The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, April 18, 2013
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"The Blessings Of Green Pastures"
"He makes me lie down in green pastures" (Psalm 23:2). "They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, 'The LORD is upright; He is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him'" (Psalm 92:14,15). "Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass" (Mark 6:39).
This morning Brooksyne and I were discussing how the vegetation is greening up all around us along with the spring perennials and flowering trees. For some reason an old song came to Brooksyne's mind and she started singing, "Green, green, green, green, green, green" and quickly realized those weren't quite the right words from the song she was thinking of. Instead it was "Dre-am, Dream, Dream, Dream, dream, dream" by the Everly Brothers! But we both decided the substituted word, "Green" worked out pretty good!
Late yesterday afternoon before sunset we took a long walk on our familiar trail. About 1/4 mile away on the other side of a farm field I shot the above photo of our home. All that green you see in the foreground is not our lawn (I wish it looked that good) but rather it's field grass. The stunning shade of green indicates health and vitality.
What makes the grass so green? Well scientifically we are aware it us Chlorophyll. But what drop of rain, what ray of sunshine, or what specific nutrient drawn from the rich Lancaster County soil made the difference? Of course that question is ridiculous. We know there are many factors that contribute to the vitality of the grass and plant life. And there are also many factors that contribute to the spiritual health and vitality of the believer, especially staying fresh and green and still bearing fruit in old age.
When I was in Bible College in the mid-seventies I recall a specific statement made by a professor that really impacted me and heightened my love for God's Word. He pointed out the importance of looking at the detail contained in the Scriptures and called our attention to the "green grass" description in the third daily text. Although all four gospels share the story of the feeding of the five thousand, only Mark includes the detail that the grass was green. The professor pointed out that this was likely a clue indicating the season that this event took place. That may be so, but perhaps Mark also really liked green!
Most of us are able to recall specific points in our faith journey; a very memorable spiritual experience, a certain sermon that changed our outlook, or a book we read that had a "life changing" effect upon us. These "big events" are mile marker blessings, but most of our growth is a result of the accumulative effects of small things. These are the blessings of living in green pastures.
Depending upon how long we have followed Christ we may have read and studied the Scriptures for thousands of hours, heard hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Bible-based sermons and teaching, read many good books, etc. I calculate that I have prepared and presented some 4,000 sermons and teachings during the course of my ministry.
Yet I sure don't remember all I've read from the Word (too often it seems I forget right after I read it and have to re-read). I certainly can't recall every sermon I've heard or preached. Actually I can only specifically remember a small percentage. I have read thousands of books by now, but I only remember a few. Has it all been a waste? Of course not!
Here's a vital spiritual truth to encourage you today. Our progress in spiritual growth, like the green grass or the green leaves on a tree, is mostly a result of the composite, accumulative effect of being exposed to spiritually enriching nutrients over time. Read attentively as you study the Scriptures and listen carefully to God's servants as they preach the Word. But remember, spiritual growth is taking place as you day by day fully commit yourself to our blessed Saviour.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, Your principles teach me that time spent reading the Word, meditating upon it and applying it to my life makes a vital difference in my Christian walk. Spending time with other believers and learning from their examples, as well as their testimony, is another way You've brought positive change into my life. Hearing sermons that cause me to think and often move me to more fully surrender my heart to You has brought about foundational growth in my life. I'm grateful for those who love me enough to keep me accountable to the commitment I've made to live a godly life. Thank You for the spiritual health and vitality You provide as I graze on the bounty of Your abundant life-giving "green pastures." It is in the name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.
Another photo of the lambs we passed yesterday. These photos were taken on a well-groomed Amish farm on Stumptown Road here in Lancaster County. The sheep wanted little to do with us until Brooksyne began to baaa to get their attention.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"You Make Me Lie Down In Green Pastures " Video Don Moen
"Psalm 23" Video Keith Green
"I Surrender All" Video Vineyard Music
We continue to pray for all involved in the terror attacks in Boston this last Monday. We wrote about this in Tuesday's message. Some of our readers may find this video inspiring: Boston Bruins fans singing the National Anthem in response to the terror attack Video
"All I Have To Do Is Dream" Video Everly Brothers - This song prompted us to sing Green, Green, Green.... to the words of Dream, dream, dream...! This song is actually ten or fifteen years before our teen years but it must have still been popular enough that we remember the tune and intro.
Today's photo of our home was actually taken all the way across the field about 1/4 mile from our house using all the optical zoom my camera has and then cropping. All that green is the field; you actually aren't seeing our lawn at all. Here's a larger version as well as a non-zoomed wide angle view that will give you an idea of how far away we were.
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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