September 23

Job 40:6-8 (NIV) 6Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm: 7"Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. 8"Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?

Once Job had finished justifying himself, his three friends said no more. A younger man then spoke up. He told Job the thing that he had done wrong was to justify himself rather than God. The young man, Elihu, insisted that God's character was unquestionable.

Then God showed up. He had a few questions to ask Job. His questions served one purpose, to show that God is all-knowing and we are not. We can't question what He allows because we have so few facts. He sees every aspect in the past, present, and future. How dare we question the character of the Almighty who moment by moment gives us life!

If there was a sin in Job's response to his condition, it was to justify himself and thereby accuse God. In justifying himself, he was saying that God had made a mistake. True, his friends drove him to it, but he yielded to the temptation to make himself look good, and by contrast said that God was doing something wrong. "Would you condemn me to justify yourself?" God asked.

In times of difficulty, when we cannot understand the reason or purpose for the struggle in our lives, we can count on the integrity and justice of God. The one thing we dare not do is say God is unjust in His dealing with us. Would you discredit His justice? We must proceed in faith, knowing that our understanding is limited and His is infinite.

Remember: God can take it when we question Him. He understands our weakness. Just don't push it too far, especially as a poor testimony before others. God may question you.

September 23

Galatians 6:8-10 (NIV) 8The 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. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

The law of sowing and reaping is a concept that we should be aware of in everything we do. Paul often describes things as either black or white. In this passage, he tells us that when we sow, we sow either to please our sinful nature or to please the Spirit. It can be a litmus test for our decisions about our actions. Ask yourself, "By this action, which of the two am I sowing to please?" Then consider the consequences, or results, from sowing.

Sowing to please the sinful nature will reap destruction. Sin's wages are death. Satan has come to kill, steal, and destroy. Every time you sow to the flesh you participate in his kingdom and will harvest his fruits. There may be pleasure for a short time, but the harvest is on its way. When it comes, we often complain to God, "How could You let this happen?" It is the result of our actions. We are just reaping what we have sown. We want God to intervene and cause His laws of consequence to be overruled by grace, but He wants us to learn this law. It will help us to do what is right next time if we have to endure the consequences of our action.

The other side of the coin is the reward of sowing to please the Spirit. There is a harvest of eternal life to be reaped. That does not just mean our salvation, but includes it. When you chose to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you were sowing to the Spirit. When you choose to help a person in need, especially a fellow believer, you are sowing to the Spirit. When you do good, you are sowing to the Spirit and laying up an eternal reward. We reap some of the blessings of sowing goodness in this life, but most of our treasure is secure in heaven. What are you sowing to please by your choices today?

Understand this law of sowing and reaping is true in every decision you make.