March 2021-Count it all Joy!

What a beautiful surprise it was yesterday to have sun and sixty degrees! It was nice to spend some time outside planning projects for the coming season. This leads me to think that the Lord talks a lot about springtime and harvest. Our heavenly Father is all about planting, watering and reaping. In every area of life we are planting seeds, tending them, and working toward an abundant harvest. As the apostle Paul said:

1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.

What areas of your life can you think of that you are planting or tending toward a harvest? This time of year, it’s definitely seeds to start plants which won’t go out to the garden until it warms up enough in May. Thinking of my grandchildren, I am tending the Gospel seeds I’ve been planting and nurturing since before they were born. In my marriage, I’m rejoicing in the fruits we have already experienced, and tending and watering our relationship toward more.

Growing in the Christian Life: A Guide to James (James)   -     By: Stonecroft Ministries

Our women’s group has begun this Bible study from Stonecroft, A Guide to James, Growing in the Christian Life. We are learning how to count it all joy when various trials come and to ask for wisdom when we need it. The verse at the end of the first chapter is James 1:2-3 and I add verse 4.

James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

The assignment was to summarize these verses in our own words. Here is what I wrote, including verse 4. “Dear Sister, consider all troubles to be an opportunity for great joy! Lord, my endurance has a chance to grow and I learn patience when my faith is tested. If I let these troubles teach me patience, I will become perfected and complete in Christ Jesus and will need nothing.” I like this harvest goal! When Christ Jesus comes into your heart, the fullness of God-Father, Son, and Spirit-live inside you. This means all the fruits of the spirit, gifts of the spirit, love of God in Christ and all other things needed for godly living are inside you. As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, we access more; sowing and reaping. In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he explains how the grace of God works and how Christ works in us.

1 Corinthians 1:4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you

Why does Christ work inside us? To prepare us to do the works ahead of us, purifying us as we sow and water, working toward harvest.

1 Corinthians 1:7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Remember, this year I am concentrating on two things: 1. In Christ we live and move and have our being, and 2. God has begun a wonderful work in you and will be faithful to complete it to the day of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

The goal of all this is a relationship with Him and drawing others into the fellowship of Believers. On another note; I’m learning how to turn my posts into podcasts. Bear with me as I work out the kinks!