Copyright © 2007 by Robert Woeger.
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Publisher: Robert Woeger
May this Christian writing on the yield help you have a more productive walk with the Lord.
"And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased;
and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred." Mark 4:8.
All Scripture references in this writing are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
U.S. Copyright Office Registration Number TX0006547163. Registered on 03/20/2007.
This book has its humble beginnings on March 19, 2007 at approximately 12:20am while I was alone inside a church where I had frequently ministered for many years. Since I am an evangelist, the pastor of this church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, had given me a key to come pray or reflect any time, including the middle of the night. I didn't go there often, and normally use my key maybe once or twice a year. But this night was different. I was home alone and I felt the Holy Spirit "tugging" at me to go downtown to Rose of Sharon Temple at 229 E. Cucharras St., a non-denominational church, and use my key. I went and put on a worship music CD called "Holy" by Terry MacAlmon that was sitting in front of the church sound system's CD player. As the music was playing and I was seeking God alone there in the church at a little past midnight, the name of the title and the outline for this book was placed upon my heart.
It just came to me. I used a sticky note laying by the church's sound system and a nearby pencil to write down the name and outline the Holy Spirit was birthing in me. I then prayed some, and felt to return home to my Mac to write this book (if it took all night), just to get it all down as it was fresh to me. The result is what you are now reading.
May it serve to be a blessing to you (and to people for generations to come)!
Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Measure Of A Life
How is a life measured? Is it in material possessions, fame, or how many people show up at your funeral? Or are there weightier issues at work and play in deciding the value or measure of a life?
Did a person "blow it" and seemingly waste the precious time that they had been given? Were they unappreciative of their life? How did they treat their loved ones around them? Were they abusers of the gifts that had been given to them? Did true happiness elude them? Were they so "money focused" that they lost sight of treating other people well? Did the "lust of the flesh" consume them and steal their life?
How a life is measured is an important point that not everyone takes the time to consider. Most people grow up trying to please their parent(s). We as people tend to be starving for love, attention, affection and validation. We want to be told that we're OK!
Even the fear of rejection and abandonment can play "mind tricks" on us. People tend to flee from situations and circumstances where they might receive the slightest bit of rejection or abandonment. This is why so many children who are adopted out or put up for adoption by their "birth parents" tend to struggle with the issue of abandonment and rejection for much, if not all, of their lives. To be rejected by people who are supposed to love you is confusing to say the least. It may be hard to understand the motivation for someone to reject or withhold love from their own child.
People can use the threat of withholding approval, love, and acceptance to control and manipulate others. It is not right, but there are people who do it all the time. Trying to use "mind games" to control and manipulate another human being using threats, intimidation or fear is wrong. No where do we have permission to "play with another person's emotions." In fact, we are told to love one another in the Bible.
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Matthew 7:12.
The above scripture is sometimes called the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would want others to do unto you. Tie this in with the scriptures below and you have "the recipe for success" with both God and man.
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:" Mark 12:30-32.
Have you ever thought about how God measures a life? Would your life be found wanting?
Read the next chapters to find out what is beneficial and what is not to our Christian life. For we are called to be followers of Christ ("Christian"). Ask the Holy Spirit to help your life "measure up" in God's eyes.
Stop being a people pleaser, but rather be a God pleaser!
How you spend the time given to you in your life by God is very important. First, you must acknowledge that God is the giver of life! If you fail to acknowledge and appreciate Him, as the author of your life, you will live your life "in the dark" trying to "figure it out yourself." Separation from God is not a place I recommend any person to be. God knew we needed Him, and that is why He made provisions for us through Jesus Christ (Salvation and more) and the Holy Spirit (teacher, guide, comforter and more).
As stated in the previous chapter, God will measure your life. Scripture gives an example of the "talents" which talks about how God measures a life. Are you using your gifts and talents and spending them well? What is your 'yield' of the resources and gifts God has given you in your life? I encourage you to read this important lesson found in Matthew 25, verses 14 to 30, now:
"For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
From the above Scripture example of the talents, we can clearly see that God is serious about our lives being "well spent" for His purposes for us. This isn't a "party life" where we "fiddle and dance while Rome burns" or "while our neighbors go to Hell." The enemy would like nothing better than for Christians to "entertain ourselves," become divided from other Believers, choose to "not get involved" in helping others who need to hear "Good News," and simply wait for God to take us to Glory. Would you consider you life being "well spent?" If not, then change the way you are are living! Ask God to give you new direction by the Holy Spirit. Pray and ask Him for help in accomplishing His perfect will for your life. Spend your life well for His glory and His Name's Sake.
As followers of Christ, we are commanded by God to be fruitful. Read all of Colossians Chapter 1.
"That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;" Colossians 1:10.
We should desire what Paul desires in this Chapter. We should pray that others receive the hope that the knowledge of Christ brings, and that they would walk worthy and pleasing unto the Lord, bearing much good fruit.
In the story of the talents discussed in the prior chapter, Jesus measured the life of a steward by how much return or yield they produced based on what talents they had been given to start with.
All talents come from God and are a gift from God. We earn more talents (bear fruit) based on how we use the prior talents given us. The proper use of talents can earn other talents. Misuse of talents can be disastrous.
I find that the better I use the gifts God has given me, the easier and freer it is for more gifts to come my way. If I fail to use the gifts God has given me, it is generally much harder to use the gifts the next time I need to use them. Perhaps gifts are like a muscle that gets flabby when not exercised and used regularly. An athlete regularly exercises his muscles. Are not we to be like spiritual athletes, keeping our spiritual gifts honed and exercised? After all, aren't we supposed to "run the race to win?" Sounds like being commanded to be in shape for running a marathon to me.
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain." 1 Corinthians 9:24.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Hebrews 12:1.
Bearing fruit is an exercise in patience. You don't normally plant a garden and watch fruit grow instantaneously. Time is normally required. That usually involves some patience.
Jesus doesn't want us to burn out by doing a quick sprint, but rather desires us running a long, consistent race. He wants our will to line up with His Will for our life. Just like Jesus prayed in the second part of Luke 22:42: "not my will, but thine, be done."
When we submit to Him, and yield our will to His, we will bear much good fruit.
Stewardship involves being a wise steward of everything which God has entrusted you with. This covers time, talents, giftings, energy, relationships, money and our very life. Are you a good steward of the things God has given you? People tend to look at what they do not have instead of looking at what they do have. Use what you have to help you in proper stewardship, as led by the Lord, to accomplish great things for His Name's Sake. Everything you do reflects back on Him, so why not make it a great reflection on Him? You will be judged on how everything you do (and don't do) reflects back (or doesn't reflect back) on Him.
May your actions reflect good things on Christ, and may you avoid things that would reflect back badly on Him.
"And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath." Luke 12:42-44.
God is seeking faithful and wise stewards. Are you one of them? Will you be blessed when the Lord comes? What will He find you doing? Stewardship provides rewards for proper service. Improper stewardship carries severe penalties. Avoid that at all costs -- you have been warned.
If you need help in improving your stewardship, ask God and He will send His Wisdom to you through His Word and through teachers and mentors that He sends in response to your hunger after His Kingdom and His Righteousness (Matthew 6:33).
Righteousness is right standing with God. Only true righteousness has divine power.
Scripture says that "...all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6). If we think we are righteous on our own merits, we deceive ourselves. But if God chooses to bestow His Righteousness upon us, all things are possible.
Hunger is required to birth righteousness, as it demonstrates one's passion:
"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6.
This is a powerful promise from God. I stood on this verse for several years, until God poured out a full measure of His blessings of righteousness on me. I was seeking after His Kingdom and His Righteousness as described in Matthew 6:33,
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
If you have God's Righteousness pulsating through you (and upon you), next check your yield to make sure you are bearing much good fruit. Seek His perfect direction and will for your life, and go accomplish all that He has for you to do. May His blessings overtake you!
"...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10.
There is a special protection from God, where evil has no sway or influence over a believer. I have learned that this protection requires the righteousness of God. Satan has no power over the true servants of God who are walking under a covering of His Righteousness! The blessings of protection described in Psalm 91 are available to those under the righteousness of God. Note that the requirement for all the blessings talked about in Psalm 91 is that you dwell in the "Secret Place Of The Most High." You must have "right standing" with God and the Righteousness of God to qualify for all these wonderful protective promises:
"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation." Psalm 91.
God is calling all true believers in The Lord to walk a life of faithfulness, being not only faithful to His commands contained in His Word, but also to instructions that He gives as you go through your daily life. He is seeking those who believe Him (Acts 16:31) and who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. Part of Worship is declaring His Faithfulness. He wants a demonstration of our faithfulness by the example of how we live our lives. He is Faithful and True.
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house." Acts 16:31.
"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24.
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." Revelation 19:11.
How can one be faithful and full of lies (and deceit)? God hates dishonest scales:
"A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight." Proverbs 11:1. Also see the scripture passages below talking about even possessing false weights and measures.
"Thou shalt not have in thy bag divers weights, a great and a small. Thou shalt not have in thine house divers measures, a great and a small. But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight, a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. For all that do such things, and all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 25:13-16.
God is serious about even the appearance that you may plan to deceive someone using false weights or measures. You must present yourself as an honest, noble steward of Christ at all times: in business, your job, and in everyday life.
"Abstain from all appearance of evil." 1 Thessalonians 5:22.
Your measure of your life's yield will be taken at the end of your life by God Himself. We should all want to hear Him say to us:
"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Matthew 25:21.
Impediment To Others
One of the main goals of life is to live your life so as not to harm or hurt others. Remember Mark 12:31, "...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself..." -- Do unto others, as you would want others to do unto you. What you sow, you shall reap:
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7.
An impediment is a stumbling block and a hindrance to accomplishing or receiving something. When a person is a stumbling block to another, it usually causes harm or frustration to the other person.
Stealing from another can be viewed as an impediment. Refusal to give when God directs you to give can hinder a project that God has planned to come about in a timely manner. Any time a person is disobedient to what God is saying, they are likely to be an impediment to others, not to mention to their own spiritual growth.
Whatever you sow, you shall reap, be it good or bad. The Bible is clear in this matter. Sow good things continuously. Life is too short to ever sow bad things.
"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth." Ecclesiastes 11:1-2.
As you examine the yield your life is producing, make sure you sow liberally unto others, and make sure your actions aren't being an real impediment to others. The ability to help others live their lives in a free, Godly way will bring a true believer in Christ much pleasure.
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Galatians 5:1.
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36.
Minister Of Help
We are all called, as believers in Christ, to act as ministers. We are to minister unto one another. There exists a ministry of helping one another, and of service to your fellow man. How can people experience the love of Christ, except we show them positive examples of His love? Are we to keep all the knowledge about the love of Christ inside the church walls? -- Heaven forbid.
Instead we are to go out as "ambassadors of Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:20) to reach a lost and dying world with the "Good News," or Gospel, of Christ. We are to take hope to them that need to hear it.
Remember when someone took time and helped you at a crucial time in your life? Do that for others and watch a mighty harvest bear fruit. Your yield will be great in this area. Jesus knows that service to one's fellow man produces many good spiritual fruits.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23.
Whether it be a kind word spoken to a stranger in line at a grocery store checkout line, or if you help someone who is in need, the act of help or service to another will produce a harvest. There are certain types of people you will be able to help, and others who won't receive or appreciate your help. Go, as led by the Spirit, to those that He is instructing you to help. You can't help everyone due to limitations of your time and resources, but do offer to help those as God directs you by His Holy Spirit. Your yield will be great as you are obedient to touch those In His Name.
Put your affairs in order so that when you die, it will be easier on your friends and loved ones. Part of stewardship is how you take care of all matters, including final matters. I have known and heard stories about so many people who didn't have a Will or final arrangement plans/wishes written out. If you fail to plan for your eventual death, the state you live in will apply its rules and may appoint someone who never knew you to carry out your final wishes and manage your estate.
A death can be a celebration of life, or a real time of trial and devastation if matters weren't properly planned beforehand. The choice is up to you. Will you be remembered for your life, or for the problems that you left others to take care of?
You can maximize the yield of your life by planning and making your wishes known. I just recently, at the age of 42, bought a burial plot. Many people my age probably wouldn't even think of doing that. It was a real time of joy for me, as I have now "put my house in order," so that someone else will not have to do it later during a time of crisis and loss. I always wanted to be buried in a particular cemetery on the west side of Colorado Springs, but plots there in the section I desired had long ago been sold out. The Lord knew my wishes, and caused me to get in contact with an elderly woman who had bought many plots for her family back in 1963. She had some unused plots in the section of the cemetery that I desired to be buried in, and I bought one of them from her. Now I have a peace in knowing where my body will be be buried.
I have also recorded documents with the local Clerk and Recorder's office describing the disposition of many of the intellectual property assets I own rights to, such as songs and books, so that when I die these can be given to the Public Domain to bless people for generations to come. I have received much freedom from my "final affairs" planning. Now I can go on and live my life serving the Lord to the fullest, and not worry about the stewardship of my body and assets when I die. What peace!
Relationship To/With Others
Treat people fairly and the way you would want to be treated by them. You never know when you will need to be dependent on another person to get something cared for. If you treat the best auto mechanic in town bad for years, perhaps he will be unwilling to fix your car when you have car problems. You never know who you will need to rely on in the future to get something done.
Never "burn your bridges," because you may later need to cross one of those bridges again. We need people to accomplish the various tasks that God has set before us. Whether they be professionals, service people or friends, people are required around us so that our lives run smoothly and so that we can get things done for Christ. We can't do everything ourselves. We neither have the time nor the expertise to carry that out. John Heywood is often credited with writing the famous phrase: "Many hands make light work." It is true that the more people you have on "your side" helping you, the easier it is to get things accomplished (for God).
If you are married, do everything you can to maintain a loving, caring relationship with your spouse. Treat your relationship with special care, and nurture it.
Likewise, we are to treat our relationship with God in a very special way. He wants to be appreciated, respected and loved, and we should always be sure our Worship and actions reflect this. Everything that we do reflects back on God, as we are called followers of Christ ("Christians"). Our testimony by our life and our actions should reflect back positively on our Creator. This is our reasonable service, and we should not forget that we are living a testimony (whether good or bad) for Christ each day by our words and actions. "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1.
God has shown me that there are many who are calling themselves Christians, who are stealing Christian music off the Internet without paying for it and are using that music in an attempt to worship God. The same goes for Christian books. Downloads without paying for use are rampant, and in many cases illegal. How do you think God looks upon a person who claims to be a follower of Christ who steals music without paying for it, and then tries to sing praises and worship to God with that stolen music?
We should never cheat or steal from anyone. Never bear a false witness. If you lie about even a seemingly small thing, the fruit of that lie will eventually come back to haunt you. Truth never allows itself to be suppressed. Truth shines light on all things and into every area of our lives: "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7.
It is when people think they can "get away with" something, that they are actually setting themselves up for an eventual fall. God will not tolerate liars or cheaters flourishing:
"Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another." Leviticus 19:11.
"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son." 1 John 2:22.
"If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" 1 John 4:20.
"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." Revelation 21:8.
Well Done Thou Good And Faithful Servant
As stated earlier in this writing, the measure of your life's yield will be taken at the end of your life by God Himself. We should all want to hear Him say to us:
"His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Matthew 25:21.
We are wise to avoid gossip, unforgiveness, being judgmental and all the other things discussed in this writing that will hinder us from producing a good harvest and a good yield with our lives. The yield of our lives will be measured someday, so why not yield as much with our lives, our gifts and talents, and our resources as possible while we are yet alive. Only then will we be free to be totally yielded to Him.
We must have a living faith in Christ that will produce works pleasing to Him. Faith without works is dead, and likewise works without faith can't earn a person a place with God. We must be the good and faithful servant of God, and live our lives pleasing in His eyes.
"For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." James 2:26.
"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24.
"For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37.
God is a God of hope. Nothing is impossible with God. Seek His perfect will for your life, seek direction and allow the Holy Spirit and His Word to guide you into all truth. Having a farm, where things grow, are nurtured, and produce a yield, is a lot like hope. The goal is to properly combine belief and hope to produce good fruit. You must start any planting with good seed. God's Word (The Bible) is the seed that you start with (1 Peter 1:23). As you trust Him and combine your faith with your life experiences (testimony for God), if you do not waver, you will see much good fruit being produced. Living your life in an uncomplicated, "child-like faith" in God, will enable you to have freedom and access to the things God has already planned for you:
"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26.
"And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3."Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24.