Saturday, April 25, 2009


“Remember this—
a farmer who plants only a few seeds
will get a small crop.
But the one who plants generously
will get a generous crop.”
2 Corinthians 9:6 NLT

The average last frost in the St. Louis area is April 15th, so I usually have my garden planted by now. According to those who seem to know, it takes two weeks of 50 degree nights for the ground to be ready. Those of you who live in St. Louis know our spring this year, for the most part, has been cold and wet. So my garden is late.

I see gardening as working together with God. I plow the ground when He has it ready - plant the seed that He has produced – help with the watering if it doesn’t rain enough – pull weeds and do some mulching, but it’s God who makes His seed to grow – producing vegetables for us and our neighbors to enjoy.

God has set laws in motion that never change. A seed will always reproduce itself – what we sow is what we get. If we are skimpy with the seeds we put in the ground, our crop will also be skimpy. The same principles operate in our lives.

Our life in this world is a time of planting, and also the beginning of reaping what we plant. But the full harvest will be realized in the world to come. If we live life to satisfy our sinful human nature, we will start to reap the consequences – emptiness, lack of peace, no true hope, --- . However, in the world to come, we will fully reap what a sinful human nature will ultimately yield – eternal death - separated from God. On the other hand, as we put our trust in Christ we are born again with a spiritual nature which has the capacity to please God. And as we obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we begin to enjoy the first fruits of the harvest – real love, joy, peace ---. And in the world to come - we will reap the full harvest – eternal life in all it’s fullness in the presence of our Savior - forever and ever!!

Paul says, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.” Galatians 6:7 First off, obviously the smartest thing for us to do is to plant good seed which will produce the best harvest in this world and the world to come. And secondly, let’s plant lots of it!! It’s not that hard to figure out.

Let’s Pray-
Father, even as believers, we catch ourselves planting bad seed and taste the bitter results. That’s so stupid. Please forgive us. Help us to plant your good seed and not be skimpy about it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


“What we suffer now is nothing
compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.
For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day
when God will reveal who his children really are.”
Romans 8:18-19 NLT

This is incredible!! When Adam and Eve sinned, it not only affected the entire human race but “all creation was subjected to God’s curse.” v20 God in mercy and grace made provision for our forgiveness through His Son on the cross. He also gave us His Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead to live within us. Even though we will suffer a bodily death because of sin, we will be resurrected – with a glorified body – forever delivered from pain, sickness and death.

In a sense creation sees the wonderful hope God’s redeemed children have in Christ, and it “looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” v21,22 What a meaningful metaphor! Mountains, oceans and forests all groaning to be free from the curse like we as God’s children will be.

Our full freedom is yet to come. “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering.” v23 If we had our way, all suffering would be behind us, but that won’t happen until we have our new bodies God has promised us. In the meantime, we long for and groan, as it were, for that day.

We often don’t know how to pray. What does God really want us to go through while we are on this earth? What experiences will best help shape our lives according to God’s will for us? Here is where the 3rd groan comes in. “The Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” v26 Knowing exactly what God’s will is, “the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” v27 That leaves no doubt whatsoever, God is answering that prayer and “causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” v28

Read all of Romans 8 to get the full picture.

Let’s Pray –
Father, it’s so good to know, no matter what we suffer in this life, it can’t compare to the glory we will eventually experience in your presence because of what Christ has done.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


“Don’t be afraid!” the angel said.
“I know you are looking for Jesus,
who was crucified. He isn’t here!
He is risen from the dead,
just as he said would happen.”
Matthew 28:5,6

People who attend church very rarely, most likely will make it at Christmas and or at Easter.

Historically, Christians gather on the first day of the week because it marks the day on which Jesus rose from the dead. The Easter season is really the most precious time of the entire year, because the resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 15:17-18, “If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost!” How utterly hopeless we would all be, now and forever, if Christ had not been raised from the dead! His resurrection shows that the Father was fully satisfied with the atonement Jesus made for our sins.

When the women came to the tomb where Jesus had been buried, they met an angel who told them “He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen.” Acts 1:3, records that “During the forty days after his crucifixion, he appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive.” In fact the New Testament mentions eleven different appearances of the risen Lord.

Perhaps the strongest evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, are the transformed lives of the people who put their trust in Him as their Lord and savior. That was true right after the resurrection and is still true today, two thousand years later.

Because Jesus is alive we also shall live. As He promised “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.” John 11:25 We are able to stand by the grave-side of believing loved ones with the full confidence that they will rise again, because He arose.

“Death cannot keep his prey, Jesus my Savior!
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
with a mighty triumph o’er His foes;

He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever with His saints to reign,

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
by Robert Lowry

Let’s Pray-
Father, thank you for the blessed hope the resurrection brings us!!

(All Scriptures are NLT)

Saturday, April 4, 2009


“For God loved the world so much
that he gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16

When God created Adam and Eve they were in perfect fellowship with Him. That’s how God meant it to be forever. But this all changed when they disobeyed Him. Now their innocence was gone, making it impossible for them to have fellowship with Him. A chasm had opened up between God and the human race, and nothing man could do could bridge that gulf. Every human being from then on was separated from God, which meant eternal death – hell – the absolute opposite of heaven.

God knowing everything, made provision from the beginning of creation to correct this catastrophe. At the proper time He sent His sinless Son to build a bridge to span the chasm that separates sinful man from a holy God. “When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.” Romans 5:6 “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 By faith in Christ as our savior we are born again, and fellowship with God is restored resulting in eternal life in God’s presence – that’s heaven!

Next Friday we will focus on the suffering Christ endured as He built the bridge that spans the chasm between a Holy God and sinful humanity. The crown of thorns on his head – the three spikes through His hands and feet, excruciating as they were, that wasn’t His greatest agony. It was when our sin was laid upon Him, separating Him from His Holy Father. He suffered the eternal hell we deserve and He cried out, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Matthew 27:46 And when the price was fully paid He said, “’It is finished!’ Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.” John 19:20 That was Friday, but Sunday is on the way!!!

Let’s Pray-
Oh Jesus, we are eternally grateful for your love that built the bridge to heaven. You gave your all for us, help us to give our all to you!!

(All scriptures are NLT)