The holidays have become a time when consumer culture comes out in full force. Black Friday, the annual post-Thanksgiving discount shopping spree, results each year in multiple deaths and injuries of consumers trampled by crowds in stores and shopping malls.
The is time of year when we are supposed to be the most giving, grateful and happy… right?
Yet research suggests that Americans overall happiness has been on a steady decline since the 1950s while our consumption of stuff has only increased.
Our pursuit of what brings true happiness is broken.
We tell ourselves that if we can just get that promotion, get the bigger house or get the latest and greatest gadget… happiness will follow. Soon after we get our hands on the new thing, in the matter of days the happiness wears off and we are left feeling empty again.
So how do we find true meaning and happiness?
We find meaning and happiness when learn to: “LEAVE SOME HARVEST BEHIND”
What do I mean?
God has blessed you with your own harvest to manage and take care of.
Deuteronomy 24:19-21 (NLT)
19 “When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all you do. 20 When you beat the olives from your olive trees, don’t go over the boughs twice. Leave the remaining olives for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. 21 When you gather the grapes in your vineyard, don’t glean the vines after they are picked. Leave the remaining grapes for the foreigners, orphans, and widows.
This scripture in Deuteronomy is talking about the blessings that comes your way from God. When God pours out a harvest in your life, the goal is never to try to keep it all for yourself.
When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don’t go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans, and widows. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all you do.
When you learn to leave some harvest behind, God pours out His blessings on you not only in your finance but this scripture promises that He will our out His blessing on ALL you do!
The blessings come when we focus on storing up treasures in heaven.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.
Your heart follows whatever you treasure more.
If we treasure stuff more than helping others, our hearts and lifestyle will show it.
REAL TREASURE or REAL HARVEST is not stuff…it’s found in your heart by living a giving lifestyle or leaving some harvest behind.
Most of the world lives on less than $2 dollars a day. As Americans we forget that we are in fact very rich and very blessed.
How are you handling the harvest that God has entrusted to you?
Do you see yourself as abundantly blessed?
Like the passage in Deuteronomy, how often are you trying to go back to make sure you picked up everything you may have left behind?
Maybe this is a better question: “Who owns your field?”
Luke 12:16-21 (NLT)
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods.19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’
21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”
When we try to hold on to all of the harvest and not give any away, we lose our life in the process.
Luke 9:24 (NIV)
24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
It’s easy to forget where our harvest of blessing come from.
James 1:17 (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
It’s not just this time of year when we are supposed to be the most giving, grateful and happy.
God has called to live a giving lifestyle. A life where we: LEAVE SOME HARVEST BEHIND.
You are rich…now what are you going to do?
Question: “What can you do this holiday season to “Leave some harvest behind”? Leave a comment below.