Sunday, April 13, 2008

A time to cast away.

Ecc. 3:5 "A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;" June 20,2007

Every good farmer or gardener knows, that one of the first things you have to do when preparing land for agricultural use, is to remove all the stones. All those those hard pieces of rock that will inhibit many plants from growing or at least will keep them from reaching their full potential. It is a hard chore, it requires a lot of work and monotony, but in the end it is worth it, because of the fruit you reap from that ground. In many parts of the country where the ground is especially rocky, the farmers will take all these stones and build a stone wall around the fields.
This principle is true for a christian as well, we have a calling to remove the many "stones" and "rocks" from our hearts, so that God can better use us. Now a christian with "rocks" is still a christian, but if he has a heart with "stones" of sin scattered throughout, he will not be blessed with the work and fruit of a christian with a clean heart. Every christian's earnest desire ought to be that God would make them the purest and cleanest servant fit for the masters service. Sometimes that requires breaking some hard habits, sometimes that includes purifying yourself from ingrained practices, it can be a hard work and one that involves toil and sweat, but the end result will make it all worthwhile. Our call is to be like the master, to do what he would have us do, to be conformed to his image. We will never reach a state of sinlessness on this earth, even Paul struggled with doing the things he should, and not doing the things he shouldn't. That doesn't mean we throw in the towel though, it means we keep casting away those nasty rocks.
Now, we must remember that there is a time to gather these stone together as well, those rocks that at one time seemed so nasty to the farmer, he can use to build himself a guard wall. We too must keep in remembrance those sins that we are casting out, in order to make sure we don't repeat those sins. In essence we are taking the things we have rid our lives of, and using them for the glory of God, we keep the memory of these sins to keep us humble before God and remind us that no man is above sin, we all (but for the grace of God) could fall prey to those sins once again at any time. Sin is an addiction, and when a christian is able to rid himself of a particular sin he needs to keep himself as far away from it as possible, if you start dabbling around in it, it will take you captive again before you realize what happened to you. Then you will have to start the whole "casting away" process over again.
Let's all start being a little more concerned about our heart's purity, let's work to get any sins that we have out, and then let's stay as far away from those sins as we can. Why don't we let those sins become our "stone wall" that protects us from recommitting them.

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