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Lessons in Joy From ‘Mom Maw Jane’ – Part 4

Psa 126:1 [A Song of degrees.] When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

Psa 126:2  Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.

Psa 126:3  The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

Psa 126:4  Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.

Psa 126:5  They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

Psa 126:6  He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

Joy is the end result for those who sow in tears.

Are you sowing into anyone’s life?

‘They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.’ 

I realize that some would argue that this psalm is a direct reference to the material blessing promised to the children of Israel after their captivity, and I will agree. But I would also call your attention to the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Luk 8:11  Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.

In the parable of the sower, Jesus is using the imagery of a farmer casting seed in the field. The seed is the Word, and the harvest is the people who grow in Christ as the result of the seed/Word being sown. So, I do not think we are making a misapplication when we say that sowing God’s Word into another person will bring joy to our lives, as well as theirs.

This action was another thing that brought joy to my mother.

She was always sowing into someones life. Sometimes it was her children, sometimes a church member, sometimes a neighbor. Most of the time she was doing it without the other person knowing it. I don’t remember my mother quoting verses or throwing Scripture references at people’s problems, but I do remember her living Scripture in front of people.

I remember my mom living out Matthew 5:23-24.

Mat 5:23  Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;

Mat 5:24  Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

I remember those meetings in church when people would get right with each other. It was an amazing thing to watch people, with tears streaming down their faces, go to others in the church and ask for forgiveness. (Bitterness robs us of joy.)

My mom would be involved in those services.

She would also sow into lives by saying things to the neighbors. She would not quote Scripture, but her words were application of Scripture. Sometimes her words were salty, but they were still the truth.

She sowed the Word in my life without saying a thing. When I would simply find her Bible open somewhere, I knew she had been reading it, and its constant presence on the end table in the den sowed God’s Word into my life.

So, let me ask you again, are you sowing into anyone?

I am sure, through the years, some of my mothers sowing fell on stony ground. I am sure her heart was broken when she saw thorns choke out the seed in peoples’ lives. But she had seen enough of a harvest to keep on sowing.

A couple of years ago, I preached the Homecoming Service of the church where I was ordained. I saw a man in the congregation who had lived close to my mother for at least thirty years. I never knew him to come to church in all those years. I know my dad invited him. I know I invited his kids as we grew up together, but with little-to-no success.

What happened?

Before my mother died, she began to sow into him. She didn’t just stop by one time and tell him he was a sinner, like some good Baptists do. She sowed. She watered. She lived a right testimony in front of him. And she died with the right testimony.

She sowed into him.

It was good to see the fruit of her labor.

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