Giver of eternal life, thank you for the gift of another day of earthly life, a life that holds the promise of eternity within it. Thank you for guiding me as I tried to be a faithful disciple in your world this day. I know there were moments I failed, and for these I ask your forgiveness. As your Spirit held me close this day, carry me now to a night of peaceful rest. I surrender myself to restful sleep in Christ, knowing that you will use it for the renewal of my body, mind, and spirit. In the matchless name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Daily Archives: July 14, 2021
Psalm 105:2-7 (NRSV)
2 Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wonderful works.
3 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually.
5 Remember the wonderful works he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he has uttered,
6 O offspring of his servant Abraham,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
7 He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
Hosea 10:1-3, 7-8, 12 (NRSV)
Israel’s Sin and Captivity
10 Israel is a luxuriant vine
that yields its fruit.
The more his fruit increased
the more altars he built;
as his country improved,
he improved his pillars.
2 Their heart is false;
now they must bear their guilt.
The Lord will break down their altars,
and destroy their pillars.
3 For now they will say:
“We have no king,
for we do not fear the Lord,
and a king—what could he do for us?”
7 Samaria’s king shall perish
like a chip on the face of the waters.
8 The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
shall be destroyed.
Thorn and thistle shall grow up
on their altars.
They shall say to the mountains, Cover us,
and to the hills, Fall on us.
12 Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground;
for it is time to seek the Lord,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
“Break up for yourselves a new field” (Hosea 10:12)
Ask any farmer, and he’ll tell you how important it is to till a field before you plant your seeds. Tilling softens the earth, reduces weeds, mixes nutrients in the soil, and exposes pests so that they can be removed. Naturally, a farmer is willing to go through the hard work of tilling his fields; he wants the harvest to be as fruitful as possible.
Well, God is like that farmer as he tends the “field” of our hearts. He wants to see a bountiful harvest, but he first needs to break up the ground and turn over the soil. Unlike a farmer, however, he won’t do it without our cooperation. That’s how we break up for ourselves a new field, as Hosea put it – by inviting the Lord to come in and giving him the freedom to work in us.
The idea of letting God break up the soil of our hearts can be a frightening prospect because he will do what needs to be done. But it’s not too intimidating if you think like a farmer and focus on the crop to come – the character of Christ! Don’t be afraid to ask him to work the soil. Ask him to break up any hardness in your heart and root out any apathy. Tell him that you want to bear fruit for him.
On a practical level, this would mean starting each morning by asking the Holy Spirit to be a part of your day. Then, as the day progresses, pay attention to situations that challenge you. It could be dealing with a child’s temper tantrums or a co-worker’s gossip. It could be caring for an aging relative or comforting a friend in distress. Whatever it is, see it as an opportunity to let the Spirit soften your heart a little bit more.
The change doesn’t have to be grandiose. Just make a little adjustment each day, and the fruit will start growing. You’ll become more convinced of Jesus’ love and grace. You’ll become more forgiving and patient. You’ll become more alert to the needs of the people around you.
God, the perfect farmer, is ready and waiting. Let his kingdom take deeper root in your heart.
Lord, come and beak up any hardness in my heart so that I can receive the seeds you want to plant. Thank you for your love and faithfulness. Amen.