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SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 20180715 HOPE IN A SEED

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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland

        6

              Pastor Ray Scott

 

 

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THERE  IS  HOPE  IN  A  SEED
SERMON STARTER
          My maternal grandmother was so non-traditional she wouldn't allow us to call her "Grandmother."  We were instructed to call her "Mimi." Her maternal instincts were poor, not being able to nurture her offspring consistently. However, she was excellent when nurturing plants. She could coax life out of almost any seed. Her favorite method of sprouting seeds was to place them in a jar of water on her kitchen windowsill.
          When her seeds were sprouted and leafed out, she'd find a nice shady spot and plant them. With her careful nurturing and watering her seed plants would begin to bear fruit in a year or two. More than once I remember eating the fruit of her labors.
          My mom had the same itch: jar and windowsill sprouting her seeds. Then, she'd plant them in a shaded spot with lots of water and nutritious soil. I remember eating fruit from one of her sprouted seed plants the last time I saw her in her San Dimas, California house.
          Mom was good nurturing not just plants but people. More than once she saw something in people that had possibilities. She'd nurture that seed of possibility. She did that with all her kids. Four of us received Masters' Degrees in our fields, one of us received a doctorate. One of us was a class Valedictorian in a class of nearly a thousand. One of her offspring was CEO of the 5th largest Advertising firm in the U.S. One of us became an ordained pastor, serving three congregations and starting up a self-sustaining non-profit to serve the poor. 
          I'd say Mom's seed-watering and nurturing paid off in her own offspring and in the lives of many, many others.  It takes an enormous amount of hope to be a seed-planter and nurturer. My hats off to a local farmer I met at the Sharpsville Dairy Queen a few years ago. We talked softly as we ate our ice cream. Rain softly began to fall while we were in there. I'll never forget his joy and jubilation as he exclaimed,
"That's a ten-thousand dollar rain!"
His corn needed that rainfall and it came just in time. There is Hope in a Seed.    Pastor Phil  <><<
July 15, 2018 - Pastor Phil Roland
Sheepfold Ministries

THERE  IS  HOPE  IN  A  SEED
John 12:24

“The mystery and miracle of a seed brings hope to hearts worldwide. Jesus taught with analogies from common things in his agrarian culture. Actually, He was teaching about human death and eternal life in Him."       Pastor Phil 

“Truly, truly, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”    John 12:24 
                                                                               
THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED!

THE SEED SHOP
Muriel Stuart

Here in the quiet and dusty room they lie,
          Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shriveled, senseless, dry. . .
          Meadows and gardens running through my hand.

In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams,
          A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a summer’s streams,
          These lilies shall make summer on my dust.

Here in their safe and simple house of death,
          Sealed in their shells a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden  with my breath
          And in my hand a forest lies asleep.

S E E D S !

"In the despair of our humanity there is hope of life that extends beyond itself!           There is hope of living beyond our own puny existence!" Pastor Phil

THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED!

THE FIRST CHARACTERISTIC OF A SEED:
I.   THE SEED ENDURES THE LONELINESS OF DEATH
“Truly, truly, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”    John 12:24 

          A. The Seed Abides Alone
               EG: In a British Museum in London there is on exhibition what is
                       believed to be the oldest kernel of wheat in the world.  It was
                        found in the clenched fist of an Egyptian mummy where it had
                        lain for 3,000 years.
THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED, CONT., P.2

                    1. The Seed never reproduced itself
                    2. It made its abode in the loneliness of a dead mummy's hand
                    3. The seed made its repose as the centuries past by
4.  Still the Seed is the Container of Life
B. The Seed lived through the eons of time in Death's Loneliness
                    1. When your most recent death loss occurred you felt lonely
                    2. Loneliness happens even before the SHOCK of loss
                    3. It happened before the rolling waves of grief and sorrow
                    4. You felt diminished and very, very lonely
          C. When you think of it, we come into the world Alone
                    1. We acquire friends, possessions, property. . .
                    2. One day we leave like we came: ALONE
          D. Death is not the frightening thing for the dying
                    1. We fear dying alone
                    2. We fear continuing our lives without our loved one
                    3. The living are just as fearful of loneliness as the dying
". . .the seed abides alone. . ."   B U T. . .
THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED!

THE SECOND CHARACTERISTIC OF A SEED:
II.   THE SEED ENDURES THE CERTAINTY OF DEATH
          “. . .But, if the seed dies. . .”
A. The Bible is CERTAIN about death:
          “And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."                              1. D E A T H ! How we hate that word!
                    2. YET. . .It is certain. . .It is swift. . .It is sure. . .
                    3. But we hate it. . .We avoid it. . .We avoid. . .
                    4. Viewing corpses. . .Funerals. . .
                    5. People with Life-Threatening Diseases. . .
B. We even change our language around death
                    1. We say:  DECEASED. . .DEARLY DEPARTED. . .
                    2. RESTING IN THE LORD. . .PASSED ON. . .
                    3. LEFT THIS MORTAL PLANE. . .GONE!
                    4. We avoid saying that our loved-ones are physically dead!
C. Yet, Death is one of life's greatest certainties
                    EG.  George Bernard Shaw, British playwright, sarcastically said,
                              “The statistics on death are AWESOME!
                                    One out of One people. . .DIE!”
                    1. THERE IS A CERTAINTY ABOUT DEATH!
                    2. BUT. . .THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED!

THE THIRD CHARACTERISTIC OF A SEED:
III.   THE SEED PROMISES THE CERTAINTY OF LIFE!
          “. . .But, if the seed dies. . .”
A. The Bible is CERTAIN about Life Beyond the Grave!

THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED, CONT., P.3

                    1.  Job asks the question - Job 14:14
                    “If a man dies, shall he live again?”
2.  Job answers himself - Job 19:25, 26 -                
                        “For I know that my redeemer lives, and shall stand at the latter day                              upon the earth; and though after my skin, worms destroy this body,               YET IN MY FLESH SHALL I SEE GOD!”
          B. The Foundation of Christianity is Certitude
                    1. Certitude of Resurrection Life beyond the Grave!
                    2. EG.  Many years ago, a beautiful vase, tightly sealed, was                                        discovered in an ancient tomb in Egypt.  It was shipped to London                               There a young, inexperienced archaeologist, carelessly dropped the                            vase, shattering it to bits! Inside the vase was found a small handful                            of wheat: shriveled, wrinkled, hard as grains of sand.  The seeds                                were planted under glass in mid-summer, and thirty days later,                                    green shoots began to appear!
                        The tiny seeds had been hidden away for millennia!
                        They looked dead!  They appeared outwardly to be lifeless!
                        THEY WERE NOT DEAD!
                        There was the life-force still within them!

THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED!

          B. WILLIAM JENNINGS BRYAN Quote,
          The great Christian orator and statesman gave this public address after             hearing about the incident:
            “If God will give a grain of wheat found in the pyramids the power to live             after it has slept in the grave 3,000 years, will He deny to man, His                    masterpiece, the capacity to rise after his body has reposed in death   through the centuries? NO!  UNEVIQUIVOCALLY,  NO!
            WE SHALL LIVE AGAIN!"

THERE IS A CERTAINTY ABOUT LIFE!
EVERLASTING LIFE THAT IS FOUND IN JESUS CHRIST!
He, God’s only Son, became a seed, nailed to a cross, for all our sins!
He was buried, dead, a lifeless physical corpse. . .
BUT HE WAS GOD'S SEED!

THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED!

Fourth Characteristic of a Seed. . .
IV. THE ABUNDANCE OF LIFE
“. . . It brings forth much fruit. . .”  (Many seeds)
          A. Jesus promises - John 10:10
          “I am come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”
          B. From the Autobiography of D.L. Moody,
          “Someday you will read in the papers that D.L. Moody of East           Moorfield is dead.  Don’t you believe a word of it!  At that moment I
          shall be more alive than I am now! I shall have gone up higher, that is
          all;  out of this old clay tenement into a house that is immortal----
          a body that death cannot touch; that sin cannot taint; a Body
THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED, CONT., P.4

          Fashioned like unto His Glorious Body.
          I was born of the flesh in 1837.
          I was born of the Spirit in 1856.
          That which is born of the flesh may die.
          That which is born of the Spirit will live FOREVER!”

Our Loved Ones who have passed from this life have received their divine summons from God.  They ate their last meal. The have planted their last seeds. They hugged their loved ones for the last time on this earth.  They spent their last earthly day of suffering.  Now, they have passed on to their Great Reward to meet the One who infinitely loves them more than we can with our finite humanity, and they in their Eternal Rest in Jesus Christ.

AND YOU AND I ARE LEFT TO OUR SEED PLANTING. . .
          And to our tears and sorrowing and our grief. . .

Early Christians buried their dead like seeds.  They faced their deceased loved-ones bodies facing the East, into the rising sun.
A
For when Jesus Christ comes in his SECOND Advent we shall see him in the Eastern sky.
And when our loved ones come forth, it will not be like the seeds we planted.  No!  It will not be with tired, twisted, dried-out, wrinkled bodies. . .
But with the shining Glory of God!

THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED!
There is a Loneliness / Certainty of Death!
There is a Certainty of Life / Abundance of Life!

“Truly, truly, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.”       John 12:24 

 

 

THERE IS HOPE IN A SEED
John 12:23-26 (NIV)
23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

 

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John Bacon, a once a famous sculptor, left an inscription to be placed on his tomb in Westminster Abbey:
"What I was as an artist seemed of some importance to me while I lived; but what I was as a believer in Jesus Christ is the only thing of importance to me now."

D.L.MOODY's illustrations:
http://biblehub.com/library/moody/moodys_stories/moodys_stories.htm
https://www.fbinstitute.com/moody/Moody_Heaven_Text.html

 

SEEDS HOPE, #1, 2018-07.jpg

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Mark 4:26-34 (NKJV)
26 And He said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground,
27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.
28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.
29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."
30 Then He said, "To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?
31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth;
32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade."
33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it.
34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

 

Putting in the Seed

Robert Frost, 1874 - 1963

You come to fetch me from my work to-night 
When supper’s on the table, and we’ll see 
If I can leave off burying the white 
Soft petals fallen from the apple tree. 
(Soft petals, yes, but not so barren quite, 
Mingled with these, smooth bean and wrinkled pea;) 
And go along with you ere you lose sight 
Of what you came for and become like me, 
Slave to a springtime passion for the earth. 
How Love burns through the Putting in the Seed 
On through the watching for that early birth 
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed, 
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes 
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.