Sowing Seed

Today, Sunday morning service, this 11/25/2012, we were graced to have Pastor Tom Bard an Evangelist that according to his own testimony, “Home is where I am.”

Opening with Mark 4:11-14.

Sowing, as in sowing seeds, is the fundamental foundation of life. Whether it is plant life or animal life all things come from a seed. All food come from seed. We do take much for granted when it comes to this principle because it is so simple and it works, yet somehow we have forgotten the principle of sowing. One seed produces more seed and if we keep sowing the seeds we will soon have more than we need.

Corn SproutPastor Tom Bard didn’t mention this verse but I thought of it while he was speaking. (Mark 4:28) For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.Ear of corn

When Jesus spoke of the sower the image is not of planting seeds in the soil but of scattering seed upon different soils. It is God who brings the increase so leave it to God to handle the results whether good soil or bad. (Is.55:10) Speaks of God’s word returning to Him. It’s to Him not to us. Therefore it is in His hands.

Sowing and reaping is vital to survival and if we neglect that principle we don’t eat. We depend on others to do that for us now but it was not always like that. Your life depended on the crop and the livestock as well. If you don’t think this has anything to do with your life then you are not paying attention. It is the essence, foundation and basis of Christianity to sow the word. Think of all the various things Christians do to circumvent sowing the word and teaching the gospel. What else are we going to do? Teach them how to be better people and how to be happy? Is that what we think God is about? God is not there at our beckon call to make sure we are happy. The sooner we figure that out the happier we will be. Sowing is like the law of gravity, it doesn’t change, it is in God’s control. When we are sowing the word we are locked into something that makes us part of it because God is in control, not us. We just have to do it. Everyone should be casting the seeds of the word of God. Pray over the word/seeds.

2Cor. 9:5-8 Do it on purpose. Purpose it. Here Paul in showing the connection between sowing and reaping when it comes to giving. God is able to make grace abound toward you. Always having sufficiency for good works. Note there is nothing about getting anything. It is about abounding and increasing in the fruits of righteousness. 2Cor.9:10 Purpose to sow/give. If the principle of sowing and reaping works in the earthly then it must also work spiritually. How money is handled is critical in your life with God. Gal 6-7-9 The lost however, are outside the grace of God. God cannot save you because salvation stands on grace not on works. Gal.6:8 The 2nd part of that verse speaks of this. How does one sow to the spirit if they are outside of God’s grace? The reason people want this to be based on good works is then it is in our control. They are comfortable with that.

Just like children we hurt ourselves when we do not listen to direction and try to do this on our own terms. Think of your children when you are having trouble doing what is right. Do it! Your children are a branch from you and become a part of what you are not what you teach. No one is going to be perfect but you should be going in that direction. Therefore, consider the principle of sowing. Conform to this truth so that it can work and abound in grace and fruit for eternity.

“Strength To Forgive” or “Don’t Mention It”, Part 19

Opening with Gen.50:22-26, Pastor Giardino read about Joseph saying, to his brethren, that when God delivers Israel to the promised land that his bones should be kept in a coffin and carried to the promise land. Pastor read Heb 11:21-22 as reference to this. Paul giving this part of Joseph’s life to explain the power of faith.

“Don’t Mention It”, as in the title of this sermon, is often used as a way of saying thank you.

Joseph was sold out by his brethren. (Christian brethren, so to speak) Sold into Egypt. Pastor again, goes over the events in Joseph’s life and many times making comparisons to us as Christians. His afflictions and him being elevated, then being afflicted again and then being elevated even more. Joseph passing these tests and God delivering him till we see how Joseph, in the final years of his life, knew what would happen to the people of God long after he passes.

Give the gift of forgiveness. That is going to be hard at times but as a Christian, (Take Note) There ought to be something inside, something inside brewing.

Coffee Cups

Coffee Cups?

Yes, there better be something brewing inside that can fill you up. Listen, we are all going to die but what is the message we pass on? What would the mention of us be? We have to be careful about what standards we put on ourselves. Nothing wrong with standards but we need to loosen up and see people saved.

Pastor spoke some on the belief of the Egyptians on preserving dead bodies through embalming and other practices like mummifying. They saw this as preserving the life. We know that they are dead and there is no life there but somehow it was a way of hanging on to the present life in our bodies. Joseph allowed himself to be embalmed and made his brethren to carry out his desire that his remains would not be left in Egypt, because his heart was not there. Joseph was in Egypt but Egypt was not in Joseph. His heart was with the promise.

Why coffee cups? We will get to it in a moment. Gen. 50:1-2 Preserving a patriarch and wanted himself to be preserved. It is interesting that Joseph uses the world’s technology and science to preserve his body, and that Joseph commanded that his body be placed in a coffin. Now, can we call the coffin a “Box” and can we call Joseph “Joe”?

Box O' JoeBox O’ Joe. Coffee is a seed. There is a process to grind down that seed in a way it can be brewed. Dunkin’ came up with this box as a way to preserve it and to be carried someplace. This world wants us to be preserved for their own will by way of Cares, Pleasures and Riches. They want us to continue in that mode in order to preserve us for them. For the Christian there should be something hot brewing in us. Either let it be an Ice Cappuccino or a cup of Hot Joe. So interesting how pastor uses this to explain how when we go in a coffin and we physically waste away that there is something inside of us, the seed, that there should be something brewing in us that is more than a dead body. We should even smell good, like coffee, even if others don’t like the flavor.

The generations of Joseph had an oath to carry Joe in a box. Very inconvenient to carry through the wilderness, through the battles, through the trials, however it was not a chore to carry one who they were thankful for. Well, didn’t Joseph carry them? Didn’t Joseph save them? (Like Jesus for us. It is not hard to carry him.) Your name, your reputation, your soul and who you are and how you are remembered. (Ex.13:19) They have to take care of Joe in a box. Why was only Joseph mentioned and not Jacob? Because Joseph was a type of Jesus. (Josh.24:32) Joseph being buried after being carried to the promise land. Very important that Joseph be remembered in Israel and not left back at Egypt. This is all about resurrection from the dead. (1Pet.1:3) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” This is the picture that God gave through Joseph: To save much alive. (We were resurrected from the dead the moment we believed, through the resurrection. (Jn.5:24)) We better leave something for our posterity.

(Luke 7:11-) Jesus breaking up a funeral. (Not the only time.) Breaks up a death sentence because he is the resurrection. This is a picture of being raised, our resurrection. In Lk.7:16 note the same words from Gen.50 and Ex.13. “God has visited His people”.

“Mention” is the word to consider. (Speak Of) Don’t we mention those that have inspired or influenced us even after they pass? Joseph wanted to be mentioned and remembered and so does Jesus.

What if Joseph was slain and dead and what if Joseph didn’t go through what he went through to save? The promise would have ended and been blown to smithereens.

 

Strength To Forgive, Part 18

Pastor opened up with Gen. 50:20. Joseph speaking to his brethren after he revealed who he was, saying, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Those words hold strong messages from many angles. God used the evil intent of Joseph’s brethren to work, both to bring down the haughtiness of the brethren in time, but also to set Joseph in a place to save them. Joseph took the weight of it on himself through his faith. To preserve life and posterity beyond just us in the present time. (The posterity of the saints) Also reading Gen 45:1-2, Pastor explained how emotion was heard by the Egyptian house but they did not know the details.

Charlie and SnoopyPastor brought up a Peanuts comic strip from Sunday’s paper and how Snoopy got himself shot down by his arch nemesis, the Red Barron. Snoopy, feeling total lost and dejected behind enemy lines, just begins to cry. Charlie Brown comes over, takes him by the hand and leads him out of his burden. Pastor suggested that Charlie was a type of savior. Charlie saved Snoopy.

Pic of Snoopy and CharlieGod uses us, like Joseph, to take the hits, to be the shock absorber for the salvation of many. That is not to be mistaken for allowing others to walk all over you. Can we be in a place where we can save someone out of the fire? (Jude 1:23)….
Note the timing of both Joseph, to bring forgiveness, and of Charlie to come and save Snoopy? So very important to learn to read the spirit of things. People need a savior at times in their life.

Pastor brought up an early verse from an early sermon on this same subject. Ps.2:12- Kiss the Son. Some of us need to fall in Love with Jesus. Maybe we haven’t done that yet. Notice how much love Joseph’s brethren held for Joseph after the scenario played out? Jesus wants us to love him and be thankful. (If we run around playing Christian we could be blocking the work of the Spirit of our Father to bring us to a place of seeing the hardness of our hearts and how He works through it to Love.) We need to have that work in us so that we can bring that same forgiveness and grace to others. Yes, we need to save somebody.” We should be close enough to Jesus to touch inwardly and intimate enough that nothing else matters. (Amen, Let it be)

In Gen 33:4 is Jacob and Esau embracing after a fall out. Gen.48:10, Prov.4:8 is about embracing wisdom. Ecc.3:5, Song2:6 (Christ and the Church)

Our shock absorber is the promise. When we get embarrassed and ashamed it is our shock absorber. All the Hall of Faithers in Heb 11:13 embraced that promise. The famine was a shock but Joseph was the shock absorber unto saving the posterity of Abraham. Jesus took the brunt and shock of sin but instead of holding us up to our error/s, He forgave.

“Strength To Forgive” Part 17

Pastor Giardino had us turn to Gen.46:1-4. Here is God saying to Jacob (Israel) that he should go to Egypt and that God would be with Jacob in Egypt and that it was His plan and will to do so. Pastor remembered a part in a popular movie he saw when he was much younger; “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.

Young Charlie somehow managed to be the last of the Golden Ticket winners to remain without something bad happening to while going on tour in the factory. The ticket was also supposed to include winning a lifetime supply of chocolate. So after the tour Willy just said, “Have a good day”, and closed his office door behind him. Grandpa Joe and Charlie didn’t know why they were being treated so cold and; Where was the lifetime supply of chocolate? When they went in and asked about it they were told, “You Lose!…..It is all there in the contract, etc., etc.” Grandpa scolded Willy good for building up a young boys hope and then dashing them to pieces. Now, as they both were leaving, disappointed, Charlie stopped for a second and solemnly walked back to Willy’s desk and set the gift of the GobStopper candy that he was given back to Willy and turned to leave. Willy whispers something like, “A good dead in an evil world.” and turns and calls Charlie, “Charlie, you won!” All this time Willy was testing to find someone to take over the Chocolate Factory. Charlie passed the test.

Consider Abraham and how God lead him to sacrifice his only son and God stopped him after it became obvious Abraham would have honored God over anything, even though it appeared to be against God’s own promise to him that Isaac would be born and through his lineage a great nation would come forth.

Look at Joseph and what he went through:
(1) The Promise
(2) The Pit
(3) The Prison
(4) The Palace

Did you ever think that what your angry at or what your going through is God testing you and it really isn’t even about you?

Pastor wanted to make note of the way God calls twice, as shown in our initial reading of Gen.46:1-4 “Jacob, Jacob”. There always seems to be an earnestness about it. “Wake up”, “Listen”, imploring. Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon” like “Listen up”, “Get this”. Then “Behold”. “Look” Mat.27:46 Jesus calling out in earnest like emotion, “Eli, Eli” meaning “Father, Father”. The humanity’s cry of forsakenness. Consider Mat. 7:21-22 “Not everyone one who says Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Pastor brought up the contrast of how many words those calling “Lord, Lord” say to justify themselves to a place in heaven when all it takes is seven words. “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Lk.18:13

Alas, pastor had much more he wanted to get into. Lord willing next Sunday Morning.