M's candy to Hershey Foods.  It is in fact a candy made by M&M/Mars Inc.   M&M/Mars has a factory just five miles from here in Elizabethtown.  Hershey is about 11 miles north of Elizabethtown.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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