Summary: My first sermon at HBC. A message that will challenge you to give all your heart to God and see the results in will bring to your life and your church.
BREAK UP YOUR FALLOW GROUNDHosea 10:12IntroductionA. What to say on the first day?1. Many will talk about vision.a. We already have one…it’s posted on the wall.b. I’ve had three weeks to come up with what I will share with you this morning.c. Only God waited until Monday night to reveal it in my heart.B. My passion is to accomplish your vision.2. I want to see Holland Baptist Church become a lighthouse for this community.a. We should want everyone in this area to know that this church makes a difference in people’s lives.b. We should want to see people saved.c. We should want to see people baptized.d. We should want to see the hurting comforted, the broken mended, and those who are physically and spiritually sick healed.3. So how do we do it?C. We need to return to the thrilling days of Yesteryear.1. We need a revival that returns us to our first love.a. We need to get OUR hearts right with God.b. It’s easy to say we need revival in America today…because we do!c. It’s easy to say we need revival in Arkansas…because we do!d. It’s even easy to say we need revival in our church today…because we do!e. But…I am here to tell you this morning that none of the revivals we have amen’ed and nodded our heads at will take place unless there is first a revival in each of our hearts!f. Revival, just like salvation is a personal experience. No one can experience it for you.g. We have to begin to LOVE Jesus.2. Let me ask you a personal question this morning. Do you love the Lord?a. The same question Jesus asked Peter in John 21:16 He asks you today!b. Do you LOVE me?c. You see, if you love someone you’ll spend time with them.d. How much time are we spending with the Lord in our daily lives?e. If we are not spending time with Him we will never reach THEM.f. The revival that this community needs has to start in the hearts of each and every one of God’s people.g. Every fire has to start with a spark…are you willing to be that spark?3. In Old Testament times Israel needed revival too.a. God sent the prophet Hosea to sound the call to revival.b. We would do well to heed the prophet’s call today.Hos 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.4. There are three things about fallow ground we need to discover this morning.BODYA. What is fallow ground? 1. Fallow ground is ground that was once productive but now lays waste.a. At one time it gave forth a bountiful harvest.b. Now it is desolate.c. Produces little more than weeds.2. Hosea could identify with the need to break up the fallow ground.a. He remembered Israel’s glorious past.b. The miraculous deliverance…the Red Sea crossing…the manna from heaven…the water from a rock…God’s wonderful watch care and presence.c. These were fading from memory…d. Israel had sinned against a holy God.e. They had left their first love.f. This straying away led to the prophet’s call.3. We can identify with the need for this call in our time as well.a. There are many in our society today trying to rewrite our history books.b. They try to deny our Godly heritage.c. But America was founded upon the belief in a holy and righteous God.d. Our founding fathers were devoted, Christian men.e. Men of God who dared to take a stand for Christ.f. God richly blessed our nation because of this.g. We were blessed above all nations on the earth…just like Israel.h. Yet we too, have strayed…we too, have turned our backs on our Savior! 4. But it’s not just in our nation.a. Sadly, our churches have grown cold as well.b. Many have become more interested in playing church than in changing lives.c. More interested in socials rather than souls.d. More interested in the corporation than the congregations.e. More interested in the windows than the widows.f. Caring more for the yard, than the youth.g. All have become saints, rather than sinners saved by grace!h. Caring less and less about the lost that Jesus died for!!!i. What used to be a great harvest field has become fallow ground.B. What does Fallow Ground Produce?1. Fallow ground produces thorns and thistles.(Mat 13:22) He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.2. The seed (in this case the Word of the Lord) has to fall upon good soil in order to be fruitful!a. How many of you raise gardens?b. How successful will you be if you just open the back door and throw the seed out on the ground?c. Would you bank your crop on that kind of preparation?d. The seed must go into a soil that has been ripped up and sifted through if it is to have a chance of producing fruit.e. Yet so many times we attempt to raise Christians in God’s garden the same way.f. A heart has to be tender to accept the seed and become fruitful.Jesus, (picturing Himself) said: “(Joh 12:24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.g. We as faithful sowers of the Word must seek out tender hearts that will grasp onto this great promise.3. Secondly, Fallow Ground produces the root of bitterness.Heb 12:14-15 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: (15) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;a. As we gather in God’s house and sing songs like Sweet, Sweet Spirit, we must constantly guard against one of Satan’s favorite tools to use against Christians, and that is bitterness!b. And be aware! This tool is most often used against those who are working in the church.c. Lack of cooperation can lead one to disappointment.d. Lack of results can lead to bitterness.e. Jealousy and bitterness often go hand in hand.f. No matter what the cause, there is no more harmful thing in God’s house than bitterness of soul.g. Notice in Heb 12:15 at the end of the verse…and thereby many be defiled.h. If you have become bitter toward a fellow Christian, or towards the church, or even towards God, your heart has become fallow ground, and the ground that once was fruitful and pleasant has become useless and barren.4. Thirdly, Fallow Ground produces slothful and lazy Christians.a. Folks, God never gives us a harvest that we don’t have to work for.b. This principle is seen in the harvest of plants and vegetables.c. First the soil has to be prepared. (This is not a one step process!)d. Then the seed has to be planted.e. Then the field has to be fertilized.f. Then the field has to be watered and weeded, cared for and watched over.g. THEN we have to WAIT! The harvest comes only after much hard work and care.h. Then AFTER the harvest there is still much work to be done.1Co 3:6-8 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. (7) So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. (8) Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.i. This may come as a surprise to some, but God expects us to work!Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.Tit 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.Tit 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.5. You see, God has this principle called sowing and reaping.Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.a. Let me ask you this morning…how has your harvest been lately?b. Has it been bountiful… or barren?c. Has it been satisfying…or has it failed to satisfy?d. Maybe it’s time we put in a little more work in preparation for a better harvest.e. What we put in…is what we get out!6. This principle of sowing and reaping applies not only to us as individuals, but to us corporately as a church as well.a. If we are going to catch fish, we have to fish first!b. It doesn’t matter how nice a boat we have.c. Or how much tackle we’ve got.d. Or even if we know where every fish in the lake is! (A guy can dream can’t he?)e. If we don’t put the hook in the water…f. One thing is for certain…we will NEVER catch ONE fish.g. It’s time to fish!C. So How Do We Break Up This Fallow Ground?1. Fallow Ground can only be broken up by the plow of God’s Word!a. First you must recognize the fallow ground in your life.b. Not all of your heart is fallow ground!c. Some of it is good fertile ground.d. The fallow part is that part you’ve never surrendered.e. The hatred you have harbored for someone in spite of belonging to the Lord.f. The resentment toward your spouse, your neighbor, or even your children.g. The sin that remains pervasive in your heart…the one you struggle with.h. The weight and worries you carry with you everywhere you go.i. The unwillingness to work for the Lord Jesus Christ.j. The unwillingness to be a witness for Him.k. That thing that keeps you from serving Him completely…as we all should.l. That’s the fallow ground in your life.m. That’s what you need to deal with today!2. Fallow ground needs to be broken up by remembrance and repentance.a. We need to remember where we came from.b. And who we belong to.c. And the price that was paid for us.1Co 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? (20) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.d. When we learn to look at ourselves for who we are, and look at Christ for who He is, repentance and service will come easy!Rom 12:1 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.3. God doesn’t expect the unreasonable from His children!a. His way of salvation is simple.b. His way of communication is simple.c. He simply expects His own children to trust and obey…simply.4. Fallow ground can be broken up by humility and prayer.a. I said earlier that America needs revival…and it’s true.b. I also said that Central Arkansas needs revival…that’s true as well.c. I said our church needs revival…and that’s true.d. And I said that if each and every one of us did not experience revival in our hearts, the other revivals would never come…and that is true as well.2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 5. So I ask you this morning…individually and as a church…a. That we humble ourselves before a holy God…b. That we pray…c. That we seek His face…d. That WE turn from our wicked ways…e. So that…f. He will hear us…g. He will forgive us…h. He will heal our land!!!ConclusionA. Are you willing to break up YOUR fallow ground this morning?1. When God looks upon your life, does He see a fertile field, or does He see fallow ground?a. What would you like Him to see?b. Are you willing to go to work and change?2. Are you willing to PRAY the PRICE for REVIVAL?a. Revival begins with you.3. Are we ready for God to begin a great work in Holland Baptist Church?a. In order for Him to do that He needs tools He can work with.b. Those tools are you and I.c. Let us pray that He would find us useable today.