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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Lebanon Produce Auction
This farmer is dropping off a load to the Lebanon Produce Auction
Click on photo to enlarge

"Heavenly Produce"

Message summary: One day we firmly believe we will have some wonderful testimonies of the hitherto unknown impact of our seed-sowing which resulted in heavenly produce.

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“For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). “A farmer went out to sow his seed…. Where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown” (Matthew 13:3b,8). "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:7-9).

Yesterday we were on the rural back-roads of eastern Lebanon County and passed the Lebanon Produce Auction in action with various auctioneers selling off locally grown produce, flowers and hay. We stopped by for a few minutes to take some photos but we've never been too patient for the auction experience in buying. But observing the scene was a reminder of just how much our area produces in quality, quantity and variety. All of it at some point beginning as a tiny seed.

Today let us consider the seeds of gospel truth being sown in a wide variety of ways all over the world. We will illustrate with a story from Jim Gambini, a previous pastor.
Jim was raised in a non-Christian home and shared an interesting means by which the seed of God’s gospel truth was planted in his life:

As a teenager he saw a television advertisement that featured a man sitting on a stool reading a sign. The camera focused on the man’s facial expression as he was reading while the back of the sign was blank to television viewers.

As the man read the sign he would respond with expressions such as those heard in the youth vernacular of the 60’s, “Wow, this is far out! cool, groovy, etc.” At the end of the ad he turned the sign around to face the camera very briefly and Jim caught a glimpse of words unfamiliar to him at that time. But they were shown so quickly that he was unable to read the message.

Jim was so intrigued by the mystery message that he decided whenever he saw the ad to memorize the words, a few at a time. He watched and memorized one phrase at a time, “For God”. The next time he saw the ad he memorized “so loved” And the next time it was “the world.”

By now most readers recognize the very familiar passage from John 3:16. Jim sees this ad as a seed planted several years prior to his making a commitment to follow Christ during his High School years. He shared this story as a demonstration of the Spirit’s progressive work in drawing him to Christ. I believe it also illustrates the power of the Word of God.

The advertisement was placed by a church group in an attempt to witness of Christ’s salvation. The believers who put that ad together in the late sixties could not be certain of its specific impact on the lives of the viewers. But they were obedient in sowing the seed of God’s Word. Many years later Jim would look back and see it as a seed planted in his spiritual life.

Jesus spoke in parables to the crowd that gathered by the sea in Matthew 13.  He likened the kingdom of heaven to a man who sowed good seed in his field. Though there were obstacles also sown by the enemy that caused some seeds to die or be stunted in their growth, nevertheless there was a future harvest and seeds that were once very small, nearly invisible, grew and produced great results.

"Don’t be discouraged if you do not always see results as you faithfully teach the Word. Belief cannot be forced to follow a mathematical formula (i.e. a 4:1 ratio of seeds planted to seeds sprouted). Rather it is a miracle of God’s Holy Spirit as He uses your words to lead others to Him." (
Life Application Bible)

That’s the nature of our sowing seeds of truth along the path of life. So very often we don’t know how effective our sowing is, but we need to be faithful to the call and commit the produce results to God. "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is My word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it" (Isaiah 55:10,11). One day we firmly believe we will have some wonderful testimonies of the hitherto unknown impact of our seed-sowing which resulted in heavenly produce.

What type of seeds are you sowing today?

Be encouraged today

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we want to be faithful in sowing Your righteous truths by the manner in which we live and by the message we share with others. The gardener sows good quality seeds expecting a high yield as they grow into healthy, vibrant plants. But the wise gardener knows there will be involuntary weeds, dry spells, unwelcome pests, severe temperatures and other obstacles that will threaten the vibrancy of the sown seeds. Nevertheless the gardener must plant the seed to experience a future harvest. Father, You have commanded that we too must sow the seeds of truth, no matter the yield we see with the visible eye. We commit the fruitful harvest to You, the Master Gardener. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Chosen Scene: John 3:16"  Video  A recent attempt to spread the gospel truth. Excellent dramatic presentation.

"John 3:16"  Video  Maranatha Singers

"Bringing In The Sheaves"  Video  Chuck Wagon Gang  Dedicated to my now retired pastor friend John Keefer (his favorite group)

Scenes from the Lebanon Produce Auction

Lebanon Produce Auction
Variety at the Lebanon Produce Auction
Click on photo to enlarge

Lebanon Produce Auction
Variety of buyers and sellers at the Lebanon Produce Auction
Click on photo to enlarge

Lebanon Produce Auction
Lebanon Produce Auction hay sale
Click on photo to enlarge

Lebanon produce auction flowers
Fresh flowers at the Lebanon Produce Auction

Lebanon County sweet corn
Sweet corn!

Finally today:

Seyfert's Orchards, Lebanon County, PA
Seyfert's Orchards, Lebanon County, PA
Click on photo to enlarge
It's that time of year for peaches so we stopped at Seyfert's Orchards to purchase a basket. Time for peach cobbler, peach jam and fresh juicy peaches to enjoy straight from the fridge!

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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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