Yesterday in my Morning and Evening devotions book by Charles Spurgeon I was inspired to read Philemon. There in the second verse of Paul’s letter to Philemon were the word’s “The Church in thy house”. In the devotion Spurgeon wrote about God’s expectations and how they are different for a house that has a church residing in it; he was speaking of a Christian home. Our homes, if filled with believing members should look and operate differently than say our unbelieving neighbors homes. “Family worship should take place; internal love must be more warm and unbroken…” But what struck me most is that we are so often pushed by worldly standards to reach and strive to build a large church both in numbers and size of structure and yet here in Scripture this small church meeting in the home of Philemon was worthy of making the book…it was “big” enough to be mentioned in Scripture; that eternal Word that will never pass away. So the next time we worry that we aren’t growing fast enough to please the Lord, or we get a complex and think we are not big enough to have kingdom impact, let’s remember that more than likely it’s “the church in thy house’ that God has His eyes on. As we each focus on that church in our homes we can better prepare “it” so that on the Lord’s day we can bring “it” to the corporate gathering and be one in body and Spirit – just as [we] were called to the one hope that belongs to [our] call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism,one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all (Ephes. 4:4-6).
I spied him out of the corner of my eye. He stood there at the entrance to the sanctuary fumbling a football around in his hands. I was caught up in after service conversation with others. From the looks of it he was deep in thought, I too was deep in thought. My mind was wandering through passages of Scripture that might apply to the situation to which I was on the spot counseling. I am quite certain his mind was on the playbook he had learned as a Mighty Mite football star. Occasionally his eyes would glance at me at the same time mine would at him and for a moment we would make eye contact; this being the first and only contact between the two of us (except during the sermon) on this Wednesday night in September.
He had surely spent the day studying at school while I had spent the day in my study at the church. He was learning the ins and outs of Science and Arithmetic I was studying Prayer and Worship. He had probably not had time for dinner before church – nor had I. As one by one the church members left, I could see his antsiness increase and feel my level of anxiety decrease. The moment this 10 year old boy spent the evening longing and waiting for was about to arrive; I was seconds away from completing a long day of writing and ministry. As I shut out the lights and reached for my bag, I heard the sweetest little words “I love you dad”.
On the drive home we held hands and exchanged few words. We were caught up in the moment; we had finally come to the end of a long day and though we were finally alone we were not alone. It was just my son and I. You see the moments when I recognize the fruits of the Spirit (like patience, kindness and charity) being exercised in his life are the high points of my ministry. Did we get to throw the football around? No. But when we got home we snuggled up together and dreamt of doing it tomorrow. Such is the life of a pastor and a pastor’s kid.
Why should we, as busy pastors, take the time to write? Are there not more important things to do? Poverty and social injustice abound. The world is in need. And on top of that, the demands of pastoral ministry seem unending—from budgets and buildings to counseling and crisis-care to missions and church planting, not to mention weekly preparation for the ministry of the Word. How can we spare the time to write while souls are perishing? Writing seems so comparatively trivial.
S. Lewis helps us to answer this question with characteristic wisdom. In his address, “Learning in War-Time,” he argues that learning and scholarship are not trivial pursuits even during the intensity of war-time. Human life has and always will be lived on the edge of a precipice. Lewis’s point is that there will never be a suitable moment or a perfect season for learning and reflection. We live in a broken world. “If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun.”24
The same is true for us as pastors. If we postpone our search—waiting for things to settle down and life to be normal again—we will never begin. Pastoral ministry has never been normal. It never will be. It is precisely for that reason that we make the time to write anyway. We write because, for us, the search has begun. And through writing the search continues. We write because it is a formative discipline for the good of our souls.
 Schemm, P. R. J. (n.d.). The Writing Pastor: An Essay on Spiritual Formation. Themelios: Volume 37, No. 3, November 2012, 480–487.
As we begin a study on 2nd Corinthians I just wanted to share a little more information about the term “apostle” as well as those referred to as “apostles”. So let’s begin by defining the term directly and then move on from there:
APOSTLE (ἀπόστολος, apostolos). Someone, or something, sent. Derived from the verb “to send out” (ἀποστέλλειν, apostellein). In the New Testament, usually refers to someone sent as an authorized agent by Jesus or the Christian community (Matt 10:2; 2 Cor 8:23; Heb 3:1).
Development of the Term
The term “apostle” was originally used as an adjective, describing a dispatch that was usually made by sea. It could also designate the thing that was sent out. Thus, in classical and Hellenistic Greek, it is often applied in an impersonal way; for example, referring to a dispatched fleet or an invoice accompanying a shipment. It is used only once in the Septuagint (LXX), referring to the prophet Ahijah (1 Kgs 14:6), and once by Josephus when he is discussing envoys sent to Rome (Ant. 17.300).
In the NT, “apostle” never refers to a dispatch or to an object being sent. Instead, it is sometimes employed to indicate a messenger (e.g., John 13:16). More often it refers to a person sent out as an authorized agent, either of Jesus or, in the early missionary work, of a distinguished congregation. This may be related to the rabbinic use of “emissary” or “sent one” (שָלִיחַ, shaliach), which refers to someone who is authorized to act on behalf of another and represents the authority of that person.
The Origin of Christian Apostles
The origin of the notion of apostles in the Jesus movement is disputed.
According to Mark and Luke, Jesus chose 12 disciples and named them apostles (Mark 3:14; Luke 6:13). The textual evidence for Jesus naming His disciples apostles is slim. The part of the Gospel of Mark that mentions the event (3:14, “whom he also named apostles”) is not found in the earlier manuscripts, leaving Luke’s Gospel as the only textual evidence of the 12 disciples being called apostles (Agnew, “The Origin of the NT Apostle-Concept: A Review of Research,” 85–90).
Karl Heinrich Rengstorf argues that the apostles can be traced back to Jesus Himself. It is possible that He used the existing Jewish concept of “emissary” in choosing disciples and naming them apostles. Emissaries represented the full authority of their masters as they carried out functions on their master’s behalf (Rengstorf, “ἀπόστολος, apostolos,” 421–22, 425–27). However, the Jewish concept of emissary is not found in any sources earlier than the second century AD.
Other attempts at understanding the origin of the notion of apostles focus less on the concept of emissary and more on the terminology of sending in both the OT and the NT. While the noun “emissary” appears rarely in sources earlier than the NT, the OT and the LXX abound with verbs meaning “to send” (שָׁלַח, shalach; ἀποστέλλειν, apostellein). The same is true of the Gospels, which include many instances of the verb “to send” but only a few instances of the noun “apostle.” Additionally, the Gospels’ descriptions of commissioning align with the OT (Hahn, “Der Apostolat im Urchristentum,” 69–75).
Arnold Ehrhardt, Günter Klein, and Walter Schmithals argue that the origin of the notion of apostles cannot be traced back to Jesus. According to them, the notion of apostle developed in the early Jesus movement and its post-Easter mission. The majority of passages that use the word apostle are found in Acts and in the Pauline Letters, writings that are closely related to the missionary experience of the early Jesus movement. Thus, these scholars claim that the idea of apostles originated in the early missionary work, as new leadership figures emerged, and provided the background to the abundant use of apostle in the Pauline Letters and Acts. The Gospel writers then included the idea in their descriptions of how Jesus called His disciples (Ehrhardt, The Apostolic Ministry, 4–5; Klein, Die zwölf Apostel, 22–52; Schmithals, The Office of Apostle in the Early Church, 98–110).
Apostle in the New Testament
The term “apostle” is seldom used in the Gospels. Nevertheless, the commission of Jesus’ disciples shares many features with how Jesus described His own commission from God. In Acts, “apostle” refers either to the Twelve or to leading emissaries from distinguished congregations.
Regardless of how the historical question of the origin of apostles is answered, there are identifiable differences in how the term is used in the NT writings. Apostle is never applied to Jesus in the Gospels and it’s only used once in the rest of the NT to describe Him (in Heb 3:1). It is clear from the sayings of Jesus, however, that He saw Himself as sent by God to carry out the commission of His Father (e.g., Mark 9:37; Matt 15:24; Luke 10:16; John 5:36).
Of the 79 passages that use “apostle” in the NT, 66 are found in Acts and the Epistles (and three in Revelation). Although the term is uncommon in the Gospels, the description of the disciples’ commission (e.g., Mark 6:7–13) shares many features with how Jesus portrays His own commission. Like Jesus, they are primarily sent to the house of Israel (after the resurrection of Jesus there is another commission that is broader in its scope; see Matt 28:18–20) and not to the whole world (compare Matt 10:5–6 and 15:24). They should also proclaim the same message as Jesus—that the kingdom of God (or kingdom of heaven) has come—with words and deeds (compare Matt 4:17 and 10:7–8). Additionally, how the disciples are received shows whether people receive Jesus and God (Matt 10:40: “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”). Thus, the ministry of the disciples is linked to that of Jesus Himself. It includes a calling to continue His ministry with His authority.
Acts presents two different understandings of apostle. From its first appearance in Acts 1:2, the most common usage of the term is to refer to the Twelve as a group. The other usage is found in several places—among them chapter 14—in which Paul and Barnabas are called apostles (Acts 14:4, 14). They are first mentioned among the prophets and teachers of the church of Antioch, where the Holy Spirit singles them out and calls them for special work (Acts 13:1–2). The term apostle is thus also used for leading emissaries of a distinguished congregation, regardless of whether they belong to the Twelve.
Earlier in Acts, Peter gives a form of definition of an apostle as a replacement for Judas is about to be chosen: “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection” (Acts 1:21–22; NIV). However, there is debate about whether “apostle” is an office that continued after the deaths of the Twelve. This debate arises in part from Paul’s mention of apostles in Eph 4:11, in which he lists apostles alongside other offices in the Church.
Paul as an Apostle. Paul’s view on the role of the apostles, and on his own role as an apostle, develops in different letters. Early on, he calls himself—as well as some coworkers—“apostle.” Later, he restricts the term for himself and the twelve disciples. According to Paul, he belongs to the group of apostles because of his meeting with, and commission by, the risen Lord.
There is no uniform Pauline idea on apostles, or on his individual role as one. His letters reveal developments in his views. In 1 Thessalonians—probably the earliest letter—Paul does not refer to himself as an apostle in his greetings. The same is true of 2 Thess. Paul places himself together with Silvanus and Timothy and he predominantly uses the first person plural, portraying all three as authors and cosenders. At one time he refers to them as “apostles of Christ” (1 Thess 2:6). However, he may have been criticized for this—in later letters, he speaks of his cosenders simply as “brothers.”
In Galatians, which was probably written after 1 Thess, Paul again presents himself together with a group. This time the others are anonymous, referred to as “the brothers here,” while he calls himself an apostle already in the prescript (Gal 1:1–2). In the Letters to the Corinthians, he names the cosenders, but refers to them as brothers while calling himself apostle (2 Cor 1:1)—or “called” to be an apostle (1 Cor 1:1), similar to Jesus’ disciples. In Romans, Paul presents himself as the only sender (in contrast to all other undisputed Pauline Letters). Furthermore, he says that he is called to be an apostle (Rom 1:1), expands on his apostleship (Rom 1:5), and refers to himself as an “apostle to the Gentiles” (Rom 11:13). During his ministry, Paul thus reinterprets the role of the apostles, as well as his own role as an apostle. Paul also uses the term apostle when listing church offices and gifts (e.g., 1 Cor 12:27–31; Eph 4:11).
Paul is clear about his own status as apostle, however, even when this is disputed (e.g., 1 Cor 9:1–18). In the Letters to the Corinthians, Paul rejects the notion that an apostle is simply one who had known Jesus during His earthly ministry. He asserts that he had met the risen Lord and worked harder than the original apostles in his missionary work. He ironically calls his adversaries “super-apostles,” or more directly, “false apostles” (e.g., 2 Cor 11:5, 13). On the other hand, Paul deferentially calls himself “the least of the apostles” when he compares himself with Jesus’ disciples (1 Cor 15:9–10). At the same time, he seems to set limits to the extent of the apostles: “He appeared to me last of all” (1 Cor 15:8). Thus, while he refers to himself as the least one, he still belongs to a very exclusive group; he met the risen Lord and was commissioned by Him to go to the Gentiles (e.g., 1 Cor 9:1; Gal 1:11–17).
The Difference between Apostle and Disciple. The terms “apostle” and “disciple” do not have the same meaning in the New Testament. The term “disciple” is only used in the Gospels and in Acts (usually to refer to the Twelve), whereas “apostle” is mainly used in Acts and the Letters. While disciples in the Gospels are all those who are called into discipleship by Jesus, only a few of them are sent out by Him as apostles. In the epistles, the term “disciple” is never used and Jesus’ original 12 disciples are referred to as apostles (or the Twelve): “Then He appointed twelve, whom He also named apostles, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons” (Mark 3:14–15; see also Luke 6:13). Later on, in Acts, Matthias is chosen as Judas’ replacement and becomes numbered among the “eleven apostles” (Acts 1:15–26; especially see Acts 1:26).
Agnew, Francis H. “On the Origin of the Term Apostolos.” In Catholic Biblical Quarterly 38:49–53 (1976).
———. “The Origin of the NT Apostle-Concept: A Review of Research.” In Journal of Biblical Literature 105:75–96 (1986).
Byrskog, Samuel. “The Apostolate in the Early Church: From Luke-Acts to the Pauline Tradition.” In Svensk exegetisk årsbok 76:161−78 (2011).
Conzelmann, Hans. Acts of the Apostles. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1987.
Ehrhardt, Arnold. The Apostolic Ministry. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, 1958.
Giles, Kevin. Patterns of Ministry among the First Christians. Melbourne: Collins Dove, 1989.
Klein, Günter. Die zwölf Apostel: Ursprung und Gehalt einer Idee. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1961.
Hahn, Ferdinand. “Der Apostolat im Urchristentum.” Kerygma und Dogma 20:54–77 (1974).
Lategan, Bernard. “Is Paul Defending His Apostleship in Galatians?” New Testament Studies 34 (1988).
Rengstorf, Karl Heinrich. “ἀπόστολος (apostolos).” Pages 407–61 in the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament 4. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992.
Schmithals, Walter. The Office of Apostle in the Early Church. Nashville: Abingdon, 1969.
Nässelqvist, D. (2012, 2013, 2014). Apostle. In J. D. Barry, L. Wentz, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair-Wolcott, R. Klippenstein, D. Bomar, … D. R. Brown (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Sometimes life is crazy in an explainable kind of way. We just know that things happen. The bathroom sink backs up. The dog goes missing. The cat pukes in the middle of your early morning sleepy eyed path and its still warm. The weatherman said 62 and it’s 45. Your email fills up with stuff from the bizarre to the obscene making you wonder who in the world’s out there pressing “send”. Businesses have done away with receptionists and live voices, leaving you in the zone of computerized options that always bring you back to the same option you were at ten minutes ago. The bumper to bumper warranty on your car didn’t cover ball joints after all. Life can be crazy in explainable kinds of ways.
But then, there’s the irrational crazy stuff that makes no sense; the kind of stuff that we can’t wrap our arms around. You know . . . the kinds of things that make no earthly sense to us at all. Discouraged and anxious, we look at some things and can’t see any of God’s redeeming grace in the present situation when just a glimpse would allow us to believe that what we’re witnessing is something a bit less than total insanity. Sure life is crazy at times, but most often if we squint long enough we can at least see something in the rubble and chaos that makes some sort of sense even if it’s nearly imperceptible. But sometimes we can’t… or rather, we fail to.
Sometimes that kind of insanity is what we see in our kids, especially if they’re in their teen years. Somedays you feel as the past 13 to 18 years never occurred and there is now a stranger in the bedroom next to yours. They just do stuff and say things that are pretty much alien as if they were beamed in from some other galaxy a million light years across the cosmos or maybe were driven up from a crash site in Roswell. If you’ve ever wanted to ask your kid “who are you and where did you come from,” then you know what I mean.
However, I think there are ways to connect with kids. Despite some of the oddities, kids are human beings created in God’s image with the same needs that we have. In the confusion and disorientation that so often defines our culture, kids have more need for connection than most adults do. I find that kids are crying out for someone to understand them and bring a sense of ‘sense’ into their spiraling worlds. We can more effectively connect with our teen(s) if we try the following:
Listen to Understand:
Kids don’t feel understood. There is a common perception that adults don’t listen. They just bark orders and dispense “old school” wisdom that we pulled off the shelf of some dead and dusty past. As if it all that we learned up to this point in life is no longer relevant. Kids don’t see value in what adults say primarily because kids don’t feel heard. Getting a hearing brings with it a sense that the listener cares. With caring comes credibility. With credibility comes respect. Respect grants us (the parent) access to the teen’s life in a way that what is communicated is no longer dead and dusty, but alive and relevant. In hearing the teen we set the stage to be heard.
Listening Does Not Imply Agreeing:
Many of us as parents confuse listening with agreeing. Because we do, we tend not to listen, assuming that listening implies agreement. Listening means hearing what our teen is saying whether we agree with it or not. Listening is not validating an errant, incorrect or destructive point of view nor is saying to the teen that their view is ok. Listening communicates that we value the teen regardless of their point of view. That’s powerful!
Accept Your Teen:
Acceptance means that we value and cherish the person. We might not agree with their friends, their choices, their clothing or their text form of communication (i.e. ty; lmoa; ttys; lol; omg; yolo; etc.) , but we accept them as the unique individuals that they are. Acceptance is best achieved by realizing that they are in a major life transition that they can’t figure out. They’re navigating a journey they didn’t ask for in a culture they didn’t create. By and large, they’re just trying to figure out who they are, where they fit, and why they’re here. That’s a enormous task so understand that they’re going to struggle.
It’s not that they don’t want to be loved, it’s more the way in which they’re loved. They want to be cherished by us but during this awkward time of transition. Love needs to be communicated in a manner that matches the transition. Hugging, kissing, inserting sticky notes in lunches and tucking in bed is probably NOT going to go over real big. It’s more about partnering with your teen during this transition; being there, providing a supportive rather than dictating function. It’s saying that we’re committed to our teen during an uncertain time and that we’ll walk with them through it.
Make Them Accountable:
We need to make them responsible for their behaviors and the repercussions of those behaviors. In doing that, we let them know that life will demand this of them. It’s not about hateful parents who are wound too tight. It’s about life and learning to engage life in a way that makes life #1 puts the glory of God first and #2 successful for our teen. In making them accountable, we help them sort through various decisions. In the same way, we help them sort through the repercussions of their choices. In this manner it’s not just accountability, but us being accountable to our teens as their parent.
In conclusion, the teen years are a tough time for both parents and teens. Don’t expect it to necessarily be smooth because transition typically isn’t smooth. Don’t expect perfection because it’s about learning from mistakes. And don’t get overly frustrated because as the old saying goes, “this too shall pass”
We must never forget that God is working all these things out for the good of those who love Him and are called according to HIS purpose. Let us not become some enthralled in getting OUR way with our children that we forget His will, purpose or glory.
The story of Perpetua and Felicitus
“It will all happen in the prisoner’s dock as God wills, for you may be sure that we are not left to ourselves but are all in his power.”
We have little idea what brought Perpetua to faith in Christ, or how long she had been a Christian, or how she lived her Christian life. Thanks to her diary, and that of another prisoner, we have some idea of her last days—an ordeal that so impressed the famous Augustine that he preached four sermons about her death.
Perpetua was a Christian noblewoman who, at the turn of the third century, lived with her husband, her son, and her slave, Felicitas, in Carthage (in modern Tunis). At this time, North Africa was the center of a vibrant Christian community. It is no surprise, then, that when Emperor Septimius Severus determined to cripple Christianity (he believed it undermined Roman patriotism), he focused his attention on North Africa. Among the first to be arrested were five new Christians taking classes to prepare for baptism, one of whom was Perpetua.
Her father immediately came to her in prison. He was a pagan, and he saw an easy way for Perpetua to save herself. He entreated her simply to deny she was a Christian.
“Father do you see this vase here?” she replied. “Could it be called by any other name than what it is?”
“No,” he replied.
“Well, neither can I be called anything other than what I am, a Christian.”
In the next days, Perpetua was moved to a better part of the prison and allowed to breast-feed her child. With her hearing approaching, her father visited again, this time, pleading more passionately: “Have pity on my gray head. Have pity on me, your father, if I deserve to be called your father, if I have favored you above all your brothers, if I have raised you to reach this prime of your life.”
He threw himself down before her and kissed her hands. “Do not abandon me to be the reproach of men. Think of your brothers; think of your mother and your aunt; think of your child, who will not be able to live once you are gone. Give up your pride!”
Perpetua was touched but remained unshaken. She tried to comfort her father—“It will all happen in the prisoner’s dock as God wills, for you may be sure that we are not left to ourselves but are all in his power”—but he walked out of the prison dejected.
The day of the hearing arrived, Perpetua and her friends were marched before the governor, Hilarianus. Perpetua’s friends were questioned first, and each in turn admitted to being a Christian, and each in turn refused to make a sacrifice (an act of emperor worship). Then the governor turned to question Perpetua.
At that moment, her father, carrying Perpetua’s son in his arms, burst into the room. He grabbed Perpetua and pleaded, “Perform the sacrifice. Have pity on your baby!”
Hilarianus, probably wishing to avoid the unpleasantness of executing a mother who still suckled a child, added, “Have pity on your father’s gray head; have pity on your infant son. Offer the sacrifice for the welfare of the emperor.”
Perpetua replied simply: “I will not.”
“Are you a Christian then?” asked the governor.
“Yes I am,” Perpetua replied.
Her father interrupted again, begging her to sacrifice, but Hilarianus had heard enough: he ordered soldiers to beat him into silence. He then condemned Perpetua and her friends to die in the arena.
Perpetua, her friends, and her slave, Felicitas (who had subsequently been arrested), were dressed in belted tunics. When they entered the stadium, wild beasts and gladiators roamed the arena floor, and in the stands, crowds roared to see blood. They didn’t have to wait long.
Immediately a wild heifer charged the group. Perpetua was tossed into the air and onto her back. She sat up, adjusted her ripped tunic, and walked over to help Felicitas. Then a leopard was let loose, and it wasn’t long before the tunics of the Christians were stained with blood.
This was too deliberate for the impatient crowd, which began calling for death for the Christians. So Perpetua, Felicitas, and friends were lined up, and one by one, were slain by the sword.
Galli, M., & Olsen, T. (2000). Introduction. In 131 Christians everyone should know (pp. 362–363). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Spring is here and things are really picking up at work (the golf course), lots of landscaping and flower planting going on. Here in another two weeks we will be aerating and sanding the greens which is a major undertaking. But the magnificent thing to it all is that I am outdoors continually thanking God for such a wonderful creation He has blessed us with. The birds singing and mating, the turtles coming up from the muddy pond banks to get their first breath of fresh air in several months, the fish doing the same. Watching as, daily, the grass gets greener and the buds on the trees get bigger and bigger in anticipation of bursting to put on a display of color that God has personally designed. Isn’t it amazing how things seem so clear and understandable with the Lord in one’s life? I believe that it is some of that peace and joy that Jesus said He was giving us and leaving us with.
Before I knew Christ I was able to experience these wonderful things but never took the time or rather had enough peace in my life to find the joy of giving God the glory in each and every molecule that is the make up of myself and all the things around me. The amazing things that an infinite being was able to create for His glory and enable us the finite to enjoy while He brings everything to this great crescendo and event at which He will receive all of the glory when every knee bows to Him rather than the creation. It is remarkable to look back to a time that I was sinful when I looked at creation through my fleshly eyes; I was worshiping the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1:25). But now I am able in the Spirit to worship both God as well as creation because I am able both to recognize and acknowledge God’s glory and purpose in it all (1 Corinthians 2:14-15).
This spring as I do what Adam was created and called to do at creation (work and tend the Earth) I thank God for each and every act of pruning He has taken in my life. Some of these seasons have been painful and bore very little fruit; but looking back I am able now to see how He was making room for extreme seasons of growth that were to come. A plant unpruned and allowed to run wild will be all stem and bear little fruit as it is gangly and fighting to hold itself up. But the plant that is pruned will in season be shaped beautifully into a plant that brings joy to the eyes of the one who has pruned it. It will be fruitful and display a cultivated beauty, a super natural beauty. Supernatural in that it did not grow naturally that way on its own.
How beautiful and fulfilling it is to know that the Gardner “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Phillipians 1:6). Praise God for His tender loving care! Praise God for His glorious Son that we are able to grow “in”. The light of the world.
We all go through various seasons in life, my prayer for you and I is quite simple this Spring: May God sow His Word in our hearts, fertilize us when we need it, prune us to make us more fruitful in bringing Him glory, and harvest us when we have bloomed at the proper time so that we might be brought into the storehouse of eternity.
Glad I was able to sit here at my computer and bask in the glory of the only begotten Son, Jesus, with you!