HCC Monthly Harvest Seed
Praise God for His faithfulness and goodness to HCC. I also praise God for each of you. You are faithful in prayer, faithful in giving and desire to see God pour out His Spirit in our church and His life through our church. It is encouraging seeing how many of us at the beginning of each year understand and embrace the value of prayer and fasting. Along with you, I know God has heard our cry and will answer throughout the year. Get ready for a fruitful year, both personally and in the life of our church.
In this year of Faith and Fruitfulness, I am reminded of at least two stories in the Gospels that speak of Jesus coming to a fig tree and finding it full of leaves but no fruit. One tree He cursed and it withered and died by the next day. In another parable the master found a tree in his orchard in the same condition and instructed his manager to cut it down and throw it into the fire. The manager said, "let me give special care to the tree, water it, fertilize it and see if it will produce fruit". The implication was that, in time, with that special attention the tree did indeed produce fruit.
A walk of faith will always produce a fruitful life. Sometimes we go through seasons of barrenness and must give special attention to our spiritual condition so that we become fruitful again or so that we are able to produce much fruit instead of just a little. We need a season of watering, feeding and pruning, and after we have done those things we can expect to see a stunning harvest. I believe that as a church we are entering a season where we can expect a stunning harvest in many ways; spiritually, financially, in souls and in personal growth.
When I was growing up we had two berry bushes at the end of our sidewalk in the back yard, one on each side of the walkway. I am not sure exactly what type of berry they were but we sure did enjoy picking bowlfuls and eating them all summer long. One year we noticed that the trees were not producing many at all. At first we thought the birds were beating us to the harvest. We decided that we would help them along by giving them some TLC. We trimmed the trees we watered almost every day and we put down some fertilizer. Anytime we saw birds in the tree we would chase them away. Within two months the transformation was amazing. Years later after I had left home those berry trees finally showed their age and my father had to cut them down. I remember how excited we were each year when we saw the fruit. I feel the same way when I see the Fruit of the Spirit in my own life and when I see God’s people reaping a harvest of good things because of their diligence to walk by faith and not by sight. There is nothing more thrilling than to watch my natural children and my spiritual children producing much fruit as they live for the Kingdom of God.
At the heart of a life of faith is a life lived in love. At the heart of all fruit that is produced is love. The Bible says now abides faith, hope and love but the GREATEST of these is love. Faith works by love. It is energized by love. Faith is put into motion by love.
God wants us to walk in love because love never fails. Faith walks in love because it believes that Love will never fail: Because God is Love and God never fails. The primary evidence of faith in our life is not the working of miracles not the presence of the Gifts of the Spirit – the proof of true faith is love. Remember love is the anchor component of the Fruit of the Spirit. Without love all of our acts of faith are just a bunch of noise. That which is perfect is love. Trying to walk by faith without love is proof of childish understanding concerning spiritual things. Those who are mature in the faith have a grown up understanding of Love. It is being rooted and grounded in love that enables us to live a life of faith. The heart of our year of Faith and Fruitfulness will be a true and pure love for God and people. The walk of faith can only be attained as we walk in Love. I just realized that I was emphasizing love in the month of February or Valentine month. I had not done that intentionally but I believe it was by God’s design. Now go walk by faith.
Pastor Marvin & Dawn