Thanksgiving In Your Veins
“Do not be deceived God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:7-9
You’re more probably thinking of Thanksgiving in your belly than in your veins. It surely is a time to eat, and eat abundantly. Your favorite Thanksgiving dishes will begin to dance in your memory just about now as you think of the meal(s) coming in a few weeks. Christmas is the world’s most popular holiday, but Thanksgiving is America’s unique, thoroughly celebrated family feast. Its history and original purpose from the beginning days of our nation hold for us essential truths God desires to run in your veins, being propelled from the heart.
You know the history of the first Thanksgiving, a feast of pilgrims in a new world together with the native peoples of the land where they had come and from whom they had learned what seeds to sow. That first Thanksgiving came at the end of harvest and just before winter, when survival was paramount. The harvest must be abundant enough to carry the people through to spring. In those early winters many did not always survive the cold, non-producing months of winter. The pilgrims were thankful for a bountiful harvest and so they shared that bounty with the native Indians from whom they had learned what to plant. More than that they expressed their gratefulness to God who they knew through their faith created the earth to sprout and bring forth a harvest of what they had sown. Ultimately God’s hand was at work in producing the harvest.
From the first chapter of Genesis we read: “Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation, seed bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. And God saw that it was good. And in addition God had the sea, and air and land produce fish, and birds, and animals; all for the sustainment and enjoyment of the people he made in His own image. This was the nature of the harvest for which the pilgrims were grateful and gave thanks to the Creator God as they feasted with their new neighbors in that first Thanksgiving.
But there are laws of Creation which are at work before a harvest ever comes to fruition. Galatians 6 recount them for us, letting us know clearly that God is not mocked; the laws of His Creation are at work both in the physical as well as the spiritual world. Both are equally in force and both must be attended too with all seriousness, if survival and success is your goal. The pilgrims planted corn, and other fruit bearing seeds to produce a harvest. Corn seeds produced corn, not cotton. Wheat seeds produced wheat, not brussel sprouts. What is sown is what is harvested. Always!
Spiritually, what is sown to the flesh produces destruction; what is sown to the Spirit produces eternal life. The results in agriculture and the results in character development are not immediate. The text says, “In the proper time and “If you do not give up. In our flesh we want immediate results; we demand immediate results. Character does not mature overnight. Much sowing and nurturing is essential to produce honorable character. Too many grow weary waiting for the harvest of the fruit of the Spirit and give up in impatience and lack of perseverance. The law of spiritual harvest requires the proper time every bit as much as the proper time for a seed to produce its fruit. If you sow a seed of kindness today it must be watered and tended and nurtured tomorrow and for the proper time to produce a character of kindness. When we sow lies, and water them by telling lies day after day they mature into an untrustworthy character and inevitably your destruction is the result. What you sow and nurture is exactly what you are going to get. Laws, God’s laws, are just that, laws; we do not bend them or erase them with sporadic behavior like tears of regret momentarily, or sorrow which leads eventually to going back to the same old behavior. Be assured, God is not mocked by such perfidy. You WILL reap what you sow; if you sow to the Spirit, in the proper time, if you do not give up, and if you do not grow weary in well doing, you will reap a harvest in abundance, a permanent harvest. Mercifully, God’s grace is a constant refresher to the weary, but committed soul, who will not let Him go.
The reason we forget this in our daily practice and habit is that the truths of Thanksgiving and God’s Word are not running continually in your veins, propelled by your heart. Get the heart right with God, and the stuff coursing in your veins will be the stuff of the Spirit. That stuff, the right stuff, makes the whole body right. Gratefulness then oozes from your pores. It becomes who you are. Character honed over time becomes unchangeable and what is more it brings a permanent smile to God’s face as He looks on you; the weight of glory!
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