Soil Preparation for Planting Good Seed

Since we have been discussing the importance of  “seedtime and harvest”,  and being a Word Detective, I thought it best to physically prowl my garden beds early in the morning.  Being in the winter, the seed beds are dormant.  The soil has been heaved upward because of the frozen ground below.  I tried to scrape  the dirt, with the side of my shoe, without success and decided that the ground was not penetrative enough.  When I returned to the warmth of the house, I pulled a large Webster’s Dictionary from the shelf next to my desk.  It was time for some detective work.  I turned to the word cultivation.  Why THAT word?  Because I have learned by my gardening experience, that soil preparation or cultivation is critical to the prosperity of  seed production.

CULTIVATE,  “to prepare or till the land in order to raise a crop;  to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, or crop or SEEDS) by labor and attention.”

Before we can plant a Word SEED in the ground (our hearts), using the Webster’s definition, we should CULTIVATE;   “till, promote or improve, give the soil labor and attention”.  How can we then apply these practices of planting the right seeds of God’s Word?  Lets grab our bibles and look at some clues.  Joshua 1:8 is my first clue.  It says, This Book of the Law [God’s word] shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it.  For then you shall make your way prosperous [successful, fruitful], and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.”  In further investigation, I found out that this is the only place in the early English versions where the word “success” is found.  With this bible verse in Joshua, I noticed three methods of heart preparation for the Word Seed.  In yesterdays detective work we found out about the importance of choosing the right seed.  The seed of FEAR  and LOVE.   Now we will look together at the importance of  good soil.  With the right seed, good soil and proper light will experience abundance of fruit.

1.  Meditate on it.  How often?  “day and night”.  Does that mean I have to read God’s Word ALL day and ALL night?  NO, it means that your thought process should be concentrated on His Word at ALL times.  Although, it seems like some of us think about other things day and night.  You might know what those could be.

2.  Observe.  Roger’s Thesaurus says observance means, “attention, keeping, acknowledgment, adherence, compliance, obedience, etc.”  Now apply these nouns to God’s instructions on cultivating His Word.

3.  Do.  There is more to preparing the soil than meditating and observation.  As Nike’s slogan advertises, “Just DO IT!”

Lately, I have been reading in the Book of Psalms.  The contents of that bag of seed is unlimited.  In Psalm 119, I found seed planting advice everywhere.  VERSE 2 says, “Blessed are they who KEEP His testimonies, and who SEEK, INQUIRE for and of Him and CRAVE Him with the WHOLE HEART.”  VERSE 10  “With my whole heart have I SOUGHT YOU, INQUIRING FOR and of You and YEARNING FOR You; Oh, let me not wonder or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from You Commandments (Your Word).”  VERSE 11 says,  “Your word have I LAID UP IN MY HEART, that I might not sin against You.”  See if you can be a detective by writing out some further verses in Psalm 119.  This will help you in the Soil Preparation for Planting Good Seed. 

The Seed of FEAR and the SEED OF LOVE!

At this time of year, my garden juices are flowing steadily.  Every year since I was a young boy,  growing up in Southern California, I wanted to dig in the dirt and feel the soft soil crumbling between my fingers.  It was therapy to my soul.  My inner thoughts became embellished by the thought of growing vegetables and flowers from seed.  My mom would give me some seed packets and the packets would have pictures on them.  Pictures of beautiful flowers and vegetables.  My eyes and smiles grew bigger as I could imagine the bounty from the harvest that was going to come from viewing the pictures.  As an adult, I still go through the same process every year.  I am not as optimistic of the results today as I was as a child but never the less I enjoy the action. 

The memories are here and now, its time to do some detective work regarding seedtime and harvest.  Genesis 8:22 says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.”   I need some gardening supplies before I can garden properly.  I need some seed, some soil and time before I can see and taste the fruits of my actions. 

Lets look a two types of seed that is made available to us in today’s  experiences.  The enemy Satan, gives us one type of seed and God gives us another variety of seed.  Satan’s seed is the seed of fear and God’s seed is the seed of love.  What kind of garden nursery will tell the seeds location?  Since the bible has 66 bags of word seed available for doing detective work, that is where I am going to start the investigation.  Lets start in 2 Timothy 1:7,  “For God did not gives us a spirit of (craven and cringing and fawning FEAR)”.  Lets stop here and do some digging.  If God didn’t give us the FEAR SEED, who did?  It would be the devil. Now if you don’t believe in Satan, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist.  Okay, what kind of seed did God give me?  Verse 7 continues by saying,  “BUT [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and self-control.”  There is a lot of SEED in this packet; power, LOVE, calmness, and a  sound mind.  If you are going to plant seed in the garden, you are going to need good soil first.  We have the seed in our laps, on the front porch of our lives, where then is the soil?  The good soil is our hearts.  So, let’s get started.  It’s seedtime!

Lets keep on digging  and prepare the HEART soil for the LOVE SEED first.  The Greek word for SEED is sperma or “word seed”.  “Out of a man’s heart are the issues of life, and the soil of a man’s heart won’t produce a harvest because FEAR is there.”  But when we put the “word seed”  into our heart soil and guard against FEAR, we will see the results or the HARVEST.  1 John 4:18 says, “There is no FEAR in LOVE [dread does not exist], BUT full grown, (complete, perfect) LOVE turns FEAR  out doors and expels every trace of terror!  For FEAR brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so], he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of LOVE [is not grown into LOVES complete perfection].”  Amplified.  (we will garden here tomorrow)  There, in that referenced verse, we can research the development and see the fruit of the LOVE SEED and the FEAR SEED.  The SEED OF LOVE is God!  God doesn’t just give us LOVE SEED,   He is the LOVE SEED. 

About two years ago, my wife and I began to be particular in the food we purchase for our consumption.  She had breast cancer and after God healed her, we decided to go Organic as much as we could.  What does Organic mean?  No additives, no preservatives, no man-made additives; the real thing; GOD intended seed or “sperma” (GOD SEED).   In the Gospel of John 1:1, we can locate the genetics of the LOVE SEED; the way God has intended it to be.  “IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.”  The SEED has been given to us by God Himself to take action on.  It’s TIME!  It’s SEEDTIME and the HARVEST is ready. 

Tomorrow I will continue my detective work in the garden by looking in detail at the genetics of the FEAR SEED.  What will it produce, what will we harvest from the seed?  What tools, soil conditioners and fertilizer will be used?  Prepare your HEARTS for the HARVEST.

The Fear Connection

I was reading the WORD this morning in Luke 21 and came upon a verse that really got my attention.  Verse 26 says, “Men swooning away or expiring fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.” [Amplified]

Luke 21:26 describes “fear” or “terror” at the signs of the world’s end.  To verify this, just pick up the headlines in the newspaper, or the cable news stations or Google News on your Home Page site.  I also have been reading, “Winning in Troubled Times” by Dr. Creflo Dollar which invited me to dig further into understanding the word  FEAR.  That’s what WORD detectives do!  So, the adventure begins.  The detective work is put into action.

I went to Expository Dictionary of Bible Words first. It contains word studies for key English bible words based on the Hebrew and Greek texts.  Since I was reading in Luke, I will reference the Greek translation of the word FEAR; phobos.  It’s where we get the English word “phobia”  from.  Dr. Dollar says that FEAR is a “spiritual force”. He often describes it as being the “reciprocal or opposite of faith”.  That would mean that fear is actually “faith in the negative.”   Once FEAR is received, it can work its way down into our spirits and begin affecting our words.  I have found out over time, that the words we speak based in FEAR  are common in phrases we speak to others.  Phrases such as, “That scares me to death”, and “I’m afraid I won’t be able to make it tonight.”  When these type of things are spoken, even in casual discussion, they activate the wrong spiritual laws.  What does the spoken word have to do with anything?  I thought the same thing once until I did some detective work.  Since I have a large print bible, I didn’t need a magnifying glass.  I again went to one of my outside sources;  The Expository Dictionary.  It is always a good place to look for clues.  There I found the Hebrew definition for “WORD” translated into english.   It is  “dabar”  which means  “a thing”.   I grabbed my bible and turned to one of referenced scripture verses that pertained to the Hebrew  “debar” [pronounced de-var or ‘thing’].  Genesis 1:3 says, “And God said, let there be light; and there was light.”  Verse 6 continues and says, “And God said, Let there be a firmament…”  and verse 7 goes on to say, “and it was so.”   Genesis 1 goes on in verse 9  “And God said,  vs. 11, “And God said, ” vs. 14,  “And God said,”  and each time God speaks “debar” , He speaks things first and then He saw.  So based on what I found, when we speak words, we can speak things into existence.  Thus, I concluded we have to guard our mouths in what we say.   The word FEAR has a connection to things.  I kept on searching, digging and turning over rocks hoping to find more connections with what we say and think.  Proverbs 4:23 reads, ” Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs [or issues] of life.”  In Job 3:25, he says, “For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me.”  Now there’s a connection that I could personalize from my own family experience.  From the time that I was a child, even after I reached adulthood, my mother brought up her connection to FEAR.  She told me when my grandmother came to live with us, she and dads reason for their decision was because of grandma’s dementia. Today the word has been translated to ALZHEIMER’S  disease.  She then went on to tell me that her grandmother had the disease, her mother had the disease and she would most likely have the same disease too.  She believed it completely.  Her fears became connected by the words she confessed with her mouth.   “For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that which I am afraid befalls me.”  Two years ago this June, my mother died in Georgetown, Texas of Alzheimer’s  disease.

I’ve heard over the years people saying, “A little fear is good for you.”  And I used to think the same thing.  However, FEAR is not good for anyone, in any way.  People don’t realize God puts FEAR in the same category as a host of other sins.  How did I come to a revelation that FEAR was a sin?  Is there really a connection between the two?  There IS, and if you familiarize yourself with the tools God gives you in you’re searching, you will find it.  Revelation 21:8  says, “But the FEARFUL, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and ALL liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death.” (N.K.J.V.)   Notice that the first two categories of people who will inherit hell are the FEARFULL and the UNBELIEVING.  The pairing together of these two sins let us know we cannot FEAR without being in unbelief.  The bible verse also doesn’t say a ‘little murder’ or a ‘little whoremongering’ or a ‘little lying’. It says ALL.

Tomorrow I hope to continue my detective work into the excavations of the FEAR CONNECTION.  If you can’t wait…start digging!

The Opening

Last week, I talked about the possibility of another locked box.  It  too had a sign but unlike the first box, the sign was engraved on the top of the box instead of its side.  I  brush away some dust and rust to read it clearly but the words were there!  It read, “THE SPIRIT OF FEAR”.  After second thoughts, I decided there was no need to even open the lock.  That would be opening Pandora’s  box.

Well, I was distracted long enough and slowly opened the last lock.  I turned the box on its side to read the sign, making sure I had the right box.  Sure enough, it read CONFIDENCE AND TRUST.  The hinges creaked as I slowly opened the lid. A light began to glow from within the box as I peered inside. “What kind of  gems or jewels  are streaming forth light from within?”  The Apostle Paul tells us what the mystery is and the secret has been there all the time.   2 Timothy 1:10 says,  “[It is that purpose and grace] which He now has made known and fully disclosed and made real [to us] through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who annulled death and made it of no effect and brought life and immortality (immunity from eternal death) to…”  (the glow from within the box)  “to LIGHT through the Gospel.”  The TREASURE  is revealed from the God’s box.  It’s the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST, the WORD OF GOD!  All the keys we’ve used on our treasure hunt unlocked the source of a ‘sound and well-balanced mind.  They will all open the lid of confidence to spread the good news of your treasure box, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Did you find yourself as a Truth Seeker on this adventure.  When writing all of this, I found myself thinking I was a biblical Indiana Jones or Jack Sparrow.  I even use this TREASURE HUNT as an idea in writing a play. It was entitled “THE  H.M.S. GLORY”.  The Gospel presented on the high seas, pirates, Sea Captain and adventure.  If you are interested in doing a stage production of it, I would be happy to send you a copy of my play (theworddetective@google).

God’s Treasures on Sunday

I was preparing to get ready for church this morning and open the shutters and peered outside to check the weather. Being in the North West corner of the country, in the middle of winter is pretty predictable. Cloudy, rainy and windy. But that’s not all, I’ve got to take the dog out for his morning constitutional. Now taking  a black and tan cocker spaniel, who hasn’t had a hair cut in two months out in the rain, is like taking a mildewed wrinkled old mop for a walk. When you get back into the house there is a smell of an old wet mildewed mop! Eek! As the smell began to fade, God’s spirit began to talk to my spirit regarding fragrances. I saw that TREASURE BOX  and all the old rusty locks, reached for the key ring with all the keys on it. It was sitting on the table in my computer room. The KEY opened the lock, which almost never happens on the first attempt and I turned to 2 Corinthians 2:14-15.

“But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the FRAGRANCE of the knowledge of God everywhere. For we are the SWEET FRAGRANCE of Christ, [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”

While preparing to ready myself for what God has for me today, I have some choices to make.  Will I be the SWEET FRAGRANCE of Christ or will I smell like the old, wet mildewed mop?

Tomorrow I will continue opening locks to God’s Treasure Box, using  His Word keys. Be a SWEET FRAGRANCE today. It isn’t always easy but then again if you don’t insert the right key you will never be able to begin the great adventure of find the mysteries found inside of the TREASURE BOX.

3 O.T. Keys to Unlock God’s Treasure Box

Let’s check out the first key on the chain found in the Old Testament. Turn to Deuteronomy 4:36 and read along with me.

          “Out of heaven He made you hear His voice”. To do what? So that “He might correct, discipline, and admonish you”.

Now slide the second Old Testament key on the ring into your hand and turn tp Proverbs 12:1.

          “WHOEVER LOVES instruction and correction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is like a brute beast, stupid and indiscriminating.”

The KEY in this verse we just read together has a name. It’s called the “WHOEVER” key.

          WHOEVER loves discipline.

          WHOEVER loves knowledge.

           WHOEVER isn’t stupid.

That was the second key in the Old Testament. Let slide the third key in place on the ring. Turn with me to Proverbs 23:23. It tells us to “Buy the truth and sell it not:” Attached to that third key are four other keys. Not smaller but they have their own shape and color to each one. That’s for distinguishing their importance for a later use perhaps. The FOUR keys are:

           DISCERNMENT.

           JUDGEMENT-that is good judgement by the way.

           INSTRUCTION.

           UNDERSTANDING.

Wow!  The key ring is getting fuller but we will see later how each key is valuable and has their purposes in opening the locks to God’s Treasure Box. Lets make sure at this point that we have all the Old Testament keys in order.

            HEARING God’s voice. Thats called the RHEMA word.

            LOVE knowledge and wisdom.

            TRUTH-always keep this key close to you.

            DISCERNMENT

            JUDGEMENT

            INSTRUCTION

            UNDERSTANDING

Are there any keys to be found in the New Testament? There are many keys to find but since the key ring is quickly filling up, I will put three more KEYS on the ring. Lets get started. The first key can be found in the beginning of the NT. Matthew 8:26 says, “And He said to them, Why are you timid and afraid. O you of little faith? Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great and wonderful calm (a perfect peaceableness).”  The KEY is CALMNESS or a perfect peace. Calmness in a storm or under outside pressures and demands. This key is also referenced in Mark 4:39 and Luke 8:24. The second KEY in the NT is the Greek word SOPHRONISMO  “of one accord”.  Romans 15:6 calls it DISCIPLINE in my walk with Jesus. “That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).”  With all the outside pressures of work, of relationships, of the world’s problems pushing at us from every direction; it takes DISCIPLINE.

So DISCIPLINE is the second key we found. What? You said there were three keys. Oh yeah. Three keys. Thanks for reminding me. Turn to 1 Peter 4:7 and read along with me. That’s in case I overlook something.

“But the end and culmination of all things has now come near; keep sound minded and self-restrained and alert therefore for [the practice] of PRAYER.” The third KEY is the key of PRAYER. If we don’t PRACTICE using the PRAYER KEY, we won’t have access to looking inside of God’s Treasure Box.

Now that we have a full key ring with all these different valuable keys, which one is the secret key to immediately open the TREASURE BOX?  We should know two things about locks to the box. Some open with keys and others don’t!  Remember the sign on the outside of the box? It read “CONFIDENCE and TRUST” .  Is there possibly a box within a box? Maybe. We will talk about it on another day! Do you feel like a lock-smith yet?

UNLOCKING GODS TREASURE BOX

To open a locked box you of course need keys. (No duh) I want to talk about the KEYS to opening the lock to God’s treasure box.

The lock is found in 2 TIM. 1:7. It is called “a spirit of a sound and well-balance mind’. Actually there are four locks to contend with but I will deal with just one today.

What kind of lock are we dealing with here in 2 Timothy? The Amplified version calls this lock  that God has givens us, a spirit of “…a well balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”  2 TIM. talks about some other locks on God’s treasure box. That would be “POWER” and “LOVE” which take different keys to open them. So, what are the right KEYS we can use to fit into the locks?  Verse 22 says that the old lock is rusty, broken and doesn’t even work. “Strip yourselves of your former nature [the old lock] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; ” Verses 23-24 talks about the NEW  replacement lock that the key will work in. “…be constantly renewed [the new lock] in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature created in God’s image, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Now there is a currious engraved sign on the outside of GODS TREASURE BOX. The Apostle Paul calls it “confidence and trust” in 2 TIM.1:5 Amplified version. Tommorow I discuss the key ring with (6) keys that will open the TREASURE BOX  and its contents.