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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Green grass (4/10/19 (Click to enlarge)
Yesterday's early morning view of our front lawn and the field across the road.
(Click to enlarge)

"Green Grass!"

Message summary: 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.

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"Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass" (Mark 6:39). "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).

In our region everything is really getting green, a season I especially enjoy. I even enjoy mowing our lawn and soon Marvin, our neighborhood lawnmaster, will have his huge ztr riding tractor out, signalling to the neighborhood the official start of mowing season!

In Bible College 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 first 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 just also really liked green!

What makes the grass so green? Well scientifically we are aware it is 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 cannot be answered. 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. Today let us consider spiritual "green grass".

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 teachings, read many good books, heard many good radio programs, etc.

In my accumulative 30+ years of pastoral ministry (including interim roles) I calculate that I have prepared and presented some 4,000 sermons and teachings during that course of ministry. (We had at least two scheduled services weekly and in some cases three.)

And now with nearly 22 years of preparing Daily Encouragement messages that's over 5,500 messages and about 1,500 radio messages.

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 have read thousands of books by now, but I only remember a few. I certainly can't recall every sermon I've heard or preached. Actually I can only specifically remember a small percentage, even of my own sermons. Has it all been a waste? Of course not! I was spending time in green pasture!

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 and live in His green pastures.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily 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.

Lancaster County lambs

Lancaster County lambs
These photos were taken several years ago on a well-groomed Amish farm on Stumptown Road here in Lancaster County.

Bird in barn rafter 4/10/19
Last night this mother bird who is nesting in the rafters to our barn overhang allowed me to get quite close.

Baby birds in barn rafter 4/10/19
Her babies!

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"God Leads His Dear Children Along"  Video  Travis Cottrell

"Death Was Arrested"  Video  People Of The Earth

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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