Seeking Jesus First - July 20, 2023

Seeking Jesus First - July 20, 2023
Photo by Milada Vigerova / Unsplash

What makes a famous saying famous? “You are what you eat.” “Garbage in - Garbage out.” “Hard work pays off.” “Practice makes perfect.” “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” “Hope is not a plan.” “You reap what you sow.” “You will have what you say.”

Doubtless, you have heard these sayings in one form or another. They are conventional wisdoms born from the experience of older and wiser people. They become well-known for a time because they have been found “tried and true” to those who apply them. However, they became so well known that it sounded trite to keep saying them. But we need to teach them to the current generation.

  • “You are what you eat.” This statement is most simply about food. Your health depends on the food you eat - quantity and quality. Self explanatory, right? This is why I’m so sweet… and overweight. If one takes charge of what he eats, his body will respond better and many sicknesses and pains will disappear.
  • “Garbage in - Garbage out.” This is a computer science term. If something is wrong with the output, something is wrong with the programming or data input. This is also true with the way we think. If our thoughts are bad, then we need to check what we are watching, reading and listening to.
  • “Hard work pays off.” The right kind of consistent hard work pays you back over time. The benefits start very small sometimes, but consistent hard work and training in the area you need to grow or be successful will grow, and, eventually, it will grow exponentially. Be faithful over the little things and they will add up to make you a trusted leader in your field of expertise.
  • “Practice makes perfect.” This one can be considered incomplete. Practice makes permanent. If we practice the wrong stuff, we make the wrong stuff permanent. So, say it like this, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” Learn how to do it the right way. Then do it the right way over and over. Don’t shortcut while you are in training. If there is a shortcut that works every time, rewrite the training procedures.
  • “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Unless God has specifically told you to go in without a plan, you shouldn’t. Be imitators of God as dear children. Does God do anything without a plan? No, He doesn’t. Yes, we trust God. Yes, we walk by faith and not by sight. But walking by faith is a plan that takes practice. Understanding the promises and word of God, and following the leading of Holy Spirit, means we are intimate listeners to Him. Take the time to pray through and get as much instruction and leading as possible. Write it down. Refer back to it as needed.
  • “Hope is not a plan.” Hope is the result of faith and love at work in your situation. Hope is the result of going toward a goal while doing what you know to do to achieve those goals. Many people of faith tend to over spiritualize God’s authority and control in their life - expecting God to do what they won’t do. We are co-laborers with God. God is not the servant. He is The Father. He trains us and gives us work to do. He helps us to grow and take responsibility. Holy Spirit is our Help-er, not our do it for us-er.
  • “You reap what you sow.” Planting and harvesting is a cycle of life on earth. Whatever we plant produces a harvest. This is not limited to gardening. It works with attitudes, with money, with emotions, with serving, with eating, with what we put in our mind, with the words we say, with hard work, with practice, with planning, etc. If you don’t like okra, don’t plant okra. If you don’t like complaining, don’t complain. If you like kindness, be kind. If you like encouragement, encourage others. If you like to receive gifts, start giving gifts. “He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.” (Psalm 126:6, NKJV) Plant what you want to harvest even when it is difficult to do so.
  • “You will have what you say.” “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.” (Proverbs 18:21, NKJV)  The words you speak impact your life in unseen ways. Words are carriers. Words carry life or death. Words carry blessing or cursing. Words carry ideas, potential, dreams, and practically everything you either fear or hope for. Words are spiritual. They attract or repel. “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 18:18, NKJV) Words open or close doors. While we consistently speak of something good as if we are building something, one negative word has the potential to tear it all down if it is spoken in the wrong place or in front of the wrong people.

These are natural truths. Can you imagine if you apply them in a positive way God’s help and support? With God we can make these natural truths “pay off” in a supernatural way. “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26, NKJV) “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”” (Mark 9:23, NKJV)

Eat responsibly. Make sure your programming and data input are the best. Work hard at what is good. Practice doing things the right way. Set goals, and make a plan for what you want to accomplish. Hope in God, but keep working your plan. Plant only good seeds that will produce a harvest that you truly desire. Speak the truth in love and let no corrupt (fleshly and faithless) communication come out of your mouth.