Seeds

The misunderstanding with sowing and reaping comes from the idea that if you sow into someone they should react, be deserving, and acknowledge the word. There is a difference between forcing your belief system on someone, and sowing Kingdom seeds into the lives of those around you.
First things first, the idea that you, or I, or them, are right is the root of the problem. If God is constantly moving forward and revealing more of his character every day then I have to accept that what I believe today may not be relevant tomorrow. This previous statement dispels the whole idea of right and wrong. As I have stated before, it’s all about the relationship between you and the Father, and you and the world. Seeking new understanding constantly and opening yourself up to the forward motion of relationship as opposed to the stagnant water of religion is the reality behind a Kingdom life.
When I was in High School, I was cruising down Main Street on Friday night in the small town I grew up in. A certain religious group was standing on the corner with a large speaker and a microphone. They were pointing at me driving by and yelling, “you sinner, you are going to Hell!!”. Needless to say, that lit me up a bit. Being a young man of unharnessed passion and limited understanding, I reacted with a few choice words of my own. Looking back, I can’t help but question the idea that these men were doing what they thought would bring life. However, I still believe that if a sensible man had thought through that tactic of bringing people to Jesus he would have thought twice. This is a good example of religion getting in the way of God. Sowing seeds begins with relationship and ends with relationship.
The picture we have seen in the past is a man wearing a cross around his neck, a Bible under his arm, and a smile on his face, calling everyone brother and speaking of Jesus and repentance. This might have worked in the 60s, but now people see through the smile, and run from the façade. In a world where everyone has a bad taste of religion in their mouth, the last thing they want is the fake suit telling them Jesus loves them. People have to see love in order to react to love. (Please understand that I am not putting those men down, they served a purpose and saved many souls.) Things have moved forward and seeds do not take root well in old hard ground.
Many things in our lives kill the seeds we plant before they have any time to grow roots. Look at our unshakeable belief systems, or our impatient minds, and most of all our expectations. We expect certain things from people when we plant seed into their lives. We might expect them to change, or acknowledge the effort we put forth. The problem is that those very actions destroy anything God has given us opportunity to put there. Look at a seed that does not have the cultivation of a farmer involved in its life. The apple falls from the tree, it’s carried off by a raccoon and eaten, and then the seeds are deposited in the feces and allowed to take small root in the forest floor. All forms of fruits, vegetables, grains, etc…. grew successfully before modern technology of planting and harvesting. God created the earth to reproduce and sustain. God also gives us a moment, a word, and a slightly open heart in which to drop a seed. It is not our responsibility to make sure that seed becomes a tree.
The anatomy of a spiritual seed has to be viewed as something that brings life to someone and helps to bridge the gap between them and their relationship with the Father. As I stated before, planting seeds begins with relationship, and that is the relationship you have between you and God. Religion gets in the way of those seeds because you can’t help but place judgments of right and wrong on people, and instead of sowing the right seed you try to sow the seed you see fit based off your judgments. People aren’t stupid and they see right through and recognize judgment. Any man saved or not will recognize God in a statement, and choose whether to accept it or push it away.
We have to trust in God to cultivate the seeds we sow, and believe that he knows what he’s doing. Our job is to cultivate our own relationship with the Father and those around us so that we recognize those moments of opportunity and utilize them. We have to quit letting religion and ourselves kill the seeds God wishes to use us to plant. Finally, we have to quit trying to force the fruit to grow. First, speak into the lives of those around you by your life, and then you might get a chance to plant a seed in theirs. Remember, it is the very imperfections in you that open doors in those around you. This is how a person changes the world.

The Realms of Passion

Passion takes many forms throughout our lives, and it remains in many forms inside different areas of our lives.
Passion has a very interesting origin. To begin with, the Webster Dictionary tells us Passion is, “A powerful emotion, such as love, joy, hatred, or anger.” However, if we look at the origin of the word it has a very different meaning. Its root begins with the Latin word Patior. The Latin definition of Patior is, “to experience, to undergo, suffer, to put up with, allow, or submit to.” Strange is it not, how different those definitions are. For my writing, I am going to refer to the original more correct definition of the word Passion.
Love and marriage are two very different topics that come together in different ways, and yet when you mention either of the topics passion comes to mind. I am going to start with love.
First, I would like to clarify something; God does not have a chosen mate waiting for you. You are not going to miss your “soul mate”. If he did, we would not have free will to choose our own paths. As proactive believers, we have to quit sitting around waiting for God to bring along the person he has for us. That is a passive and lazy viewpoint. In chapter seven of Paul’s first letter to Corinth he tells us that it is not sin to marry, and it is not sin to be alone. That leads me to believe that God has not chosen a partner for us, he has left that for us to figure out. Love is a choice that we make. It is not a chemical reaction, or a magical moment when cupid takes aim and shoots an arrow in your ass. Love is a choice and it takes Passion to choose to love. If we use the origin of Passion, we find then that it means to suffer, to experience, and to submit to. Sexual desire is often confused for love. We feel the burning desire, we get married, and then…..
CRAP!!! I actually have to put up with this person. I have to choose to love them, because those
burning desires have turned into kids, bills, and work. Passion steps in when desire and “the
Honeymoon” ends. This type of passion is the one where we suffer, submit, allow, and undergo.
Paul tells us that if we can overcome our selves then we should stay single, and save ourselves
from the trouble. He also says that it is better to marry than to burn with passion. To have the
passion for love means that you are willing to suffer for and to submit to this person. It is all a
choice that has to be made over and over every day. Where we fall short is when we lack the
passion for love, or lose the passion for love. (I personally believe that we have forgotten how to roll up our sleeves and put in the hard work.)
Marriage takes a great amount of passion to see it through. Love, desire, happiness, and joy, all tend to come and go as life moves on. However, as we who are married have made the commitment, and sanctified it to God, we are here to fight it out. Marriage is where we see the origins of passion coming to true light. Sometimes we suffer through marriage, and other times it is easy. We definitely have to submit ourselves, and experience it. Without the passion for marriage in place, it cannot survive. Having that passion does not make it any easier, it simply gives you the strength to keep going. Once again, we can’t mistake sexual desire for passion, even in marriage.
God puts passion in our hearts, and he puts desires in our hearts for us to love and enjoy.
The things we find ourselves passionate about are the things we find that we succeed in. Some
people are capable of being passionate in love, in order to see it through, and others are not. How
much are you willing to suffer for? Do you have the passion for love to see it through? Love is a
fleeting thing that God has charged us to give to everyone. Passion is a strong thing placed in us
by God.

Let us look at passion that exists for ourselves. What about those things you where passionate about in High School; such as girls, cars, football, art, friend. How many of those passions did we let go of? I would dare to separate passion from desire in these cases. Passion is a lasting strength that is there long after desire, strength, and willingness are gone. Passion is what makes you come alive; it is that thing in your life that you would suffer for to the end. Sometimes we make passion into more than it should be. Sometimes we build our lives around a passion and then watch it all crumble. Take music for instance; many people are passionate about music, but not all people are going to be rock stars, or even make a decent living at it. Yes sometimes life does get in the way, but you also have to wonder if it was truly a passion, or a talent with a little bit of desire behind it.
So my challenge to you is to separate desire from passion and look at what things in your life you truly hold a passion for, look for those things that you’re willing to experience, undergo, suffer, put up with, allow, or submit to, because that is where passion lives and has the possibility to grow.