While studying in my personal devotions the Lord brought me once again to John chapters 14, 15 and 16. It seems like periodically He brings me back to these passages of scripture and uses them as reminders of His love, mercy and many promises which He has given us.In these chapters Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure from this earth as He was going to be crucified, raised from the dead and then ascend to the right hand of the Father. Throughout this time He promised several times to send the Holy Spirit to be with His disciples once He went back to the Father. Looking up the reference to the “Helper” (Holy Spirit) in John 16:7 I found in the Greek it means comforter, advocate, intercessor.
We know in Romans 8 that the Holy Spirit and even Jesus Christ sitting now at the right hand of the father intercedes on our behalf..even at times when we don’t know how to pray. As we cry out to our heavenly Father the Holy Spirit makes perfect intercession on our behalf according to the Father’s will. While still here on this earth Jesus said Himself that He had interceded on behalf of His disciples in John 17. Very specifically speaking of those who now believe in Him Jesus said “‘I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;'” John 17:20
James says that we all stumble in many ways but if we control our tongue we can control our entire body. I wrote on that some time ago so won’t expound on that now. However, going on to 1 John 2:1 he says that he is writing so that we might not sin but if we do sin we have an advocate coming before our Father on our behalf, even Jesus Christ.
If our Lord is for us who can be against us? (Romans 8:31) We have the promise that He who is abiding in us (and we in Him) is greater than he who is in the world (satan) who is our enemy. We should not fear anything (though we do at times) but should trust in Him, calling out to the one and only true God who is the creator of heaven, earth the sea and all that is within them.
Can you say as the Psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear,…”? Psalms 46:1,2a. If not, you have a choice to make.
2 Peter 3:7,8 says, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” He is patiently waiting for you. Will you turn to Him and be saved? It only takes a simple prayer asking the Lord to forgive you of your sins and repenting from them (turning away from your sin and walking in God’s ways) to be saved. Paul puts the salvation message very simply, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;” Romans 10:9
Do not be deceived thinking that simply being a “good person”, being the member of a church or doing good things earns you the right to go to heaven. Titus 3:5 says, “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,” We can’t earn our way to heaven. Though men see the outward appearance we portray, the Lord sees our heart.
Whatever choice you and I make know that it will all bring glory to the Lord. Even when pharaoh’s heart was hardened against the Lord or He removed His spirit from king Saul the Lord still brought glory to His name through the circumstances. The difference is that both of the former men were destroyed and it affected their family line in negative ways. However, by contrast look at David who was a man after God’s own heart. The Lord brought glory to His name through David as well but there was also a great reward for David and his family line as well.
Your choices will not affect yourself only but also many around you and after you. David and so many other men of faith put their faith into practice and walked on through life believing what God said was true. Let us do the same humbling ourselves before God and looking to the reward that the Lord promises so many places throughout scripture! In John 14:2,3 Jesus promises that He is going before us to prepare a place for those who follow Him and will one day return for us so we can be with Him forever.
Be a workman approved by God and follow His commandments. Looping back to John 15 Jesus speaks of producing much good fruit, the importance of loving the Lord and following His commandments so that we can have His true joy. “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.” John 15:11,12
Let us set ourselves apart, being cleansed so that we might be vessels of honor and offer our bodies up as a living sacrifice to Him. (2 Timothy 2:21 and Romans 12:1) Allow Jesus to shine through your life that glory would be brought to His name!
If you have not yet chosen to confess and repent of your sins in order to serve the Lord and have questions please come out and talk with, call or e-mail any of our family and we will count it a privilege to talk with you.
No, life will not be easy once you have asked the Lord to forgive you of your sins, but when you do He will walk through all those tough times with you. He will be your guide and will strengthen you as you face life. All the promises of Him interceding for those who believe in Him will then become promises you can hold on to and know are true for your own life.
He is a very patient, merciful and loving God but also one of justice who can not tolerate sin. At the great day of judgement He will require an account of each person and all they did throughout their life. What will you have to say about your life when standing before the King of kings and Lord of lords? Run the race well so that one day you can hear Him say that you were a good and faithful “bond slave” of Christ and you can come in and enjoy being with your heavenly Father through eternity.
If guilt, shame and sin are weighing you down Jesus said, “’Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.’” Matthew 11:28-30
I will make a short note to the believer as well. Remember the accuser of the brethren will bring your past sin and try flaunting it before you. Always remember those sins have been forgiven you, He has cleansed you from all unrighteousness, those past sins are paid for and covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. You no longer have any condemnation but are an adopted child of God who loves you. Your enemy is overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of your testimony. Humble yourself in obedience before God, stand firm with the full armor of God on, resist the devil and he will flee from you!
Oh yes, brothers and sisters in the Lord… Remember all those scriptures at the beginning of how the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ would intercede? You are being interceded for by them perfectly according to the Father’s will. Truly, “If God is for us, who is against us?” Romans 8:31b We are victorious concurs over our enemy in Jesus name. Stand firm.
Food and fellowship! I want to extended an invitation to anyone and everyone who would like to attend revival services at the First Church of the Nazarene in Independence, KS this week, September 8-11th. We will have a dinner before the services Monday through Wednesday at 5:30 pm and the service will start at 6:30 pm. As a church we have been praying for the Lord to break down the walls and barriers even as He did the walls of Jericho and are anticipating great breakthroughs as we move forward with the Lord during and after these revival services! He was certainly moving and speaking to me and many others through the music and Dr. Diehl’s messages during Sunday’s services. For more information go to: http://www.indynazarene.org/ and click on the Facebook link.
It is the edge of fall weather with some days still feeling like summer time while most early mornings truly feel like fall has arrived! It is beautiful to get out early in the morning and see the new day the Lord has created with insects singing, diverse bird calls flashing through the air, heavily laden cool droplets of dew hanging from the foliage, distant coyotes howling, freshly scented cool air calmly transmitting a lone cow lowing for her calf, a rooster’s crow piercing abruptly through a seemingly peaceful hour, the pastel or rather vivid color dashed sunrise being painted across the sky… How beautiful it all is!
Tomatoes! Red, yellow, purple and striped here they come! Tomatoes continue to peak out this season’s production now. Raising fresh, home grown, naturally raised, heirloom tomatoes is so rewarding when you slice one up and take a bite. Time after time customers have commented on how hard it is to find tomatoes with a good flavor and time and again it has been a blessing to hear how the Lord has blessed this year’s crop of tomatoes with exceptionally good flavor! While the dry weather has caused us to start irrigating again it does help keep the tomatoes from splitting quite so much.
Okra is doing quite well and off it goes up and up! We have had a bountiful harvest of okra this season and continue to have quite a healthy supply coming in each harvest day. If you, your neighbors or friends would like a good batch of fried okra, dehydrated okra trail mix, gumbo, stir-fried okra or some other okra dish please come on out!
Bell Peppers! What a beautiful harvest we’ve had this summer! Typically the Lord blesses us with a good late fall crop of peppers but this summer He’s provided a beautiful early harvest as well!
Green beans are beginning to produce now and we have some in the cooler currently if you’d like to come out and pick them up. These fall beans have a full rich flavor and are simply beautiful! Lord willing the pole beans which are just now blooming good will produce the first harvest in about three weeks and we’ll have even more to help supply the demand for these tasty treats! Yellow wax beans are also coming on now.
Squash and Zucchini have produced well this season but the harvest seems to vary considerably from harvest to harvest making it difficult to estimate how much will be ready each week!
Sweet potatoes are growing well now although we’ve not kept them weeded very well. Unfortunately G-Jean and I were not able to keep up with the weeds which grew up in the sweet potatoes this season due to a lot of different factors including the fact that there seem to only be 24 hours in the day and I have to sleep part of them! Some areas of the sweet potato patch we were able to weed a time or two and those vines are looking good…even blooming now! Although there are still weeds Lord willing they will produce even though they’ll be later than usual.
Keep checking back on our home page to see what’s currently available in the cooler (feel free to call and confirm we haven’t sold out) and what’s available for order.
Throughout the past week we have continued to try reclaiming more areas of the garden which got away from us around strawberry season! After getting so far behind while harvesting the strawberries we have not ever really gotten caught back up. With about three weeks of rain moving in after the mid season drought it was difficult to do much in the way of weeding due to the mud.
Granddad has been brush hogging sections of the garden area and where we’ve rotated the cows to a different section of pasture. He’s also been keeping the garden section tilled where we had planted Irish potatoes earlier this spring. Whew! That section of garden is packed full of Johnsongrass and bindweed! Slowly but surely some of these vigorous weeds are beginning to die back as he diligently keeps the ground in a bare fallow state of tillage.
Pigs! Lucy has been raising up a beautiful batch of 10 young pigs! They are now over feeder pig size. We’re estimating most of the litter will average between 60 and 75 lbs. We plan to sell seven of these young hogs right away so if you’d like to raise one up now is the time to jump in! We are asking $100 each.
These beautiful hogs (as pigs can get) are Red Wattle and Large Black crosses. Both of those breeds are heritage breed pasture type hogs meaning they can grow out well on less grain when good quality pastures are available for them to graze than other breeds of hogs. It is amazing how they simply graze the grass and rarely root up the pasture except right around their water troughs.
Lord willing we will begin the last of this year’s haying in a day or two. Depending on how things go we hope to get most of it put up within the next couple of weeks. Although all the rain has presented some major challenges in the garden it has been such a blessing to watch the Lord produce so much regrowth on all the grass we’ve already cut for hay earlier this season! Our summer rains have definitely helped the grass out of the last couple of year’s droughts.
G-Jean especially but Granddad and I also have been busy canning, dehydrating and freezing a lot of garden crops the past few weeks. It certainly is wonderful to have all the preserved food throughout the winter time though! By the time we harvest many of the summer crops three days a week, sort, pack and fill orders two days per week and preserve some produce at least once and usually twice per week it doesn’t seem like we have time to get much else done sometimes! The Lord is good though and provides for our every need.
Well, time to sign off for now, but may you have a blessed week and Lord willing I’ll write again soon!
Farmer Joshua and the Mitchell Crew