“He Is the First of a Great Harvest…”

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. — 1 Cor. 15:20 NLT

1 Cor. 15:12 -20 NLT

In this passage of Scripture, we find the reason that Christianity is different from all religions and philosophies of life.  Every religion had a leader that lived and died.  Most have books of the good works and good lives they lived here on earth.  Some of the leaders claim to have had great visions and were given new scriptures to write.  Some believe in life beyond the grave, some don’t.  But Christianity is the only one that claims to have a risen Savior who is still alive today.  That claim is the difference-maker setting Christianity alone as the only one where we can have a daily relationship with our leader, our God, our Lord and our risen Savior. Christianity is the only belief system that allows you to be able to talk with the Author any time you want to.  Though Jesus Himself never physically wrote any of the books of the Bible, He is the Spirit that breathed every word into existence.  We must be kind and show love to those of other faiths and belief systems.  But when it comes to the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, we stand alone and we must stand firm at all times in all situations. 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“If the Lord Wants Us to”

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”15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:15 NLT

James 4:13-17 NLT

We can look at nature and realize that God is very organized. He established the seasons and the natural order of dormancy in the winter, birthing of the new in the spring with the winds in March that help to be sure every plant is pollinated, the showers in April to prepare the soil for the flowers of May.  Then the summer for growth and the fall for maturity and harvesting.  That plan remains the same year after year since plants can’t make their own plans.  We need to have a plan for our lives but it needs to be flexible enough and held loosely enough to allow God to change us and our plans to fit His plan for our lives.  As Proverbs tells us, we make our plans, but God directs our steps and makes them sure. Each of us is only one little piece of the whole jigsaw puzzle.  Since we don’t have the boxtop, we can’t see the finished picture. So, we need to be sure that our plans fit into God’s big plan just as each piece of the puzzle must fit to complete the picture.

10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Eph. 2:10 NIV

So, if we know which good works God has prepared us to do, we need to do them with all our hearts, minds, and strength.  Because of all He has done for us, we should consider anything less as unacceptable.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

“I Have Food to Eat”

32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” – John 4:32 NASB

Food

The disciples are concerned about the physical welfare of Jesus, but He explains that He is nourished by doing God’s work here on earth. He uses the idea of food to segue into planting and harvesting. But again, He is not talking about natural or physical food. He is using the sowing and reaping in the natural to demonstrate how God wants us to do His work here on earth. Studies have shown that it takes an average of as many as 14 times of hearing the Gospel for a person to accept Jesus as their Savior. So, as we go, we plant seeds into individuals and others reap the harvest. It is a joyful moment when we get to harvest where others have come before us and planted the seeds. We must be faithful in doing God’s work even though we may not see the result of the seeds we plant. We can be encouraged by what Jesus said here and what we find in Isaiah:

God’s Word

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 03-17-2020

A Special Kind of Food

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32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” ​ – John 4;32 NLT

Food

The disciples are concerned about the physical welfare of Jesus, but He explains that He is nourished by doing God’s work here on earth. He uses the idea of food to segue into planting and harvesting. But again, He is not talking about natural or physical food. He is using the sowing and reaping in the natural to demonstrate how God wants us to do His work here on earth. Studies have shown that it takes between 7 and 8 times of hearing the Gospel for a person to accept Jesus as their Savior. So, as we go, we plant seeds into individuals and others reap the harvest. It is a joyful moment when we get to harvest where others have come before us and planted the seeds. We must be faithful in doing God’s work even though we may not see the result of the seeds we plant. We can be encouraged by what Jesus said here and what we find in Isaiah:

 
God’s Word


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 08-21-2017

Pay Your Pastors Well

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7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? 8 Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? 10 Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. 11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more?​ But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel..—1 Cor. 9:7-14​ NIV

​Paul continues to expand on the things that he could require the people to do for him.  Isn’t it normal for the person who is being served to expect to pay for the service? We pay the soldiers who protect us, the vintner is free to partake of his grapes and the wine he makes, the shepherd keeps some of the milk for himself. Paul refers them to the Law of Moses and the expectations of the plowman and the threshers. If we are being spiritually fed, then we need to expect to pay those that spend their time in preparing the spiritual meals. But, says Paul, I will put up with any amount of lack as long as I can preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. A full time pastor deserves to be paid enough to support his family. It should be more than just enough for them to “get by”, they have wants just as we and our families do. (And, just in case you are wondering, no, I am not a pastor).
Post 06-02-2015

Planting and Harvesting

God is waiting to show you the Way.

God is waiting to show you the Way.

31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” 33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. 34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe​ ​for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”​-​–John 4:31-38 (NLT)
​The​ disciples are concerned about the physical welfare of Jesus, but He explains that He is nourished by doing God’s work here on earth. He uses the idea of food to segue into planting and harvesting. But again, He is not talking about natural or physical food. He is using the sowing and reaping in the natural to demonstrate how God wants us to do His work here on earth. Studies have shown that it takes between 7 and 8 times of hearing the Gospel for a person to accept Jesus as their Savior. So, as we go, we plant seeds into individuals and others reap the harvest. It is a joyful moment when we get to harvest where others have come before us and planted the seeds. We must be faithful in doing God’s work even though we may not see the result of the seeds we plant. We can be encouraged by what Jesus said here and what we find in Isaiah:
10 “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. 11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.—Isaiah 55:10, 11 (NLT)
Post 11-12-14