A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Old Windmill Farm
(This view taken from the Toy Train Museum just up the road from the farm)
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"Living In Green Pastures"
Message summary: 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 look forward to. I enjoy mowing our lawn and tending to our landscaping. It will be mostly green through mid-October but now it's what I consider the peak of green.
In Bible College I recall a specific statement made by a teacher that really impacted me and heightened my love for God's Word. He pointed out the importance of looking at the details contained in the Scriptures and called our attention to the description of "green grass" 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 teacher 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, like I do!
What makes the grass so green? Scientifically we are aware it is chlorophyll. But what drop of rain, what ray of sunshine, or what specific nutrient drawn from the rich 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.
Likewise 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, a book we read that had a "life changing" effect or our observation of a person's attitude or behavior that really spoke to our hearts. 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 or perhaps thousands of Bible-based sermons and teachings, read many good books, heard many good radio programs and listened to inspirational music, etc.
In my 40+ years of ministry I calculate that I have prepared and presented over 4,000 sermons and teachings. And now with nearly 25 years of preparing Daily Encouragement messages that's over 6,000 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 articles and 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 Savior and live in His green pastures.
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". Amen.
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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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