Friday, September 20, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: The Harvest

Sowing and Reaping
A devotional by Victoria Bylin

You know that Fall is in the air when social media platforms are full of references to pumpkin spice lattes. Those aren’t my favorite. I’m not a fan of pumpkin-anything, but I’m a huge fan of autumn weather, colorful leaves, crisp red apples, and the sense of completion that comes with this season of harvest.

The Bible talks about harvests, too. “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7 NIV)

It’s such a simple concept. What we plant is what grows in our lives. If we plant love, we reap love. Good habits lead to good results. There’s another truth at work here: We reap those benefits after we sow and often much later than we sow.

Those ripe apples I enjoy? They don’t ripen to perfection overnight. They need water, light, and healthy soil. So do the pumpkins for those lattes I could do without.

I, too, need water, light and good soil. The living water of the Word, the light of Christ’s love, and the good soil of faith.

Those seeds of love? Sometimes they lay dormant for months, even years, before circumstances change. Maybe you’re praying for family members to come to Christ (I am). Maybe you’re praying for a job that doesn’t put you through the wringer every day (been there and am there again). This season of waiting can be challenging, but it’s also when those our tiny little seeds are transformed into giant oaks.

We reap what we sow, but God multiplies our tiny efforts into something far more than we could ever generate on our own.

Not everything we sow is healthy. Galatians 6:8 (NIV) goes on to say: “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Some seeds blow in like weeds. I know all about weeds because we live behind a farm for retired race horses. The weed battle is real. They would take over the back lawn if my husband didn’t tackle them on a regular basis.

Those bad weeds in our lives need the same kind of diligence. I love what comes next in Galatians 6:9. It reads, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

I’m a firm believer in grace. We can’t destroy the weeds in our strength, but we worship a Savior who has already won the battle for us. My challenge is to hang on tight to what Christ did on the cross. And like the verse says, in His time, we’ll enjoy the victory.

Let's Pray: Thank you, God for knowing what’s best and when it’s best. Help me to sow wisely, reap generously, and wait patiently.

Author Bio:

Victoria Bylin is the author of 18 traditionally published romances. Known for tackling difficult subjects with great compassion, she delights in stories that shine the spotlight of God’s love on ordinary men and women facing realistic challenges.

Writing has always been a part of Victoria’s life. As a child, she wrote hundreds of letters and scribbled in journals. As an adult, she worked as a freelance journalist and editor before taking on the challenge of fiction.

She had one goal when she started her first novel: to finish a book-length manuscript, good or bad. That first effort will never see the light of day, but it led to a second manuscript and a sale to Harlequin Historical. Since then, she has written westerns and contemporary romances for both mainstream and Christian publishers, with Together With You winning the 2016 Inspirational Readers Choice Award for Best Contemporary.

Writing is a joy and a challenge for Victoria, but faith, friends and family matter to her far more. She’s a wife, mom, proud grandmother, and a dog-mom to a wacky Jack Russell Terrier. Originally from California, she and her husband currently make their home in Lexington, Kentucky. When she’s not writing, Victoria enjoys long walks, travel, and dark chocolate.

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