From Premises to Promises

Premises is only a letter away from promises, but there is a world of difference between the two. The definitions for premises are:

land and buildings; a piece of land and the buildings on it; part or all of building; a building or part of a building, especially when used for commercial purposes; matters previously mentioned; matters previously stated or referred to in a legal document such as a deed.”

I’ve depended upon premises far more than promises in my life, but I’m learning that God’s promises pave the path in His kingdom. Walking in God’s kingdom is walking on those sweet promises in a way that changes everything. God’s promises are the heart of His Word, and here are a few favorites that bless me:

2 Peter 1:4 (NASB)

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB)

For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

Matthew 11:28-29 (NASB)

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Isaiah 40:29-31 (NASB)

He gives strength to the weary,
 And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired,
 And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord 
Will gain new strength;
 They will mount up with wings like eagles,
 They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.”

Philippians 4:19 (NASB)

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 8:37-39 (NASB)

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Proverbs 1:33 (NASB)

But he who listens to me shall live securely
 And will be at ease from the dread of evil.”

John 14:27 (NASB)

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

Romans 10:9 (NASB)

that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;

Romans 6:23 (NASB)

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

There are many more promises in God’s Word, and they each give me the strength and courage to walk in His kingdom with a new vigor knowing that the road upon which I walk has been paved and sealed with Christ’s precious love. His love fulfills God’s promises in a way that allows me to enter His kingdom and walk with the assurance that His promises never fail.

I can stray from the path or turn around if I chose; but if I follow Christ’s voice of love and stay on the path He’s prepared, God will take me where I cannot go alone. He does not promise that the path will be easy, but He does promise that it will lead to joy if I obey and keep on walking even when I can’t see or don’t understand where He’s taking me. He gives me a great Guide in the Holy Spirit and faithful friends to hear my heart and share the journey:)

God’s kingdom now isn’t a field of flowers or a lush tropical paradise. God’s kingdom is a beautiful field ripe and ready to be harvested. When I’m ripe and ready myself, I can begin to walk in a way that helps with His harvest.

“And He was saying to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.'” Luke 10:2 NASB

God's Harvest

Bringing in the Sheaves:)

Psalm 126 is the perfect song for Thanksgiving, and so is the hymn it inspired. “Bringing in the Sheaves” was written in 1874 by Knowles Shawl. His words were set to George Minor’s music in 1880, and a wonderful hymn was born. I marvel at the ways God’s Word sprouts and spreads. I haven’t sung the old hymn in many years, but I was reminded of it as I read Psalm 126 last night.

Psalm 126:5-6 says “Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” People have been replaced by machines in the field, but the message in Psalm 126 and the hymn remind me that God’s harvest is still personal and requires His children working together to bring the sweet news of salvation to the world.

Sowing is the hard part of the harvest and involves weeping, but reaping brings great joy. Tears water the seeds. Growth is painful and never gets easier, but I must continue to grow as long as I am in this world. Age both helps and hurts the growth process. Maturity shows me the necessity of growth, but age stiffens more than my muscles when it comes to sowing, growing, and reaping as God desires.

I’ve been stiff lately, and I know it is due to a lack of yielding.  I’ve come to a place of deciding if I’m going to go to the next level or stay where I am. The choice is mine. I’ve seen what happens when growing stops; dying begins. Joy departs, and rotting replaces reaping. “Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves,We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.” I prefer reaping to rotting, so I plan to keep growing.

I can’t go into God’s field picking and choosing what to reap or worrying about what happened to my seeds. God’s field is ripe for harvest, and that is all that matters. The song and the psalm use “we” and “those,” both plural. The harvest is best done together. It is God’s field, and He deserves all the credit and the glory. I am here to bring in sheaves with joy and glorify God in the process.

Planting a seed is important, but there are many factors which contribute to a seed’s growth. That is especially true in God’s field.  The only thing that matters is to  “lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.” John 4:35 NASB Growing impatient while waiting for the harvest, wondering if the seed I planted is part of the harvest, and worrying about who’s in the field next to me get in way of the harvest and take joy away from bringing in God’s sheaves.

It’s easy to become weary, but it helps if I grow while I wait. If I simply sit back, settle, and become complacent, I will miss the beauty of the process God has in mind for my growth. Seeds take time to mature, and that’s why there is so much joy in reaping. The growing season mirrors the season of my own heart’s growing. There is a time to sow, a time to nurture, a time to wait, and a time to reap. Resting and quitting are very different ways to wait. I love this line from the poem “Don’t quit” by an unknown author. “When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.” 

Growing disciples is a beautiful process that requires deep personal connections in order for roots to reach deeply into Christ’s love. His love feeds and flows beautifully if I open my heart and develop relationships that allow me to walk in His kingdom and help with His harvest. Christ’s precious love makes me come rejoicing as I bring in the sheaves. Sharing it with others is what the harvest is all about:)