Scripture Focus: Psalm 85.8-13
8 I will listen to what God the Lord says;
he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants—
but let them not turn to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him,
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Love and faithfulness meet together;
righteousness and peace kiss each other.
11 Faithfulness springs forth from the earth,
and righteousness looks down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed give what is good,
and our land will yield its harvest.
13 Righteousness goes before him
and prepares the way for his steps.
From John: In times of crisis, we need to rely on the harvest of faith. This re-edited post from 2019 gives us simple steps to cultivating a faith that we can rely on. A well-cultivated faith will yield encouragement for our own survival and also an overflow that we may share with others.
Reflection: The Cultivating Life
By John Tillman
The Lord seeks harvests of faithfulness from the earth. When we partner with him and cultivate the soil of our hearts, we ensure that Christ’s power will take root in us and bring forth a harvest of the fruit of the spirit.
We have written before, “cultivation is supernatural,” but the simple actions of cultivating faith are not ethereal or fanciful. They are the practical, steady doings of the farmer.
Water the Ground with Prayer
Praying is like watering the soil of your heart so that it doesn’t become hard and dusty and so that the things God plants there can grow.
Jesus taught his followers to pray to God as our father. It is easy to forget to converse with God like a trusted friend or a parent. Praying is also listening, so when we pray, listen—the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us something.
Spread the Good Seed of the Bible
The Bible, the Word of God, is the good seed that God plants in us, his fields.
It is a false dichotomy to attempt to set The Holy Spirit (or Jesus) against the Bible as if we could cancel the one with the other. If Satan’s kingdom would fall when divided against itself, how much more Christ’s?
The Bible is the writing of—the very breath of—the Holy Spirit, given to the men and women who wrote the Bible. So, to hear from the Holy Spirit, the most direct method is to pick up a Bible and read.
Nourish the Soil and Pollinate through Corporate Worship
Many plants growing near one another will share water and nutrients with one another. Other plants, when they detect a closely related plant will put out less extensive roots, so as not to soak up all the resources for themselves.
When we gather to worship we are helping others to experience the fruit of the Spirit and to share our physical and spiritual resources.
Cultivation is not an out-of-the-box, pre-prepared spiritual solution. It’s customized to our culture and our climate. When we keep worshiping God with others and planting the right seeds of what we learn about the Bible, and we keep watering the soil of our hearts with prayer, “faithfulness will spring up from the earth,” and “our land will yield its harvest.”
Divine Hours Prayer: The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God — Psalm 92.12
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.
Read more about Kiss of Righteousness and Peace—Guided Prayer
When love and faithfulness meet, righteousness and peace kiss each other. But before that…there is confession and justice, mercy and redemption.
Read more about The Ever-Patient Agriculturalist
Throughout the Bible, God is often pictured as an ever-patient agriculturalist. God begins by planting a garden in which to place humanity…