When I saw the above picture, the caption caught my eye. A class of kindergartens experimented and dropped seeds along the sidewalk edge to see if the flowers would grow. I could only imagine a group of 5-year-old children trying to place seeds right along the sidewalk’s edge. If they were anything like the children I know in kindergarten, I surmise there were seeds dropped, thrown, or placed in areas other than the desired location. Maybe by the fence or between the sidewalk cracks. Possibly in the gutter among the dried weeds.
It reminded me of the story in the Bible regarding the farmer sowing seeds. The flowers only grew where there was good soil. The word of God will only grow on the acceptable ground also.
The moral of the Parable of the Sower is that not everyone who hears the Christian gospel will understand and believe. Four scenarios play out for the seed sown by the farmer. The first seeds are sown along the path and represent those who hear and don’t understand. The next seeds fall on rocky soil. They grow for a short time, but their belief has no roots so the belief withers and dies. The third seeds fall among thorny weeds. These seeds are those who believe, but the trials of life choke out any good works they might accomplish. The last seeds fall on “good soil” and these are those who believe and who then go on to spread the gospel to others, producing a harvest (Matthew 13:1-23).
Every day I spoke to my friend Karen on the phone, I could hear the pain and sorrow in her voice. She was struggling with her husband being in the hospital for such a long period of time. She felt like her hands were tied, and the hopelessness started spreading through her mind. Karen and her husband Gary were childhood sweethearts, and you could tell that they weren’t just a great married couple but the best of friends as well. My wife and I love hanging out with them because they’re fun to be around and are positive role models for us, giving us something to look forward to in our future. I know deep down in my heart that I would do whatever it took for my wife to be happy and to help her through whatever it is that she’s going through, so my heart hurt seeing Karen in so much pain. One day, however, Karen truly surprised me. We were speaking on the phone, and you could hear a change in her voice and outlook on her husband’s predicament. She proceeded to tell me that night, she surrendered her husband to God. She told me that she was being prayerful, just as we were praying for her, with all of our friends from church, but it wasn’t enough. She told me that she had to realize that there was absolutely nothing for her to be able to do for Gary, and there was no reason to fret about it. She prayed to God, lifting Gary to him and taking her hands off his body. She told God that she trusted him completely with her husband’s life and that she no longer wanted to worry about it. As soon as this happened, the healing process started. The doctors had fixed Gary up and eventually sent him home to be with the love of his life. This story doesn’t just remind me of true love but steadfast, unbreakable, and unmovable faith. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. Mark 11:22-24 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly, I tell you, if you say to this mountain,’ Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and do not doubt in your heart but believe what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Matthew 17:20 He replied, “because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,’ Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”. Most of us want to have some control over things in our life, but for us to excel in our walk with God, we must be able to relinquish that control and have faith in the one who created our entire universe. The one who gave up his only begotten son so we can have a future with him. I challenge you to have a closer walk with God by increasing your faith in him today. Don’t be afraid to ask God to help increase your faith in him. He will show you how. Have a great day, and God bless.
Heavenly Father thank you for us being able to get up this morning and take the breath of Life. Give us the strength to be able to go out and do the things you have set out for us to do. Please forgive us for any of our sins and trespasses Lord we repent and get back on your path. We lift ourselves up to you this morning Lord to heal any of our pain, struggles, worries, and fears. Thank you for always watching out for us, picking us up when we fall down, and encouraging us to do better and to do right. In Jesus precious name amen
So often, the world feels frantic. We wake to the sound of urgent alarms and rush from one activity to the next.
Interrupting our busy schedules can feel unthinkable—we worry we’ll fall behind. The world screams at us to buckle down, to grind, to work even harder.
But Scripture encourages us to pause and turn to God instead.
In a world that moves at such an unsustainable pace, how do we find time to rest?
Find your why.
God created us for purposeful work. But there’s a difference between doing meaningful work and letting that work become our identity. The second we cross the line, we’re caught in a vicious cycle.
Taking time to rest is the extreme opposite of what the world asks of us.
But, it’s something God consistently instructs us to do throughout the Bible.
Maybe you recognize you need to rest because you notice something in your life is becoming more important than God. Maybe it’s to prioritize your mental health. Maybe you’re simply exhausted.
Whatever it is, find a clear vision for why rest matters to you.
Schedule it on your calendar.
Time is one of our most valuable resources.
If we don’t schedule rest in advance, chances are something else will consume that resource.
One of the simplest ways to find rest is by planning when you’re going to do it. Try scheduling it on your calendar, and consider communicating the times to your family and friends.
Whether it’s 20 minutes or 24 hours, rest gives you room to appreciate and experience the things God created you to do.
Give yourself something to look forward to.
When you step back and slow down to draw closer to God, it’s likely going to feel uncomfortable or unsettling.
That probably means you’re doing it right.
When we rest, the temptation to fall into busyness becomes even greater. But true rest doesn’t always look like doing nothing.
When you schedule time to rest, plan to do something that brings you joy or peace.
This could include spending time appreciating God’s creation or cultivating a hobby God wired you to be passionate about.
Don’t do it alone.
God created us for community. We’re wired for relationships. And, those relationships can be one of the most tangible ways we experience God’s presence.
Finding a rhythm of rest isn’t something you have to do alone. Think about ways you can rest alongside your family or friends.
Resting together will help you to stay accountable when the world tries to pull you into work and activity.
Practicing rest is a spiritual discipline. And, like any discipline, resting requires determination and self control.
When we choose not to rely on our own effort and let Jesus take over, we surrender our shame, striving, and expectations. In return, we experience God’s perfect peace.
Rest helps us enjoy God’s presence and realign our priorities.
Rest allows us to trust that God is working even when we aren’t.
Rest is how we trust our Savior enough to say “enough.”
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Matthew 10:32 “whoever publicly acknowledges me I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. Mark 5:19 Jesus did not let him, but said,”go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” The only thing I love more than my miraculous journey with God is being able to share those experiences and stories with others. 2 Timothy 1:8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. But join with me and suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, Yesterday we had a get together for the Oakdale Rescue Mission and it was a blast meeting all the volunteers who have served over the years since we opened. Some of them didn’t know the story about how the mission had evolved in the first place, they were just happy to help the homeless. We have quite a few volunteers, so many in fact that there were some that I hadn’t met yet. My wife and I gave them tours through the rescue missions house that God had blessed us with. It was awesome just to meet them but also to share the story about how the mission had started. I was blessed enough to be at the start of everything, before there was a group. The rescue mission was just a thought and dream of multiple people that hadn’t even met yet and when God finally introduced us all the ball started to roll. One blessing after the next, from meeting at a volunteers house to having a two story house of our own with an awesomely shaded backyard for Bible studies. Meals served 1-2 times a day where we have the opportunity to walk around feeding them spiritually as well as physically. 1 Peter 3:15 but in your hearts Revere Christ as Lord, always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. Our homeless friends are able to take showers and have clean clothes and also receive their mail. We have a mentorship program that has been extremely successful helping others rebuild their lives through Christ. Quite a few of them come back and help out around the house raking up leaves and taking out trash to show their appreciation. It is extremely important for us to go out and share what God has done in our lives. You never know when you could be touching someone’s heart and helping to soften a hardened heart. Daniel 4:2 it is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed for me. When we first started this mission a lot of people were against us but through showing God’s love, patience, and a lot of hard work people started changing their minds. We have many donors that were skeptical in the beginning and now help out quite often either financially, spiritually, or physically. You never know when someone is going through something terrible, heartbreaking, or painful and your story can lift them up. God has this uncanny way of using others to show his love and I don’t want to miss a chance to do that ever. I have to admit I’ve been a little selfish these last couple years that I haven’t been feeling well, but God showed me yesterday that I need to be more active with my voice in my heart through him. You may think that your stories are small and insignificant but they can leave a major impact on someone’s life in a positive way. I heard someone say once that they don’t read the testimonials in the Bible. If you are not reading the testimonials in the Bible, then you are not reading the Bible. The entire Bible is a testimonial to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. It shows you how these three have impacted people’s lives not only then but now. It is our job to go out and give our testimony, sharing the good news. 1 Chronicles 16:8 give praise to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the Nations what he has done. I challenge you today to pray, then go out and just share your story with one person what God has done in your life I believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised had your experience. Please join me in prayer. Dear heavenly father, thank you so much for all that you do in our lives. We would like to be able to go out and share the love hope and understanding that you have shared with us. Please give us the strength to do so, to make someone else’s day better and getting them closer to you. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
Jesus came as a humble servant. We are to be humble servants to others. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO, President of a company, or Chairman of the Board. You are not above picking up papers, taking out the trash, and serving your employees and customers. Jesus was the perfect example for us. We need to be that example for everyone.
My wife and I have some bulbs outside of our home that we had scattered in our flower beds. We have some other plants in there that we didn’t realize would grow so large so when we planted the bulbs some ended up under the shade of the larger plants. It didn’t matter how much we watered the ones under the bushes they just stayed around 8-10 inches tall while the ones in full sunlight grew to over 2 feet! There’s things that we need in our walk with God for spiritual growth and if we are lacking in these certain areas then how can we expect to grow. If we go to church on Saturday or Sunday but don’t read our bible or read the Bible and not have a prayer life then how can we expect to succeed? I find of myself lacking in these areas from time to time. I will be out praying for myself and others but only read a Bible verse a day. Sometimes I’m so busy at work and come home exhausted that I forget to fellowship with others outside of my home. Luke 8: 14-15 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by preserving produce a crop.