What Do We Do Now?: Sowing and Completing (Part 3)





(Judges 1:6-7, 27-28 Pas. Baines, Jr. 1/2018)

Introduction: Have you ever found yourself wondering what do you do now (e.g., got a new job, terminated from a job, retired from a job, when children leave for college or first apartment, when starting a new year, etc.)? This series gives us some principles about what to do now. In our text, we see people reaping what they have sown. And we see the people of Manasseh working on completing their assignment. This discussion centers around, “We should work on sowing and completing.”

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Key Points:

1. It is dangerous to be against the Lord. Notice that passages like Matthew 12:30; James 4:17; Judges 5:23 support the idea that you are either with the Lord or against the Lord. God starts off nice (e.g., biblical principles, preaching and teaching, etc.), but He can move to taking whatever we think we have.

Our lives are challenging enough without adding God’s wrath to our lists of challenges. Let’s work on sowing seeds of repentance (see I Jn. 1:9), when we are found sinning against God. We can sin by way of active rebellion as well as passive rebellion (e.g., quietly failing to give our best in loving one another, worshipping God, and serving our community with excellence; quietly robbing God of His tithes and offerings [see Mal. 3:8-10]).

2. It is marvelous to be on the Lord’s side.  Notice that passages like Luke 11:28; Psalm 1:1-3; Ephesians 3:20 support the idea that sowing obedience leads to reaping blessings. We should make sure that we are on the Lord’s side, by making sure that we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith (see Jn. 3:16) and focusing on loving God and others, as we love our selves (see Mk. 12:29-31).

God can do more than we ask or imagine, when we obey His will. Let’s work on being on the Lord’s side.

3. Some battles are more challenging than others. Notice in vs. 27 that Manasseh struggles a bit with occupying his territory. Sometimes are blessings taking longer to obtain because we have some large battles to fight beforehand.

We can have challenges with our health, finances, and relationships that others don’t have. And therefore, it takes us longer to get ahead than others. Notice that Proverbs 23:7 supports the idea that a person’s thinking and understanding has a tremendous sway over how a person responds.

When your immune system is healthy, you can normally fight through a minor cold. But when your immune system is down, a minor cold can be a greater challenge. When you have a winner’s mindset, you can face some challenges to your wellbeing, relationships, and community that those who have a losing mindset just cannot handle.

Prayerfully studying and obeying God’s word with the support of others, in the areas of mindset, health, wealth, relationships, and service is a huge step in the right direction. Let’s work on appreciating that our level of challenge may be greater than others and work on building our capacity to deal with our challenges.

 

4. Church. Notice that passages like Matthew 28:19-20 urges the church to focus on making disciples. A part of making disciples is helping people develop their capacity. The challenges are often beyond our control. But helping people to build their capacity to problem solve and cope with challenges is much more manageable.

We should pray for God to give us both the wisdom and the passion to help make disciples who have the capacity to be more than conquerors despite all of the challenges of their lives (see Rom. 8:37). Let’s help people build their capacity.

5. Make sure you are working on completing. Notice in vs. 28 that when the people became strong enough, they moved closer to completing their assignment of occupying the land. In like manner, we are called to work on completing what God has assigned for us to do.

For some, it may be working on our mindset. It is not God’s will for you to go through another year with all of that anger, fear, doubt, and depression. The fruit of the Spirit includes joy and peace (see Gal. 5:22-23). Some of us may need to work on our health (see I Cor. 6:19-20).

It is not God’s will for us to live at such a low quality of life, when diet modifications, exercises, and medicine can help us live better and be a greater blessing to others. Some of us may need to work on getting our money right (see Lk. 19:11-27). We are supposed to be the lenders, not the borrowers (see Deu. 28:12-13).

Some of us need to work on our family and friends (see Ps. 133:1; II Cor. 6:14). We are stronger together (see Ecc. 4:12; Rom. 12:5). Some of us need to work on our service contributions (see Eph. 2:10; Mt. 5:13-16). Our service should be bigger than ourselves and our immediate family. We should be serving in our churches and communities.

Don’t get comfortable with less than what God has designated for you. Let’s work on completing our God given assignments.

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