Reaping the Unexpected

Biblical principles of Sowing and Reaping by Pastor Rick King

God has established a way of provision for us by blessing the planting of a seed for a needed harvest. God inserted some basic laws of reproduction into the process of Seed Planting from the beginning. God Himself established the sowing and reaping process in the early days of creation. In fact, we only get through ten verses in the first book of the Bible before God begins to talk to us about the importance of seed planting. In Genesis 1:11-12 (NLT) we read; “Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened.
The land produced vegetation all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

Jesus, Gods Only Son, was nailed to the cross as a seed planted for a greater harvest to the Kingdom of God. The word helps us to understand that what you plant is what you get, and how much you plant can also determine the amount of your harvest. We plant the seed, and someone must cultivate the seed. It is up to us to do the work required in this process of sowing and reaping, but God is the only one who can bring that seed to life.
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. (1 Corinthians 3:7 NLT)

There are times that God provides seeds for us to plant for a great need that He knows is coming our way. It is IMPORTANT that we plant that seed when God puts it on our hearts to do so!

Lets take a look at ‘REAPING THE UNEXPECTED!’

If you have ever had the experience of planting a garden, then you understand a basic fact; a seed will produce something of its own kind.
If you plant tomatoes, you get tomatoes.
If you plant squash, you get squash
If you plant cucumbers, you will get cucumbers.

But what if you go out to harvest your garden, knowing you planted cucumbers, tomatoes and squash, and find you also have turnip greens, nasty beets, and some kind of foul-smelling thing you can’t even identify? It would really leave you scratching your head and wonder what in the world was going on. Now, if you are like me, you would begin to reason logically why this has happened. You will certainly look at the facts.

  1. You know you didn’t plant those things
  2. You know that those things don’t grow without the seed being planted
  3. Somebody had to plant those seeds in your garden, with or without your knowledge of them even being there.

The bible tells us that our responsibility is to plant the seed, and to cultivate the seed. We know that planting the seed brings the crop. We know how to plant and cultivate. We have no clue how it works. How does that little tiny seed bring forth such a large crop of tomatoes? (Incidentally, with thousands of new seeds.)

Mark 4:26-29 NLT
(26) Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground.
(27) Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.
(28) The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens.
(29) And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

So, while we have to admit we don’t know how this seed planting things works (Other than just a God thing), we do know that if we reap something that we didn’t plant, someone has messed with our garden.

HOW TO ‘SNEAK A SEED’
The enemy is out there, continually looking for an opportunity to mess you up, we all know this. We all know that if we see that cloven hoofed, pitch-fork toting, fire breathing, two-horned devil prowling about in our garden, that he is there to plant some kind of stink weed among our good seeds.
When we see him prowling around like that, we sound the alarm; grab our Bibles and send him running. Here is the problem with that; the enemy knows you are savvy, battle wise Christ followers, so he doesn’t dare let you catch him in your garden. NOTICE, I didn’t say he stays away from your garden, I said he doesn’t let you catch him there.

Satan will use his agents to sneak his seeds in your garden!

How does he do this? It’s really not that difficult. He can use people to plant them in person; drop them in your ground without you even knowing it. He can slip them to you under the disguise of something insignificant and even have you help plant them. Or he can even have someone with a friendly face mix a hand full of the foul seed with the good seed you are hard at work planting. (See Matthew 13:24-30)

Weeds & Wheat in the Harvest
Jesus knows about weeds. He is a sower of good seed. But someone else is out there sowing too. His name is Satan. His seeds are the weeds of discord and disobedience. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sows good seed in his field, but while everyone is asleep, someone else sows’ weeds among the wheat. When the wheat and the weeds began to grow, the slaves asked the owner where the weeds came from. He answers, “An enemy did this” (Mt 13:28). When the servants ask the owner if they should destroy the weeds, the owner says:
No,’ he you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.

The problem with the weeds mentioned here is the same problem with much of our crops in the churches and among Christians today; we are getting a crop of weeds mixed with our wheat. The real problem is that the weeds become so tightly packed together with the wheat, that we must then be careful about pulling the weeds because it would also ‘offend’ the wheat.

So much of the weeds we see growing in the church and in the life of Christians today, so closely resemble the wheat it makes it had to tell one from the other.

We Christians need to begin living our lives in a matter that we are so close to God that when people look at the Church, they won’t have so much trouble telling our ‘wheat’ from the ‘weeds.’ We need to move closer to God so the world can see a stark difference between the things of God and the things of the world.

The weeds of discord and disobedience are the enemy’s most bountiful harvest. It’s what he is an expert at planting, and your garden is a target – EVERYDAY! The only way you can prevent yourself from being a victim of the devils dirty planting is to BE ON GUARD!

BE ON GUARD!
1 Thessalonians 5:6 tells us “So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.

You see, it is no different today as it was in the days Paul was writing that scripture. The enemy NEVER GROWS WEARY in his attempt to destroy you. He will bring his poison to you on the lips of someone you trust; perhaps even someone you look up to. Someone you admire.

When sister What’s-her-name is warming up to you, working your ego by telling you how she “see’s your sacrifices,” and the way you are overlooked, she is planting seeds in your garden.

When Brother Feel-your-pain comes to you and is ‘requesting prayer’ because he is confused as to weather or not the pastor truly hears from God when he prepares his sermons, he is planting stink weed.

When Sister Motor-mouth calls you up and begins to slowly dismantle your confidence in the church, the enemy is sowing stink seed in your garden by way of the telephone!

We need to learn to recognize the weed-seed planters and serve notice on them right up front; your seed planting days in my garden are OVER!

STAND UP to that devil and stop reaping a harvest of weeds. How much of your good crop are you willing to allow to be ‘choked out’ by the nasty weeds the enemy has planted in your field? How about NONE!

STOP REAPING THE UNEXPECTED! Stop listening to the discord others bring you! Don’t be reckless! Know what is taking place. Stay prayed up so you will know the difference between someone who sincerely needs advice and prayer, and someone who is planting seed of discord. Don’t drop your guard to someone with flattering words and self-stimulating conversation. Your Spirit knows when you are going places you don’t need to go. (If your Spirit is well fed and properly tuned!) Don’t allow your Spirit to feed in unclean places. Things you take in through your eyes, ears, and thoughts are secretly at work planting seed, sometimes without you even knowing it. Be Alert! Pray without ceasing.

Sin=Distraction

1 John 5:21 NLT Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.

Distractions. We all battle them in every area of our life, some with a devastating impact. Distractions in your spiritual life are there with a specific purpose; to separate you from God by diverting your focus. Sin is a distraction. That should be common knowledge, yet it is often never suspect in that respect. We tend to look at sin and rate each one according to our own opinions of their impact, yet all sins have one very dominant purpose….. to distract us from God. Some sins distract us until something bigger comes along to distract us further, others lead us into a path of long-term distractions with little hope of ever regaining our focus without help from above. This is especially true when we stop recognizing our sin as sin and begin to justify our actions. This is something we all battle, it begins at such an early age and continues until we breathe our last breath. How do we resist? Only by keeping our focus on Jesus Christ, always!

In these crazy times we find ourselves living in today, it is ever so important to avoid the distractions that separate us from Gods Purpose and lead us into temptation and deception. Stay focused on God and resist the enemy of your life.

(James 1:14-15 NIV) ” but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. (15) Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

Your God-Given Dreams Are Gods Purpose For You!

Gods Spirit in us inspires us to dream. God-inspired dreams are never irrelevant, insignificant, or unattainable, they are Gods thoughts and desires for us and His hope is that we will cling to them and bring them to pass. Our commitment to fulfilling our dreams is key. The thing we desire the most, we will pursue the most. It’s like that pearl of great price that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 13:44. The thing that has so much value to us that we are willing to let go of everything else to own it.

Do you have a dream that seems impossible at times? Remember that God is the Giver of dreams, and He doesn’t birth impossible dreams. Don’t let the things of this world crowd your life and steal your hope to reach that great place that God intends for you to reach. After all, it was God who gave you that dream, and it is God who will help you reach it, but you must make it your heart’s desire, your pearl of great price.

dream2.jpg

A True Watchman

Be a TRUE Watchman!We have all encountered people who stand on a street corner or approach someone at work, in a retail store, or even in church and begin to proclaim that they are sinners and are headed straight to hell. I have even seen people stroll up and down beaches seeking out those who are drinking, smoking, or wearing something they deem offensive, so that they can tell them how filthy they are in the eyes of Jesus. Most of these ‘street evangelist’ have good intentions. They are really not much different than many church members, family members, and co-workers in that they see people messing up their lives and they want them to stop. Unfortunately, they are going about it all wrong and are causing more damage than good.

In Ezekiel we read that God gave a serious charge to be a Watchman. (Ezekiel 3:16) God said to Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman.” God told Ezekiel that he was to warn the people of the consequences of their sins. Then God went further and said that if he didn’t warn them and they died in their sins, that God would hold Ezekiel responsible for them. If Ezekiel warned them and they continued in sin anyway, then Ezekiel would not be held accountable.
Many people hear this story (so many sermons are delivered on this subject) and get all fired up about being the ‘watchman.’ It is unfortunate that they get the first part of this charge without reading the ‘rest of the story.’
Ezekiel, third chapter, continues this way:
(Ezek. 3:26-27) And I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth so that you will be speechless and unable to rebuke them, for they are rebels. 27 But when I give you a message, I will loosen your tongue and let you speak. Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says!’ Those who choose to listen will listen, but those who refuse will refuse, for they are rebels.

Ezekiel wasn’t given an authority to go out and meddle with peoples lives in his own way, neither do we have that right. His tongue was stuck to the roof of his mouth until GOD RELEASED him to speak. When you learn to be led by the Holy Spirit and speak when it is time, and say what GOD wants said, you will be an effective watchman. If you speak on your own authority, quick to convict and condemn, you will certainly cause great damage to the Kingdom of God.
The crucial thing here is to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. He will give you words to speak and open the opportunity for you to speak. A few words spoken from our own hearts can bring much harm. A few words that are directed by the Holy Spirit will turn lives around!

Summer Interrupted

Sometime around the end of last year I broke several bones in my foot. My doctor (at the time) misdiagnosed me, as he was given the wrong information from the one who took the x-rays. As a result, I kept on walking on broken bones. This caused extensive damage to my foot. So much damage that it became a possibility that I could lose my leg below the knee. After a few months, my wife finally had enough of my lack of proper treatment and took me to another hospital where a proper diagnosis was made. After a short stay, I was released and told to stay off that foot 100% of the time and possibly I would be able to walk on it in several months…. somewhat, again. When I asked if I would be able to get outdoors and walk before the Summer ends, my doctor responded with, “Let’s focus on saving your leg right now.” That moment was unsettling, to say the least.

Well good news! I am now able to walk about 50% of the time now and hope to be even more so in the near future. I thank God that I am able to return to a normal lifestyle again. I have already missed out on so much. I have been told that long hikes will never again be in my future, but I do not accept that. I know God just makes things work again.

In this time, I have learned to appreciate things I once took for granted. I have a new compassion for anyone who is handicapped, especially those who will never recover. I can say that I will certainly be more attentive to their needs in the future. I have started this new dedication by redesigning the Handicap Accessibility features in our church. Have you ever noticed that there are not many wheelchairs in churches? Is it because we haven’t made it convenient enough for them? Now I know what it is like to decide to stay home instead of going out with family because of the uncertainty of the accessibility in an unknown place, or a place that is usually crowded.

 

thankful

Again, I am so thankful that my situation did not get worse and I am well on the road to recovery. I tried to not complain, and every time I wanted to I would see a young man or woman with missing limbs, most likely lost while fighting for our freedom. I would think of good people that I know who will likely never rise from their wheelchair to resume normal activities. That makes a guy like me, with all I have to be thankful for, feel petty for any self-pity.

Blessings!

Rick King

 

O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

Have you ever had one of those times when you had so much going on that even finding time to eat become a problem? It has been that way for me over the past couple of months, not complaining because I love every minute of what I do. After several months of hard labor, we managed to open the church and begin having services in advance of our February ‘official’ opening celebration. As always, God has been so good and we had a few families join us from the very beginning.  He sent us good people with a burning desire to help build this church in a way that would change lives. I feel such joy when I pull up to the church and see people busy working, planning and preparing for the next project while laughing and smiling because of the joy. This was the case last Saturday when I walked up to the church, expecting a big list of things to do for our Fall Festival later that day. At one point, as I walked across the parking lot, I could sense a prompting from the Holy Spirit to stop and call my mom.

Why is it so hard to find time to do those little things that mean so much to others? My mom recently had a fall that left her unable to be alone and had to be temporarily placed in a Retirement Home in Arizona for rehabilitation. I believed that she would be there a couple months, then go back home. It turns out that wasn’t Gods plan.

My first thought on that busy Saturday was that I could call her later, maybe even after service the next day. Before I could finish that thought, I knew mom needed to talk and pray now, this moment. I called her and for some reason, our conversation just seemed different than before. Mom had several problems and most of our conversations centered on her pain or on better days and the poor condition of this world today. This time it was different. She seemed to be in pain, but more alert. We talked for a while, and then I asked her if I could pray with her. She said yes, and we had about five or ten minutes of powerful prayer. My mom began to weep, but it wasn’t because of pain this time, I could sense that. I prayed as she glorified God for all the good things He has done throughout her life. It was a time I will always remember. After our prayer, mom asked me a question. It was a question she had never asked me before. She asked, “Rick, you see something. Tell me what you saw when you prayed.” I told her what I saw in my Spirit. I told her that I saw her full of joy, like she hasn’t known in so many years, and that God was removing the pain and restoring her youthfulness. Mom took a breath, relaxed herself, and said, “Honey, I am ready.”

When I think back now, I know God was showing her that He was taking her to a far better place and she accepted it as nothing to fear. For some reason, my mom always seemed to have a fear of dying, but not anymore. The strange thing is that I saw her being pain-free and celebrating youthful joy, yet I never thought God was taking her home. But that’s what God did, a couple mornings later, and He kept His word about restoring her youthful joy and removing the pain that is attached to the body, by calling her home. I am so thankful that I listened to the Holy Spirit and took the time to make that call.

I don’t know what my moms thoughts were in those remaining hours, it doesn’t do any good to dwell on that, but I can say with certainty where she is today, and I am thrilled that she has found peace and joy. Like my dad before her, I know I will see her again. When I do, there won’t be any complications attached to that meeting, it will only be good. There is such a joy in knowing, without a doubt, our loved ones are ready to meet God when they breathe their last breath. We can do like the world and pretend they are being fitted for wings and a harp, we do that to make ourselves feel better. Sometimes we refuse to acknowledge a loved one might not have made it right with God because we love them, but my dad and my mom left solid evidence of where they are today. For this reason, even though my heart is heavy, I rejoice for my mom, and my dad.

My mom and I had a great texting relationship. I tried to text her at least once a day. Several times the past few days I have picked up my phone to send her a text to see how she feels today or tell her something that has happened. I will admit it makes me sad each time to remember I can never do that again. But I do take much joy from my last text from my mom, the evening before she died. It went like this; “Rick, Mike, Sharon, I don’t think mom is going home again. I love you all so much. See U there.”

I can be assured that we have a meeting place, and at the appointed time, we will rejoice together.  

Mom: A happy time with family.

Mom: A happy time with family.

Good For America?

Earlier today I caught a brief moment of Bernie Sanders on TV giving a speech. I met Bernie a few times, nice guy, but I am afraid this country would not last six months with him in charge. Nobody likes pain and suffering, but it can’t be removed with legislation. Since the beginning of time, men were designed to get out of life what they put into it. Therefore it is vital that we are selective in what we choose as a career and that we are willing to invest enough to have a higher return.

Some jobs will NEVER pay a living wage, NEVER. Instead of demanding those jobs pay what skilled jobs pay, lets go back to having choices in our careers and the ability to rise to a higher level. It isn’t easy, but neither is flipping burgers. Bernie, if we have a minimum wage of $15, the cost of living will adjust to make that as though $15 is $8. Again, a better job opportunity is the answer. Also, Bernie, if you force employers to give women at least three months off with pay to have a child, don’t you think that gives men the advantage in the job market? Why should Joe’s Coffee House have to pay the Smiths to start a family just because Ms. Smith works at his counter? Who is going to pay Joe’s wife when it is her turn? To be fair, will we also pay the father to stay home for three months? Have we not survived for generations without this? If you really want a perfect society, seek the Lord with all your heart and become part of His.

I don’t normally like to discuss these things on my social media, but we are in a real mess. The Democrats have been taken over by socialist extremists, and the Republicans are under the control of progressive appeasers, and both parties have lost their moral compass. We need a big change in this country and we better all start talking about it, and had better not stay home on election day because we couldn’t find a ‘perfect’ candidate. Just look how far we have fallen in the last few years alone. Get ready, the decline is not over yet. 

We need sound policies to get this country back on track. Simply ‘feeling the pain’ of those who are struggling isn’t the answer. Pointing fingers at those who have found a way out of poverty and became successful isn’t the answer. Forcibly taking from the haves to give to the have nots isn’t the answer. If someone refuses to take responsibility for themselves, they have more problems than we can fix by slapping the hand of those who worked hard and reached the top. We must stop telling them that they are being held back buy the ‘rich’ and teach them that they too can become wealthy. 

We don’t need a socialist Superhero to lead us to Utopia; we simply need to get our country back to work and stop dividing the people.

utopia-road-sign-e1364410297392

Want to be blessed on your job? Use this biblical advice: Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” (Colossians 3:23.24 NLT)

What will we learn from Greece?

I hope that the Americans pushing for a Socialist government in the USA are paying close attention to what is happening in Greece. It’s nice to demand a never-ending list of entitlements, calling each one a ‘basic human right,’ and then expect someone else to pay for them. Free healthcare, a free education, free food, free $$$, and a retirement age in the early fifty’s on top of it all. Nothing in life is free, but thank God we have the ability to earn it all ourselves if we are willing to apply ourselves not expect everyone else to carry us. The people of Greece seem to be more willing to see their country fold than to turn back any entitlements. Where do they think money comes from?

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”

Margaret Thatcher

headsand_b

Margaret Thatcher

Another Big Step Toward The End

The Supreme Court ruled this morning in favor of gay marriage in America. Although I am not surprised at their decision, I was seriously troubled by it. Over the course of this debate, when left to the people to decide, gay marriage has been defeated at the polls only to be legislated later by a leftist Judge. That has been the case even in liberal states like California and Oregon.

I do not have a hidden desire to see people who are gay mistreated or denied the freedoms entitled to them by the Constitution, but that has not been what this debate is about. Their agenda is not to be married in the interpretation of some government paper, but rather to undo the moral structure of traditional marriage and to silence the Biblical view that homosexuality is a sin. We see it in the news too often lately. A baker in my town had to close for refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding because it violated her religious principles. A wedding chapel in upstate New York was fined $13,000 and forced to go to sensitivity training in a ruling this week for refusing to allow a gay wedding on their own personal property. These incidents are numerous and continue to grow and expand. Popular gay Star Trek actor, George Takei, commenting on live television about the Courts decision this morning reminded the viewers that there was still much work to be done. His thoughts on the next target? Yep. Religious Liberty. It’s coming folks. In fact, it is already here. I too have had calls from anonymous people requesting my services for a wedding and have to guard my wording while standing firm on my principles, knowing that I too could be the next target of the new gay agenda and each call could be a test. I should not have those thoughts enter my mind, but this is the sad state of our nation today.

I don’t dislike any group of people, nor do I seek to prohibit them from making their own choices. I have said many times that it is a God given right to live sin-free or as a sinner, just beware that your decisions have eternal consequences. The battle here is to darken the Christ appointed light-of-the-world that shines to expose the popular sin of preference in today’s world. This is also the devils plan to keep the lost in bondage by silencing the witnesses that will show them a better way to live.

As dark as it may seem, as a Christian I have an excitement because I know these actions are serious signs that Jesus is indeed coming soon! We are told to look for certain signs of His return. A collapse of a moral society is a serious sign of his return, as Jesus said in Luke 17: 28-30  “And the world will be as it was in the days of Lot. People went about their daily business—eating and drinking, buying and selling, farming and building— until the morning Lot left Sodom. Then fire and burning sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

 Paul talks about this time in history in Romans. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.  (Romans 1:22 NLT)

And then he continues, as if looking right into the year 2015;

(Romans 1:24-28 NLT)  So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies.(25)  They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.(26)  That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other.(27)  And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.(28)  Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, He abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.

 It seems history, even bad history, repeats itself. Something else is going to be repeated soon, and that is the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth with a specific mission in mind; the Rapture of his church! This is something we are instructed to rejoice about, and I do rejoice. Over the past few years I have heard several ministers teach that believing in a rapture ‘steals peoples hope.’ I admit that kind of teaching makes me a little angry, because my Bible teaches that the rapture IS my hope! Sadly, some Christians love God and want to be with Him, but they also love this world. It’s okay to love this world, God created it for us to love, but don’t allow the created world overcome your love for the Creator! Think about this warning of Jesus in Luke 17:32:  Remember what happened to Lot’s wife!

Someday there will be proper order on this planet, but not until the rapture of the church and the later return with Jesus Christ to set things right. Many have had a desire to bring a Godly utopian rule to this earth among the evil that exist. This is what Judas wanted too, but it will not be. Evil and Holiness will be at war until God says enough, and evil is put down. Rejoice! That day is coming soon!

washington-s-crusaders-the-pine-tree-flag-3x5-ft-premium-nylon-3 (1)