PROVERB PRACTICALS Planting seeds of righteousness, proverbs 11:18,19, audio
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Proverbs 11:18,19, The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward. As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
One of the continual thoughts that I must have in my approach to the study of Godís word is that God loves me and He loves you.
We all love John 3:16 for in this verse we are assured that God moves toward us because He loves us.
This of course is what should motivate parents with regard to their children for love will bring into that relationship commandments that are given for the childís benefit and not his or her harm.
A loving father or a loving mother is interested in giving benefits to their children but the problem in this world is what constitutes benefits.
God defines benefits and the world defines benefits, but between the two definitions there are great differences.
The world inundates us and our children with glittering attractions that advertise themselves as benefits but instead will bring great harm.
One of the first acts of God with regard to his first child Adam was to give him benefits.
He made for Adam a garden and put Adam in charge of the garden telling him that of the garden he may freely eat of every tree, except one tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
No doubt there were very many beautiful trees that produced fruit for Adam to eat.
I suppose that God made sure that the variety of fruit would satisfy every taste bud that God placed in Adamís mouth.
We love fruit but donít you suppose the fruit of the garden was of a quality that we know not of in our time?
So Adamís father gave great benefits but he also defined that which was harmful to Adam.
But there was an enemy in the garden who was intent upon turning upside down that which God defined as benefits.
God said you shall freely eat with the exception of one tree and he said this because he loved Adam.
Whatever God did for Adam was based upon love.
But the enemy came who did not love Adam but only hated God and was there to use Adam for his own advantage.
And so from that day on this enemy has dangled glittering attractions before us that advertise themselves as benefits but instead will bring great harm.
God, as creator, God as the potter, has a claim on your heart but Satan, the garden of Eden interloper, is busy claiming hearts by using reward to entice.
God promises reward to His children and His rewards will bring true joy and happiness.
Satan promises rewards and if his promises were fulfilled all his servants would be abundantly rich.
Satan promised Eve that by simply eating of that one separated tree she would become as gods, but Satan did not tell her the down side of that action, that the result of that promise was death.
This is the principle upon which Satan operates.
He is the great deceiver and all his works are made to deceive.
He is the great carnival master who has rigged the game, for the game is always made to result in his favor.
He is the lottery king of lotteries.
The wicked works a deceitful work, and he who is lured through that deceit pursues it to his own death.
That wicked one, that serpent, that Satan, that deceiver, convinces that all that exists can be perceived from the things of this world.
In the garden he persuaded Eve of this for what did she do before she ate of the forbidden tree?
The woman saw that the tree was good for food, the fruit of it was pleasant to the eyes and it was a tree to be desired to make one wise.
It was good for the body and it was good for the mind for it opened up the mind to the knowledge of good and evil.
Was the soul considered? No, the care of the soul is not Satanís concern.
His whole effort is toward the love of the world, the love of the things of the world, for where the love of the world is there is not the love of the Father.
For this absence of love for God, delights Satan, for that is Satanís goal, to capture souls to his domain so that God will not be glorified.
Satanís deception is built upon the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life and every tale he tells is a lie designed to keep souls from doing the will of their creator.
But every lie of Satan toward the goal of great gain results in death.
Remember Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, who took on the deceptive ways of Satan and conspired to extract great gain from Naaman, the captain of the host of the king of Syria.
Naaman was a mighty man in valor but he was a leper.
Naaman was told to wash in the Jordan river seven times and his leprosy would be cured.
With great reluctance Naaman obeyed and was cured and wished to reward Elisha, but Elisha refused to accept any payment for God had done the work in Naamanís life.
But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
Gehazi ran after Naaman with deceit in his heart, in order to get great gain but he forgot that God saw all that he did.
He gave no thought that that leprosy from which Naaman was relieved would be placed upon his body.
And after deceiving Naaman he was confronted by Elisha:
And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time (Elisha looks thru faith eyes) to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
Elisha knew the Proverb of Solomon which should have prevented Gehazi from his deceitful work:
The wicked worketh a deceitful work: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.
Satan does not do his work openly but covertly.
Satan loves to creep in evil as the serpent creeps.
A little here, a little there and soon he takes all.
He works a deceitful work, painting sin with beautiful strokes, greatly to be desired but always hiding the reality of ruin and destruction.
He makes sure the question is asked by the youth: Whatís wrong with that?
Instead of asking, Whatís right with that.
Will that hinder my devotion to God? Will doing that lessen my testimony to others?
The young also say: Everybody is doing that, why canít I?
If you love me you would let me!
Why do you want to keep me from such pleasure?
But love opens Satanís shut door to the eventual ruin of doing that.
Love is saying no to Satanís allurements for love sees what comes after.
Love has eyes of faith to see a far distance down the road.
Love describes what is behind the glittering attractions that Satan puts before us and our children.
Love equips with the whole amour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
A faithful Pastor stamps on Satanís creeping evil before it grips his sheep for he knows that deceitful works end in loss and death.
A Pastor who studies to show himself approved of God studies the rocks and the potholes in the road so he can warn his sheep of what is coming.
Churches fail by the droves whose Pastors let in a little here, a little there and soon Godís word means nothing and Satanís world means everything.
Compromise never comes in like a speeding train but comes in like the tortoise, slow and sure but steadily advancing to destruction.
Soon the sign "Ichabod" is posted over the door, for the glory has departed.
Churches where Godís word is depreciated operate by sight and not by faith for sight is the devilís way but faith is Godís way.
The natural man naturally sees though eyes of the flesh but the spiritual man is given to see though eyes of faith for the just are created in Christ Jesus to live by faith and faith alone.
For the spiritual man looking though eyes of faith sows righteousness and knows that God will give eternal rewards for true righteousness tendeth to life.
All men sow seed. All men reap what they sow.
A moral universe created by God is a universe of planting and harvesting.
And in Godís economy what is planted must be harvested.
You cannot plant corn and reap potatoes.
Tomatoes will not come from the ground when beans are planted.
And another principle is that the harvest is bountiful in its plenty.
One seed produces much fruit.
Even wickedness produces a harvest for the Bible says that the wicked sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.
The wicked sow a breeze and reap a gale, or the wicked sow a gale but will reap a hurricane,
Another principle of sowing and reaping is that time passes between the two actions.
Immediate gratification is not ordinary in the act of sowing.
Faith is exercised in the spiritual realm for Godís reward is not necessarily given immediately.
The sower must wait with much patience, looking for an abundant harvest for that is the kind of God we serve.
So in this light of reaping greater than what is sown the reward for sowing righteousness must be abundant.
Godís children are predestinated to sow righteousness for they are predestinated to be righteous.
Not righteous because of self but righteous that has been imputed to them by being born of the Spirit of God.
There is none righteous who have been born from Adamís seed for Adamís seed sowed unrighteousness.
But Godís seed, his son Jesus Christ, results in men, women, boys and girls who are righteous.
Romans 8:29 tells us that those who are born of the Spirit, those whom God foreknew will be conformed to the image of Christ.
I think the simplest definition of righteousness is conformance to the image of Christ.
For Christís heart and life was absolutely conformed to the divine law.
When he said as a young boy, I must be about my fatherís business he was saying I must sow righteousness.
He said in John 5:30, I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
This is righteousness in its purity, doing the will of God.
Being made in the image of Christ, that is my destiny, that is your destiny, to do the will of God.
But to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.
What greater example do we have than we have in Jesus Christ, the greatest sower of righteousness and from that sowing his great reward is revealed to us in:
Hebrews 2:9, But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
And again in Hebrews 12:2, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Satan offers rewards, but all his rewards have strings attached.
And those strings strangle those who reach out for his benefits.
His rewards take no faith.
His rewards are seen, heard, tasted, touched, and smelled.
His rewards appeal to the emotions.
His rewards are meant to give instant gratification.
But Godís rewards have no strings attached for they are given for sowing righteousness which is not only of benefit to others but bring great benefit to the sower.
But Godís rewards do not appeal to the emotions nor do they provide instant gratification.
Godís rewards require faith.
Godís rewards are eternal and will put the sower of righteousness in good stead for all of eternity.
Righteousness may be sown in tears but the fruit will be reaped in joy.
Righteousness may be sown with great personal hardship but the bushels of reward will be given unto you, good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over.
God is rich toward those who sow righteousness.
Psalm 18:20, The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.