September 10, 2019

Toward a Bountiful Season by Sharon Espeseth

Inspired by this beautiful butterfly artistically designed and built
by my friend, Glenice Wilson, I look forward to 
a bountiful season.
The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6-15*) 

Paul is talking about a monetary gift from the Corinthians to the Christians in Jerusalem who were less well off. Writing to assure the congregation at Corinth that God loves a cheerful giver, he also wanted to avoid the embarrassment of a promise unfulfilled. To avoid any misunderstand, Apostle Paul also sent “brothers” to Corinth to make arrangements for “the bountiful gift" they had promised.

Could Paul’s statement about sowing and reaping apply to my writing? I wondered as I read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15*. Writing is a gift that’s meant to be shared. Why, otherwise would God give us this particular gift. I know personally that life’s circumstances can alter the time and focus needed for writing.

Although this may be the “late fall” of my life and circumstances have shifted, health wise for Hank and me, I still have the call to write. Can I adapt this quieter stage of my life to work on my writing? I don’t want to write as a drudgery or duty. I pray, rather that my writing will be a joyful experience, an opportunity to grow my relationship with God, and to serve him in sharing the Gospel and the Christian view of life with others.

Speaking to the Corinthians and to rest of us, Paul says, “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind,” he continues, "not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” The call is still there. Check out these words of wisdom from David Wilkerson, well-known writer and speaker.





Paul, in his pep talk, continues, “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.”* I’m thinking, Wow! Enough ideas, enough time, enough dedication, enough energy, enough meals at the ready, enough enthusiasm, support. . .

I now pray that the Good Lord, will give me a sincere respect for my gift of writing. I pray I will be able to surrender my life, with all its ups and downs, and manage my time more efficiently for God’s honour and glory. Blessed Pier Giorgio says, “. . . by yourself you will do nothing, but if you have God as the centre of all your action, then you will reach the goal. . . . When God is with us, we don’t have to be afraid of anything.


Debbie Hudson on Unsplash




Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray that, guided by your Holy Spirit, we may learn to number our days.

          “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
          and prosper for us the work of our hands--
          O prosper the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17*) 
       

May we reap bountifully for you, O Lord. Amen 



Addendum (optional read): Going Deeper--How This Might Look 

1. I know that when I, as routinely as possible, begin my days with devotional time--when the house is quiet and I’ve had a good sleep, I am more successful in my writing.

2. I find it remarkable how my readings in the Bible, in my Living with Christ (Novalis) and other readings over a given period of time point in the same direction, a “theme” emerges.

3. From time to time and over the years, I’ve been reading "My Utmost for His Highest” by Oswald Chambers. I have not yet read it from front to back as a daily reading, but I’ll start on a certain date; read, underline, pray and digest, maybe reread the next day. Soon I’m behind the calendar date, but getting a lot out of his meditations.




My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers

4. Although I haven’t quoted Chambers in my blog above, I got a lot out of his June 6 message, “'Work Out' What God ‘Works In’ You.” He quotes Paul in Philippians 2:12b-13*, saying “. . . work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both too will and to work for his good pleasure.” We are not working “to accomplish or earn ‘(our) own salvation.” Instead, Chamber emphasizes that we “work it out.” By “working it out,” “ . . . (we) will exhibit the evidence of a life based with determined, unshakable faith on the complete and perfect redemption of the Lord."

Chambers reminds us that for born-again Christians, "the source of the will is Almighty God.” Because our will is God’s will, we wouldn’t bring an opposing will against God’s will. Chambers says, “. . . Living this life will be as natural as breathing.”  But what could happen, he explains is that stubbornness can enter into the picture.

Chambers defines, “Stubborness” as “an unintelligent barrier, refusing enlightenment and blocking its flow.” How do you deal with this stubbornness? You “blow it up with ‘dynamite,' and the ‘dynamite’ is obedience to the Holy Spirit.”


Free Image Pinterest




Therefore, “God not only expects me to do His will, but He is in me to do it.” (Oswald Chambers)

Dear Lord, I claim this power in my life and in my writing. May I sow bountifully what you would have me sow and reap bountifully to your honour and glory. Amen.

* Bible References are from New Revised Standard Version.









16 comments:

  1. Sharon, thanks for this reminder to give attention to our calling as writers, even in the midst of life’s circumstances that can alter the time and focus needed for writing--as I sometimes experience. I so appreciated your quote by
    Blessed Pier Giorgio, “. . . by yourself you will do nothing, but if you have God as the centre of all your action, then you will reach the goal. . .

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    1. I know that my research and study for this writing has given me a firm reminder that the call to write is still there for me. I am thankful that this speaks to you as well. I also appreciate the quote from Blessed Pier Giorgio. Thanks for your comment and encouragement.

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  2. I love your devotionals. I would love you to join us on Medium. You can cut and paste and put this into a post on Medium. We have a publication called Koinonia (fellowship with Believers). If you want to know more please PM me.
    Blessings
    Janis

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  3. Thanks for your encouragement, Janis. I have been hearing more lately about Medium and Koinonia and reading some of the material written there. Thanks for the invitation.

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  4. "I don’t want to write as a drudgery or duty. I pray, rather that my writing will be a joyful experience, an opportunity to grow my relationship with God, and to serve him in sharing the Gospel and the Christian view of life with others." Beautifully expressed!

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    1. Onward and upward, Lynn! Some days start out better than others, but I believe God takes us as we are and nudges us along better pathways. Blessings to you in your writing.

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  5. I was truly inspired by your post today, Sharon. The David Wilkerson quote really hit me - "He [God] is not always calling you to succeed. He's calling you to obey!" I also thought your points about starting the day well rested and making daily devotions the first part of your day, are very wise. Thank you for your commitment to keep writing - especially on this blog! I look forward to your posts each month because I know i will find more than 'fluff'. You always have something deep to share from your heart and I, for one, appreciate your honesty and integrity. Keep on writing, my friend!

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  6. Thanks on the wings part. Ha! I had no idea! Thanks also, Tracy, for your sincere and encouraging feedback. I agree with you in that this David Wilkerson quote is a good reminder for all of us. May God bless you with health and a sense of well-being as you begin another school year with home-schooling.

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  7. I pray those prayers with you, Sharon, and I love your list of "enoughs". Christ is enough for me!

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  8. Thank-you Sharon, I love your bold title, and the butterfly as well. Many great thoughts in your positive , forward looking post.

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  9. Sharon,
    You are a blessing and example to me. Thank you! I appreciate your quiet trust, your honesty, and your deep desire to please our Heavenly Father.

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    1. I am humbled, my friend. “We are companions on the journey.” This is the title and opening line of a hymn by Cary Landry, which is available on YouTube. I remember our first meeting at Fall Conference and at quite a few conferences after that. Blessings.

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    2. I join with Ruth in saying that you are a blessing to me as well. I appreciate your sweet spirit and your heart to carry on with your writing even as your life season changes. 'Companions on the journey', I like that line.

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  10. Thank you for your kind words, Brenda. Through InScribe, I have met a number of companions on the journey--be it a faith journey, a writing journey, or a life journey. I count you among my companions. Blessings.

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