Hands to the Plow

By Chris Baxter

Do you have someone in your life that you have invested so much of your time, energy, and effort into concerning God’s love? You’ve given your heart, soul, mind, and strength to this person, desperately wanting him or her to know and understand who the Lord Jesus is and all that He has to offer. Through your loving words and Christlike ways, you’ve plowed the field,  you’ve dug up the rocks, you’ve pulled out the roots, you’ve planted the seeds, you’ve watered, and you’ve waited. And the result is….nothing. You’re tired.

I have a couple of young friends that have won a place in my heart; I love them with God’s love so it’s deep and rich and full. Right now, when it comes to each of them believing in Jesus Christ as their Savior, there seems to be only an empty plowed up field. Rows of nothing. Will the blinders ever come off their eyes? Will they ever bend their knee to His love? Will they ever receive His grace, His mercy, His peace?

Will I ever get to see a small green shoot pressing through the deep rich soil?

This is when I must turn to God’s word, and claim His promises. To the same degree I want my young friends to believe in God as Savior, I must also believe in Him as Promise Keeper–the one Who keeps His word. I must have faith too! I must leave no room for doubting Him in my own heart… this is the very thing I am asking of my loved ones, isn’t it?

So, I will stand boldly on His promises, and wait, not with hopelessness, but with expectancy, because I believe in His word:

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:10-11

Keep your hands to the plow, my fellow co-laborer in Christ. Do not be discouraged when there seems to be nothing. God is at work in ways we cannot see; and He is working, right now. Trust Him. Water your seeds with steadfast love, ongoing prayer, unwavering faith, and expectant hope.

Then sooner (or later) you and I can rejoice in that tender green shoot sprouting up from the furrowed ground.

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How should I shine?

No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.  Luke 8:16

Dear Lord,

You gave us your eternal light for a purpose. Help us to remove the covering of fear or doubt or passivity that hinders your truth from shining out of us. Instead fill us with strong courage and active faith. May your light within us shine out on whomever we encounter today.  Amen.