Summary: How sweet it is to know that Jesus has given us the seed of the gospel to spread through the world and that He will bring forth a harvest from our labors.
How Sweet It Is!
By Pastor Jim May
Have you ever experienced living your dream? Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt like you had to pinch yourself to see if you were really awake or if everything around you was really a dream?
It was just like so many evenings at home after dinner. Jimmy kept playing around in the house while mom and dad were absorbed with the work that always needs to be done and did not notice the time. There was a full moon in the sky and the bright light seemed only to make the dusk of day go on and on. Finally mom glanced at the clock and realized the lateness of the hour and yelled, "Jimmy, it’s time to go to bed. Go up now and I’ll come in a minute to tuck you in."
Usually he would kick up a little fuss but this night Jimmy just went straight upstairs to his room. An hour or so later his mother came up to see if he was asleep. He wasn’t asleep. She saw him lying there staring quietly out of his window at the moon.
"What are you doing, Jimmy?" "I’m looking at the moon, Mom." "Well, it’s time to go to bed now." As he finally settled down, he said, "Mom, you know what? One day I’m going to walk on that moon."
32 years later when Astronaut James Irwin stepped out of the lunar landing module and stepped onto the moon’s surface, that dream came true. He is one of only 12 people to every do so. He was living his dream.
Dreams are wonderful things. You can go places and do thing in your dreams that seem so very impossible in reality. But every once in a while, someone translates that dream into reality through hard work, planning and persistence.
Someone by the name of J. M. Power once said, “The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up.”
That’s exactly what happened to Israel after they had been in captivity for many long years under the Babylonians and then the Persians under King Cyrus.
For 70 years, Israel could only dream of being free again. They had rebelled against God, chased after the things of the world, and finally came face to face with the judgment of God against them. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon blew through Israel like a mighty whirlwind and conquered God’s people completely.
Israel, God’s very own chosen nation, now lay in ruins. Vast numbers of the people were taken away to die in slavery in a foreign land. City after city lay in burning heaps and no one was left to rebuild them. What a price to pay for disobedience against God!
God has given us Israel’s history as an example for all who would choose to live in disobedience to His Word, and yet it is amazing just how quickly we fall into the same trap and face the same judgments of God over and again.
Not a week goes by when I don’t see Christians who once loved the Lord and were faithful to God, but now they are trapped in a life of sin and living as slaves to the devil. Their strongholds of faith have been laid waste and their lives have been left in shipwreck. Homes are wrecked, families are destroyed and lives are crushed under the weight of sin simply because we won’t learn a lesson any other way but the hard way.
It took some time for the Jews to finally fall on their face before God and begin to cry out for mercy! Perhaps it was the hardness of their slave masters that drove them to their knees. Perhaps it was the emptiness left inside when the presence of God left them that brought them on their face, crying out to God for deliverance. Whatever it was, they finally realized just how far they had fallen. They needed God’s mercy!
I see folks who are in this place spiritually all the time. I wonder just how far they will have to fall before they begin to cry out to God for mercy! Will they have to lose their family? Will they have to wind up in a prison cell? Will they have to face the death of a loved one? What will it take for them to come back to God? Will they ever turn back, or will they just continue to harden their hearts and walk away from God no matter how much He does to turn them around? I fear for many because nothing seems to reach them anymore and I can only pray that God’s never ending mercy will somehow get to them.