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Logo of AdAgrA 2020: A Living Parable

Morning Devotional: Friday

Cavell Blood


  • January 17, 2020
    6:30 AM
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Dear Father in heaven we thank you for waking us up this morning and we thank you for giving us another day of life thank you for giving us air to breathe in this morning I pray that your spirit may be here among us that your Holy Spirit would be here teaching each one of us and I ask for that the words that I speak might be from you not from me pray this in Jesus' name meant. Well it is a humbling experience too to be sharing what I study in devotion to it with with you this morning it's not this is just not my position and so I just pray that God might speak this morning. If you have your Bibles with you turn with me to James Chapter 2 and we'll start verse 14 James Chapter 2 in verse 14 I will have have most of the verses appear on the screen too if you don't have a Bible with you. This is this is going to be a study of face and what is needed to be combined with face in order to for it to be profitable. It starts out by saying what does it profit my brethren. The man see has faith and have not works him face save him. If your brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food and one of you say unto them the part in peace be warmed and filled. Notwithstanding you give them not those things which are needful for the body. What does it profit and then it continues in verse 17 saying even so faith of a half not works is dead being alone so we can see here that a true faith a living faith is going to produce holy fruits it's going to produce something it's not just going to be a mere belief and it's shown by its effect in the works. Hoping for the best and not doing anything about it is kind of like a dead tree doesn't produce fruits This is from Matthew Henry's comments on James Chapter 2 he says true believing is not an act of understanding only but a work of the whole heart. That a justified faith cannot be without works is shown from the 2 examples of Abraham and Rahab further on in James after 2 It talks about the examples of Abraham and Rahab in their in their face. Abraham believed God and it was reckoned and to him for righteousness. Faith producing such works advanced him into peculiar favors. We see then verse 24 of James Chapter 2. How that by works a man is justified not by a bare opinion or profession or believing without a brain but having such faith as produces good works. So we're here in agriculture conference can we be a farmer while only having a bare opinion or profession or believing without obeying the rules in the physical world. No we cannot people wouldn't trust people wouldn't trust me or us as a farmer if all we do is talk about growing crops but we've never done anything or have have nothing to show for it. I can't just believe that the seeds will grow without giving them the right environment to grow and. I would need to plant the seed I need to water the seed give it light shielded from harsh temperatures but doing those things doesn't make the seed grow it's God who makes the seed growth he gives the increase. I think the same can also be said to you about being a Christian can we really be Christians while only having a bare opinion or profession without believing or believing without a brain. Can people come to us and expect us expect to us to be a Christian if we're not obeying what God has told us to do. Because a quote from the desire of Ages through hedonism Satan had for ages turned men away from God but he won his great triumph in for averting the faith of Israel. By contemplating and worship in their own conceptions the heathen had lost the knowledge of God and become more and more corrupt. So it was with Israel the principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion. It has now become the principle of the Jewish religion this was at the time of Christ when Christ came this is just the beginning few pages here of desire of ages and I know there's a lot that could be studied into that quote but I want to focus on the section that's highlighted. Sometimes I wonder how much of this principle holds true today that a man can save himself by his own works that this didn't just start back then but does it does it still happen today am I doing good works to save myself or are the good works results of my connection with God. Doing good works will not save us it will doing good works will not give us any more merit. They'll make us any more worthy to be saved a lot of times we can look at the Israelites over the Jews in the time of Jesus when he was here on earth and think about how far we've come and how different we are it's easy I know reading like patriarchs and prophecy think of the Israelites you know they were out there doing this and that but oh I would have done that or then you advance to the the Jews in the time of Christ or even think of the those who were around when Ellen White was alive and think wow I would have just believed her you know but how often do we do we do that but then in our own daily life we're still just like they were. But we do have a part to do what does it say in James Chapter 4 verse 7 you can turn there I will have the verse on the screen here as well. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. So who's doing the resisting. Them plied subject is you you resist the devil and he will flee from you. Next verse draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you you are the one drawing nigh to God you're doing something new it's there's an action on your part. In verse 10. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up who's doing the humbling you are humbling yourself now yes God can humble us but it's probably better if we humble ourselves. We have a part to do and God has a part to do God is not going to do for you what you can do for yourself I have a quote at the end here God has given man land to be cultivated but in order that the harvest may be reaped there must be a harmonious action between the divine and human agencies. The Plough and other implements of labor must be is that the right time the seed must be sown in its season. Man is not to fail of doing his part if he is careless and negligent his unfaithfulness testifies against him so the seed must be sound and who sowed the seed I know in the parable of the Sower crisis sowing the seed but in in the physical world here we're sowing I discovered a way and we must be doing the one sowing. The harvest is proportionate to the energy expended. We can expect to have a big harvest if we're not putting a big amount of time into our farm. That would be against the laws of nature. So there are also must be how much time are we putting in with our relationship with God How much time we put in in drawing nigh to God as we are drawing nice guys you will be drawing nigh to us there must be a harmonious action between the divine in the human agencies. So what it say on the previous line. Man must not feel of doing his part if he is careless and negligent his unfaithfulness testifies against him. The quote continues. To be so it is in the spiritual things we are to be labors together with God. Man is to work out his own salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who work within him both to will and to do of His good pleasure. There is to be a copartnership a divine relation between the Son of God and the repentant sinner. I know this next part is a bit long but I left it here for the sake of the quote we are made sons and daughters of God as many as received Him to them gave he power to become the sons of God Christ provides the mercy and grace so abundantly given to all who believe in him he fulfilled the terms upon which the salvation rests. But we must act our part by accepting the blessing and face of God works and man works. And here's what man has to do. Resistance of temptation must come from man that's what we are to do we are to resist who must draw his power from God God can give us the power to resist temptation. Thus he becomes a copartner with Christ that's from the review and herald May 28th 1008. That previous part of the quote resistance of temptation must come from man who must rise power from God It gives us hope that even though it is hard to resist temptation that God can give us that power but we are to do we are not expected not to expect that we can just sit around and allow him to patients be in front of us we must resist temptation maybe that means going somewhere else maybe it's a different room maybe there's a television maybe you whatever it is we probably physically need to do something either at shutting our eyes closing our ears walking away we need to be doing something but a God can give us that power to do and he will he will provide a way of escape so that we're not overcome as in the physical so in the spiritual another quote from my left here at the end. In to leave of the soil. In disciplining in subduing the land lessons may constantly be learned. No one would think of sadly and upon a raw piece of land expecting one to seal the harvest. Earnestness diligence. And perseverance labor are to be put forth in tree in the soil preparatory to sowing the seeds. So it is in the spiritual work in the human heart. Those who would be benefited by the telling of this all must go forth with the Word of God in their hearts they will then find the fallow ground of the heart broken by the softening subduing influence of the Holy Spirit. Unless hard work is bestowed on the soil it will not yield the harvest. So it is with the soil of the heart the spirit of God must work upon it to refine and discipline it before it can bring forth fruit to the glory of God from Christ object lessons paid 88 so Taleb watering ground that's been dry for a long time to get it moist you must water must be applied to it consistently over a period of time again if you have worked with that Were you just trying to get water into really parched ground if you just pour a bucket a gallon bucket of water on it once a week. That's I think maybe eventually it could it could get there but it's going to take a long time. And so it is with our hearts if we can mix we can expect to stay close to God by only open our Bible on Sabbath as we listen to the sermon but we must daily be connecting with God you must daily be in the word and I know with myself a lot of times it can be. Like what am I going to study Lord today and God just wants us to get in there reading the word and he will start speaking to our hearts even because some of his later how do I how am I going to study the viol I'm really peculiar about how I do things I'm like Ok I has to be just right and I have to have the right tools here and so I was God just like just open and start reading you know so we need to just get rid of all the barriers and just get in the word every day and also Daily we must be striving to resist temptation asking God for that strength to resist the temptation. How many of you have have market gardens where you take your stuff to market. We have a little family garden at home and we also are able to take it to a small farmers market and so this example might be familiar to some of us or might be just me but you're getting ready for market and you're hoping that today will be a good day of market and they'll sell everything that you have you've taken and have good sales. Well a lot of the times you know I'm hoping for a big day but we just have a small garden so I can't sell more than I take I can't make $500.00 if I'm only taking one $150.00 worth of produce. And also you can't have a big harvest if you if you only plant just a little bit. Another example is with weeding if you're hoping that the weeds will take care of themselves if you have that faith that it will take care of themselves you know they'll maybe the weed will disappear God if you pray to God God has the power to probably remove those weeds but it's in our power to weed the garden we must be the ones going out there daily and removing those we daily in our own garden if we're doing pretty good we can probably do a little less often but daily in our own hearts we need to be making sure that the weeds are not taking root in our own hearts there must be an action on our part. Providing the right environment for things to flourish I have an example here. We have a in the glass did. I don't want to say palm tree but it was like a small palm it was in like almost like a 5 gallon bucket pot at our work in Tennessee and here's actually a picture of it. That's the that's after it had been neglected but I'll tell you before what it had looked like so we had this neglected palm that was sitting outside and it was this it was a small palm very edgy can see it can just sit in a bucket there. But since palms have fairly large leaves it didn't do too well in the wind sat outside the building and so when wind came by it would act like a sail and it would easily get blown over and so. My coworkers and I would be walking by it or whatever and we just not do anything about it because it's well I still don't know whose it is but we've kind of adopted it now and put it in our office. Anyway it could be later outside for days before someone would write it and as a result of it tipping over a lot the soil in the pot had spilled over and out and over time it left the top of the Root Ball exposed to the elements and by the end of the summer the color of the leaves was very brownish grey and here it's a lot better it looks it's green. But it looked like it was dead. If it were my plant I would have probably tossed it because it wasn't my plan I just I would write it every once in a while and just kind of go on and hope for the best. But then my coworker one day last October this is just from a few months ago. My coworker he saw this poor looking plant and he decided that something needs to be done he took the palm out of its existing plot which is just a thin black pot that. Was starting to fall apart he added it to a bigger you add it to a 5 gallon bucket put in some potting mix and brought it into the office and started watering it he said it close to his desk to monitor its recovery. Before long it might have been maybe 7 to 10 days that plant had fresh new growth coming out of it and you can kind of see the new leaves coming out of the small ones there but it didn't take long for those leaders to come out but over the whole summer no growth happened is all of its energy was just trying to survive it wasn't putting out any new leads but that leaf right there on the left and on the right you can see the overall plant right there those 2 leaves came out just not in 7 to 10 days but over the course of couple weeks but you could start seeing this come out just after $7.00 to $10.00 days. So once that new leaf was of decent size my coworker cut off one of the older leaves that was all brown and gray and the old tattered plant started looking a lot better. After about a month of having in the office the that's when these 2 new leaves came out and it looked like a brand new plant. So in this story I give this example because I would occasionally pick it up and hope for the best I had face but I didn't have works my coworker on the other hand had looked at the plant did more than just write it when it had fallen down he brought it inside and provided the right environment for it to flourish and then he waited he couldn't make it grow that was God's part. But his work showed that he believed that God could make it grow if he did certain things. And he made that environment where it could grow. I would have to say also that. This presentation making this presentation has been a kind of an experience of faith and works for me. Part of it's been hoping that it would take care of itself life just get so busy having a few kids and also having a little garden and other responsibilities that I would just for some reason or another I would just put does often and I'll do it later and a lot of times in the morning I'd be laying there in bed. I'd wake up early because maybe here when the kids crying or whatever and they go back to sleep but I can't go back to sleep but I'm tired but I can't fall asleep. And so I would be hoping that well do I need to get out of bed and really work on this and I would get the surgeon thought and I'm sure it was the least Christine I can't help you while you're lying there you need to get out of bed and do something and then I can help you. And so what I do want to say is that I was in a. That in our lives we need to be actively in the Word of God in our relationship with God We need to be the ones coming drawing night to him in the morning drawing night to him during the day too and even though it might not feel like we're close to God if we are spending that time and and waiting for God there if we are actively pursuing him he will he will be there and meet us and so. What I'm trying to get across this morning is that there needs to be as it is in the physical we can expect seeds to grow unless we plant them and provide the right environment for them. We also can expect ours ourselves to grow and thus we are spending that time making that environment where we can talk to God and we are spending time in the word and. I think this is I'm also telling myself this this morning too that I need to be spending more time with God that I need to be actively and daily reaching out toward God and saying Speak to me and I want to be connected with you. Let's have a word of prayer. Our Father in heaven we thank you. For the nature that surround us we thank you for the lessons that can be learned in the garden and we thank you Heavenly Father that you originally put man in the garden to take care of and and already even though since this happened there are still lessons that can be learned as we were working in the garden how we plant the seed how we water the seed but only you can make it grow Heavenly Father I pray than each one of our lives. Where there would be drawing nigh to you that we would be daily resisting the devil and he will flee from us but Lord you can give us the power to resist temptation and sin and Lord we thank you for that but there's no temptation is common to man but as. You've provided a way of escape that we can that we can bear the temptation that we do not have to stand your faithful and Heavenly Father we pray that he is one of our lives that this new year we might be closer to you drawing nigh to you each and every day. We thank you that we could be here this morning and we pray that you guy this throughout the. Brain Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermons please visit w w w audio verse or.


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