Dead Things Don’t Grow

  Some time ago I heard of a lady picking through the frozen turkeys at the grocery store. When she could not find one large enough for her family’s meal, she asked a stock boy, “Do these turkeys get any bigger?” The stock boy replied, “No ma’am, they’re dead.”

  This young clerk was obviously not on the same wave length as the shopper. Whose fault was this silly misunderstanding? An analytical glance reveals that the lady’s question was poorly worded, and that the young man’s answer was a proper response to what she had asked. This story is obviously intended only to make us smile, but there is a profoundly simple truth communicated in this young man’s answer that is worthy of our attention. Dead things don’t grow.

  Obviously, one must be alive to know God, and must grow up to enjoy His fellowship and experience His blessing. But the Bible tells us that we were all spiritually still born (born dead in our sins) as children of our sinful father, Adam (Romans 5:12; 1Corinthians 15:22). Because of sin, we are as dead men in our relationship with God.

  But there’s hope! The Bible also records Jesus as saying, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (John 5:25).” And later, Jesus said, “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10b).”

  Through faith in Jesus Christ, you can be “born again” spiritually and begin to grow up as a child of God. The Life, Fellowship and Blessings of God are available to those who trust in Christ for the forgiveness of sin. I would be thrilled to introduce you properly to the wonderful Savior. Would you give me that opportunity by calling Corinth Baptist Church to set up a time to hear about God’s love for you? Don’t put it off, because –– Dead things don’t grow!

The Truth

  Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists, Muslims, Methodists, Hindus, Mormons… Everybody claims to have a monopoly on TRUTH, so how does one know that he has actually discovered THE truth?  

  First, a couple of ways that obviously don’t work:  You cannot simply ask a friend or scholar, because every one has an opinion, and truth, by definition, is exclusive – all cannot be right. One man’s opinion is just not sufficient.

  Church is not the answer either; it is becoming hard to find two churches that believe alike, and many have changed their beliefs over the years because they are made up of fickle men.  The proverbial band wagon could be going the wrong direction.

  We could ask our public officials (politicians) …O never mind.

  Let’s face it, what we need is “built in” proof – truth that is self evident.  Fortunately, there is such a source of pure, unadulterated, undeniable truth.  The Bible is the revelation of truth, inspired by God.

  The proof?  For starters, how about fulfilled prophecy?  There are hundreds of predictions that are recorded in the Bible, sometimes a few thousand years before the event actually took place.  History acknowledges that they were fulfilled just as the Bible predicted.  Only God could know the future!

  And then there is the preservation of the Word – a modern day miracle.  The Bible has been both the most loved and most hated book of all times.  Powerful men have spent themselves to destroy it, but the Bible stands and they are dead.  Only God could preserve His Word against such hatred.

  Perhaps one of the greatest evidences that the Bible is undeniable truth, is how it changes lives.  But the only way you will ever know for sure is to experience its life changing power for yourself.  You might begin reading in the Gospel of John.  Jesus said, And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:32).

Almost Persuaded

  In Acts 26, Paul had been arrested in Jerusalem for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and was being held by Festus, the procurator of Judea, in Caesarea of Israel.  He was awaiting transport across the sea to Rome, because he had appealed to Caesar when the Jewish leaders sought his life.  In the meanwhile, Festus entertained a guest who was much acquainted with the ways of the Jews and he was anxious to have him meet Paul and hear his story.

  Paul gave a testimony concerning his experience on the road to Damascus, where the risen Christ had appeared to him, and where Paul came to know Him as Savior and Lord.  His story was so convincing that when Festus’ guest, King Agrippa, heard it, he said, “Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian. (Acts 26:28).”  There is diversity of opinion as to what Agrippa meant by these words, whether he was answering Paul in jest to side step the conviction in his heart, or whether he was admitting to being near a decision for Christ himself.  Either way, Paul responded with, “I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds. (Acts 26:29).”

  I meet people quite often who have heard the story of God’s love: how He gave Christ to die and purchase their redemption, how He rose from the grave to be the Captain of their souls today and forever.  Many of these individuals have been so close to placing their trust in Christ for forgiveness, but at the last moment have pulled back, desiring to live in their sins rather than be saved from them.

  Imagine for a moment that individual standing before our holy God trying to explain what happened.  Imagine for a moment that scene where the eternal Judge says to them, “I tell you, I know you not… depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. (Luke 13:27).”  Imagine being without God or His influence forever.

Enjoyable Distraction

   Distraction is defined as “A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else.”  The thesaurus offers these synonyms: interruption, disturbance, interference, and hindrance.  We generally think of distraction as being altogether undesirable, but wait, there is another nuance of this word.  The same thesaurus says that distraction can also be described with the words: amusement, entertainment, diversion, recreation and leisure pursuit.  While no one likes to be interrupted or disturbed, most consider it quite enjoyable to be distracted by the likes of amusement or entertainment – but these enjoyable diversions may not be so good for us.

   Perhaps it would be helpful at some point to consider the damage that enjoyable distraction causes in the realms of education or employment, but the most dangerous effect of distraction is in the realm of the spiritual.  People who have no relationship to God can become so distracted by these pleasurable experiences that they never find His truth.  Paul speaking to the church at Corinth writes, In whom the god of this world [Satan] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Corinthians 4:4).

   Those of us who know the Lord can get so distracted that we take our eyes off of Him.  Remember Peter whose faith allowed him to walk on water? Matthew 14:29b-30 tells us, “…when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.”  He was doing so well – but got distracted.

   Dear friend, it is easy to fill our minds with the things that this world has to offer and miss the essential life changing truths of God.  We should take the advice of the hymn writer who said, Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.