Consider The Seeds You Have Sown

The Lord created seed to bear fruit. Genesis 1:29 says, “And God said, See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food.”

We are created to sow a harvest seed. Within each seed is the ability to produce other seeds in abundance. We may sow one seed, yet the harvest yields multiple seeds. Think about how much harvest there is when sowing one kernel of corn. What are you sowing?

Galatians 6:7-8 says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

Let’s consider some types of seed. Proverbs 18:21 called them life and death words. The end of the verse says, “…and those who love it will eat its fruit.” What about grace words? Ephesians 4:29 says that our words should impart grace.

All spoken words are seeds sown. This is a glorious truth! We sow seeds of truth into other’s hearts when we speak the word of God to them. In every conversation, we sow multiple words. They are either life-giving or life-taking.

What happens when we speak death words? I shudder as I type this. Pronouncements spewed with angry and bitter words wound deeply. Has anyone ever said something like this to you? You are no good, you will never amount to anything, you can’t do anything right, or I wish you were never born, etc. Those types of words slam against the walls of our heart, and stick like darts piercing the board. The enemy uses others to shoot his fiery darts through. We must refute the words when they are spoken over us.

Years ago a car accident negatively affected my neurotransmitters. My neurologist said the impact caused some of mine to be repressed. He was going to give me a drug to help release them. He said: You will be on this drug for two years. I said: Oh no I won’t be on this drug for two years! He was shocked, but there was no way I was going to receive that authoritative binding pronouncement! 

What have you allowed to penetrate your heart? Our thoughts all come from our heart. If there are weed seeds that have been sown in our heart, we need to ask the Lord to sterilize them so they don’t keep producing.

We are not the product of other’s words. We are created in the image of God to have intimate communion with Him. His words are always life-giving. They impart truth that sets us free. Our identity is in Him and Him alone. Don’t let others’ death words mark you. I did. I spoke death words over my body for years. One day the Lord took me aside and revealed the hidden roots that were still bearing weed seeds. I repented and my health began to turn around. Be careful what you speak over yourself.

Proverbs 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones” Honeycomb is meshed the same way that our bones have mesh-like structure. Life words have the ability to build up the structure of another’s heart. Let us use them wisely.

Consider 2 Corinthians 9:10. Though this was written of finances, we can apply them to the words that we have sown. In the Amplified. It says, “And (God) who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your (resources for) sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness (which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity).”

Where Is Your Seed?

There are two very interesting verses about seeds that help to answer this question. One is found in Haggai 2:19 says, “Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.”

Is your seed still in the barn? When we get discouraged, we quit sowing seeds. Without seed, there is no fruit. What else keeps our seed from bearing fruit? Joel 1:17 says, “The seed shrivels under the clods, storehouses are in shambles; barns are broken down, for the grain has withered.”

There are myriad ‘clods’ that keep our seeds from sprouting. I can’t begin to make an adequate list. However, since yesterday I brought up what happens when we become lax, let’s look at what the Lord spoke through Haggai.

Haggai 1:9 says, “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts, Because of My house that is in ruins, while everyone runs to his own house.”

I want to use the word ‘house’ here as our relationship with the Lord. When He is our first priority, then everything else falls into place. It is when we skip our quiet time with Him, that the things we put our hands to will fail.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Addition means there is something else already in place. Priority means: a thing that is regarded as more important than another.

No matter what the circumstances are in our lives, the Lord must remain as our priority. He dwells in us. Yet our heart can become contaminated or filled with other things. Remember what Mark 4:19 says about the seed of the word sown among thorns. 

Here are the thorns, “And the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.” Read with me how this played out in the heart (vineyard) of a man void of understanding.

Proverbs 24:31 says, “And there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down.” Are you being diligent to remove the thorns from your life?

I had a back field at my old house. It was full of thistles. I could not pull them up with my bare hands. They grew wild, watered only seasonally by the Lord. They sowed weed seeds into my backyard, garden, and flower beds. They were impossible to contain. Weed seeds were scattered by the winds. They fell on the ground, rooted, and bore thorn-fruits. Weed seeds choke out good seeds.

Mark 4:27 is a universal truth of a farmer’s good seeds as well as weed seeds. It says, “…the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.”

Navigating Discouragement

Whatever God has called us to do, it will never be revoked. Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable.” Adversity may war against us, but God’s purpose and calling will never change. Job 42:2 says that nothing can thwart Him!

We are called with a holy calling (2 Timothy 1:9) and secured in His love that will never diminish, ebb, or flow. In order to navigate through all adversarial circumstances, we need to remember and stand in what He has said.

The disobedience of the folks who went up to rebuild the temple brought lethargy. Lethargic means dullness, inaction, and inattention. Have you become discouraged? Have you lapsed into complacency? Have you let go of something the Lord has called you to do?

Take heart. The Lord stirred up the spirit of the leaders and the people through Haggai’s word. They rose up to do the work of repairing the temple. The Hebrew word for ‘stirred up’ means to arouse, awaken, excite, raise up; to incite, to arouse to action; to open one’s eyes. If you have become lax in anything, ask the Holy Spirit to stir up your spirit.

Isaiah 50:4 is a great example of being stirred up. It says of the Lord, “The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.” Verse 5 is a good one for us to remember to be ready to respond with an obedient heart. It says, “The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.” 

1 Samuel 12:21 is a warning to us. It says, “And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing.” That is exactly what happened to the folks in Haggai. Here are some of the fruits. Haggai 1:5 called them to consider their ways. Verse 6 says, “You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

One of the key ways we turn aside is to go back to our past. This seems especially true when we are discouraged. Have you ever thought something like, “If only…?” That statement can go several ways. We may wish that things were like they used to be. We may wish we hadn’t done something. It’s all in the past. One hour ago is in the past.

We must let go of the past to walk victoriously in the present. The Lord is Ever Present. He is ready to enable us to do what He has called us to do. When discouragement looms like a Jericho wall, we must recognize and affirm who we are in Christ.

Isaiah 54:17 says, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord.”

The word ‘formed’ can be likened to forged. In the old days the warriors had heavy metal armor. They needed chicks to help them move and navigate. The enemy would forge a specific weapon that would go into the chink. No matter what our enemy fashions against us it will not prosper!

God’s Masterful Orchestration

I started reading the book of Ezra. I love how the Lord so masterfully orchestrates everything and uses people through strategic interventions. The book of Ezra started out with an amazing orchestration.

I like to think of Ephesians 1:11 and how the Lord works everything according to the counsel of His will. Follow along with me. Cyrus was the king of Persia. Read his words. Ezra 1:1 says, “…that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom…”

What was the word? Jeremiah 29:10 says, “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place.”

Wow 70 years! When it was time, the Lord moved all the players into place. In Jeremiah 1:11 the Lord asked Jeremiah what he saw. Verse 12 says, “Then the Lord said to me, You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”

We know from Isaiah 55:11 that God’s word will never return to Him void. Think about what this means. A pagan king was commanded by God to join Him in His work to rebuild the temple 70 years later!

Ezra 1:2 says, “…All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.” Then he invited those who wanted to go. He instructed his people to help them with silver, gold, goods, and livestock.

People began to engage in what God was doing. Verse 3 says, “…with all those whose spirits God had moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem.”

The Lord stirred up the hearts of the people He wanted to get involved. He did the same in Haggai. The folks had gotten lax. They believed the lies of the enemy. Haggai has only two chapters. Chapter one is packed with instructions for us.

In my own recent experience, the Lord stirred my heart to sell my mobile. Honestly, when I moved there in December 2016, I thought I would live and die there. However, the Lord has opened a new mission for me. Though He stirred my heart, it took 58 days before I knew where He wanted me to move to. Until then, there were only closed doors.

He instructed me to memorize and meditate on Psalm 71:1. It became my breath. It says, “In You, O Lord, I put my trust,; never let me be put to shame.” He marvelously orchestrated it all through a split second timing one morning. 

I encourage you to enact Habakkuk 2:1. It says, “I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me…” The Lord is always at work in our lives. We need to be attentive so that we can be led by the Holy Spirit to join Him in the work He has preordained for us to walk in. 

Another Life Skill

In September 1996, a friend and I did a workbook together. It changed my life, and my understanding in myriad ways. It is called “Experiencing God” by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King. I highly recommend it. I want to recap one of the units for you. I will paraphrase so I don’t violate any copyright laws. Their church tried to start Bible studies at a college campus in the dorms.

They tried for over a year but nothing worked. One Sunday the pastor pulled his students together and said something like: this week I want you to watch and see what God is doing and join Him.  He explained that no one seeks God on their own. Let me add a few verses to cement this truth. Ephesians 4:18 says, “Having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God…” Romans 3:11 says that no one seeks God.

He told them to watch and to be attentive. God is at work when someone starts asking spiritual questions. When that happens, cancel what you are doing. Here is what happened. One of the girls said that a girl she had been in class with for two years approached her. She said that she needed to talk to her. Eleven girls had been studying the Bible together, but none of them were Christians. Here was her question: do you know anyone who can lead us in a Bible study? We often try to start something, but fail to see where the Lord is already at work.

For two years the church tried to do something for God and failed. For three days they looked to see what the Lord was doing and joined Him. The result was three Bible studies in the women’s dorm and two in the men’s dorm. This lesson stuck to me like glue and I have implemented it as a life skill. I moved and am in a whole new neighborhood. In my senior mobile park I met my neighbors as I would walk daily. As I met each one I would add them to my prayer list and prayed for them by name.

Day one here the only neighbor I met was a dog. Its bark strongly opposed my presence. Day three it stood and watched me. My eyes are drawn to a neighbor two doors down and across the street where I now live. I’m looking for an opportunity to initiate friendly overtures. The Lord is always at work. As we gain sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s moving, we will be able to readily see what He is doing so we can join Him. I’m asking Him now to show me because I know I will not see it on my own.

Here is Jesus’ example for us. John 5:17 says, “…My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Verse 19 says, “…Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” Jesus saw what the Father was doing and did it.  Verse 20 says, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show greater works than these, that you may marvel.” 

Here is an example of how Jesus worked. John 4:4 says that He needed to go through Samaria. In my mind, I see the whole scene played out first as an exchange between the Father and the Son. The woman came to the well. As Jesus conversed with her, we read how her questions revealed that God was at work.

Verse 9 says, “…How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealing with Samaritans.” Jesus engaged her with words of truth that drew her further into conversation. Verse 11 says, “…Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?” You can read the rest of the encounter for yourself. It was all designed, just like our good works are designed before time began. Let us be about our Father’s business.

Repairing Contentions

At the end of 2 Timothy, Paul requested to have Mark. Why is that significant? Let’s go back to some history in Acts. Do you remember when Peter was freed from prison? Acts 12:5 says, “Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.”

They were gathered at Mary’s house, the mother of John. Verse 12 says, “…whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying.” John Mark was Barnabas’ cousin. Verse 25 says that he traveled with Paul and Barnabas. 

Acts 15:37-38 says that Barnabas was determined to take Mark on their next journey. Paul strongly opposed the idea. Verse 38 reveals why. It says that he departed, “…from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work.” Verse 39 seems surprising. However, we have to remember that we are all humans who still sin. It says, “Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another…”

The enemy of our soul is determined to destroy relationships. He seeks to undermine our faith and the ministry the Lord calls us to. Beware of contentions. Titus 3:9 says, “But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.” Proverbs 13:10 says, “By pride comes nothing but strife…” 

Proverbs 18:19 Amplified says, “A brother offended is harder to be won over than a strong city, and (their) contentions separate them like the bars of a castle.” Do you remember what was said of Joseph’s brothers? Genesis 37:4 says, “…they could not speak peaceably to him.” That is a huge clue of an offended heart. The heart is not at peace because it is carrying an offense. It is an unresolved issue. Harsh words, and tense body language is a tell tale sign of hidden sin.

Titus 3:3 is our mandate at all times in our interpersonal relationships. It says, “To speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.” Here is another good one. Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.”

If there is a breach in a relationship, then we need to mend it through humility and forgiveness. Psalm 15:2-3 is a great guideline. It says, “He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.”

Paul is an example we can follow. Though Scripture does not fill in all the blanks, his last words reveal a changed heart towards Mark. 2 Timothy 4:11 says, “…Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for ministry.” The Greek word for useful is very profitable. 

We are all members of the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:25 says, “That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” Schism means division. We must remain united to collectively oppose and resist the enemy’s advances. He is defeated, but he captures his victims through deceit.

2 Timothy 2:24-25 says, “And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.” 

Verse 26 continued the thought, “and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.” Shun satan’s will! Bring truth into your heart. Make it your own experience that will keep you free.

Who Observes Your Life?

I was really struck with Paul’s statement to Timothy. It sent me back to two verses about Paul. 1 Corinthians 4:16 says, “Therefore I urge you, imitate me.” 1 Corinthians 11:1 says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

2 Timothy 4:10 Amplified says, “Now you have closely observed and diligently followed my teaching, conduct, purpose in life, faith, patience, love, steadfastness.” Who observes your life this closely?

Paul used the Lord as His model, pattern, and example. We influence others through who or what we imitate. Think of 1 Corinthians 15:33. It is in the negative sense. It says, “Do not be deceived: Evil communication corrupts good habits.”

We need to choose wise friends, those whose lives are a living example of Jesus. I want to surround myself with those who are striving through their fleshly reactions, to press into Jesus. That is why I read biographies and autobiographies. I want to see how they handled their adversities.

Paul said in Philippians 3:13 that he was choosing to forget the things from his past. I love this verse. Our empowerment comes through forgetting by letting go. Watch the progression of Paul’s words. They remind me of a trapeze artist.

Verses 13-14 say, “…forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” These two verses are the enactment of our progressive sanctification. We never arrive. Our faith is always being stretched and tested. As well it is constantly opposed through myriad ways the enemy of our soul implements.

The Lord uses our trials to prove that our faith is genuine. We may say that we have fellowship with the Lord. 1 John 2:6 is our mandate. It says, “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”

That is a tall order that is impossible to fill in our flesh. Remembering that our flesh profits nothing, we need to shun all its overtures. They are satan’s lure-suggestions. We died to sin! Romans 6:1-2 is a great declaration that we can live and breathe in.

It says, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Verse 12 says, “Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts.” Think of the word ‘lust’ as suggestive sinful overtures. They are fiery darts that are lobbed to destroy our faith.

We forget by letting go, and at the same time we are constantly reaching forward through all opposition. The trapeze artist keeps their eyes on the goal. They have to let go of the first bar in order to have the momentum they need for the oncoming bar. They cannot hold on or it would be disastrous.

Let us follow Paul’s example. Others are watching. They want to know how you are processing your trials. Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Jesus is our Excellent Example. Let us keep our eyes on Him.

Guilty As Charged

James 2:10 says, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” Note the word ‘all’ again. It is impossible for anyone to keep the whole law.

James 3:2 says, “For we stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” James wrote to his readers about bits in horses’ mouths, and the small rudder on huge ships. Yet, verse 8 says, “No man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”

The tongue is so situated in the body that it can defile the whole body. Have you ever spoken death words, pronouncements, or bitter root judgements against another or yourself? Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” We will eat the fruit of the words that come out of our mouth.

Have you ever been guilty of James 3:10? It says, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” It all starts in our heart’s thoughts.

When we entertain thoughts against anyone or circumstance, we enter into the realm of cursing. It is not talking about using swear words, but rather wounding words. Verse 9 says that we are all made in the similitude of God.” Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth…”

Let me give you an illustration of corrupt. Isaiah 64:6 says that our fleshly righteousness is as filthy rags. Years ago my dad had a rental. The lady didn’t pay for rent so he used his key to get in. As he opened the door, he was hit with corrupt smells.

She had thrown down the clothes she wore onto the bottom of the closet. The cats (plural) had used it for their dumping ground. My dad had to hire a man to pitch fork the clothes out the window into his pickup. They were corrupt, filthy, and absolutely unfit.

Here are Peter’s words of admonishment. 1 Peter 3:9 says, “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.”

Ephesians 4:29 ended with these words about our words, “…what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.” This applies to ourselves, as well as to those we are speaking to. 

Liberty: Pure Conscience

Paul made a great statement about his conscience. It was referenced back to his declaration that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust. Let his words be true for each of us. Acts 24:16 says, “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”

A pure conscience comes from a pure heart. Matthew 5:8 says, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” The Greek word for ‘pure’ means undefiled. What defiles a man? Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…”

I thought about what causes a guilty conscience. I want to make something really clear. I’ve heard this erroneous belief so many time in my counseling over the years. An abused child, or an abused spouse should never feel guilty. It is false guilt that comes through lying fiery darts.

False guilt suppresses truth. When we are sinned against, it is because the sinner was acting out in their flesh. We are not responsible for their actions. No one ever causes another to act out in violence. All actions come from thoughts. Evil thoughts result in evil actions.

As redeemed ones, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. He will use our conscience to convict us before we act out in sin. Have you ever started to do something and you felt His Presence stopping you?

All people have a conscience. Many have seared theirs. 1 Timothy 4:2 says, “Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” Each time, we as believers, have a thought that is contrary to being holy, the Holy Spirit will resist us.

Galatians 5:17 says, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh…” That is exactly what He is doing ~ resisting our fleshly nature. We grieve the Holy Spirit when we do not heed His warnings.

Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Though we may sin, we are eternally sealed. The more we resist the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the less we will be sensitive to His leading.

Galatians 5:16 says, “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” 2 Timothy 1:9 says, “Who has saved us and called us with a holy calling…” 1 Peter 1:15 says, “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct…”

We grow in our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s leading by being attentive. He will always lead us in the truth. We need to take time with Him just sitting still. Not coming with an agenda, but a heart that is open to being led.

Goodness Upon Goodness

Romans 2:4 says, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and the longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” The Holy Spirit brought this verse to my mind, and connected it with the whole subject of forgiveness.

How much have we been forgiven? Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” God’s grace never runs out. It overflows with abundance.

Ephesians 2:7-8 says, “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”

Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Note the words, ‘according to’ in the above two verses. It is not ‘out of’ but according to. Think of a bottomless well. Every time you draw water, you draw according to the totality of provision.

Isaiah 12:3 says, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Our well cannot run dry. Salvation is eternal. We will continue to draw from it throughout eternity. I don’t know about you, but this causes the sides of my brain to stretch.

Let me go from bottomless to unsearchable. The first verse that pops out of my heart is Romans 11:33. It says, “Oh, the depth of His riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”

Isaiah 40:28 says, “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”

Jeremiah 31:14 says, “I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.” Are you satiated? It means to be filled to the full. 

The only thing that stops this flow is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is sin. Sin in our heart blocks the outpouring of God’s riches over our lives. Yet. When we consider how much we have been forgiven, that truth washes out the sludge that stopped our well.

Colossians 3:13 is a command. Forgiving one who has hurt us is not an option. It is essential for our spiritual growth. It says, “Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.” Note ‘must do’ is a command. The church, the united body of Christ, is designed to be a testimony to those around us of the riches of His goodness.