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I Corinthians 15: 13-14 ” If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

The foundation of Christian faith is this, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again…” (I Thessalonians 4:14)  But stop and think about this for a minute.  How absurd does this really sound?  You actually believe that Jesus was crucified, died on a cross, was buried…but 3 days later rose from that grave alive?   How delusional can you be?  And if you do truly believe this “fairy-tale”, you must be living in a fantasy-world!   But this is exactly how the world views the Gospel Message…some far-fetched implausible story.  Except, within this story is something that all of mankind is constantly searching for… peace, hope, and freedom from guilt and shame.  For the resurrection of Christ is the basis of our hope as Believers, and it is only by our faith that we are set free from the penalty of sin and death.

Ezekiel 33:7 ” Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from Me.”

It was not unusual for God to speak to Old Testament prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, or Ezekiel… by beginning His warning with, ” Stand up and speak to the people.”  That’s what the job of the watchmen was all about…to keep guard and then to lift their voices when danger approached.  Fast forward to today.  As a follower of Christ, do you realize you too are a watchman to this broken world?  The Lord has called you to stand up and speak to the lost, warning them of the impending danger if they continue to ignore Jesus Christ and the gift of salvation.

Psalm 96: 10-13 ” Say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns.’ The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity. Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing before the Lord, for He comes, He comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His truth.”

The Lord reigns over all, and one day He will return to judge the world with justice. (Acts 17:31)  And it tells us here that heaven and earth, the sea and fields… even the trees will rejoice at His coming.  But they all may be singing already, for in Psalm 65:9 it says, “You care for the land and water it; You enrich it abundantly.” And because of God’s wonderful care for the earth, starting in verse 13 of Chapter 65, it says the grasslands of the desert overflow, the hills are clothed with gladness, the meadows are covered with flocks, the valleys are mantled with grain, and they all shout for joy and sing.  So just imagine, every crash of waves on the shore, every rustle of leaves or ripe grain in the field could be the earth’s way of praising God…we just don’t know the song.

Psalm 96:7-9 ” Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; bring an offering and come into His courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth.”

God’s mercy is extended to the whole race of mankind.  “For He is the God not only of the Jews, but of the Gentiles.” (Romans 3:29)  It also reminds us in Psalm 22:27 that someday, “all the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord.”  And as these verses today show, God is continually extending His hand to us…wooing and  beckoning us to come near and worship Him.

Psalm 96: 4-6 ” For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the nations are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and glory are in His sanctuary.”

“For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.”  (Psalm 95:3)  I added the emphasis  to make us all think for a moment of just how glorious and awesome God is.  He is deserving of our praise and worship… He is God (capitol G)… not all the “little” gods we allow in our life.  For when we put our trust in idols (little gods),  we’re putting our confidence in worthless and vain man-made objects…not the God that created the heavens and earth.  He is the one and only great God above all, and is so worthy of our praise.

II Corinthians 5:19 ” …that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.”

The chasm between God and man was too wide, so He sent His only Son to atone for our sins… in order that we may be reconciled.  And so , “We rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11)   But there’s also responsibility attached to this reconciliation, for II Corinthians 5:18 tells us, “All this is from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”  So as Believers, we are called to serve others with compassion, and share with them a message of hope – The Good News of the Gospel- that they too may repent and believe…and be reconciled.

II Timothy 2:15 ” Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

You get a bunch of farmers together and you know what the main topic will be…farming!  This happened at a gathering I was part of Saturday night, and it was fun to just listen.  Working the soil for a living isn’t for the faint of heart.  It takes endurance, skill, and the testing of your faith everyday as you labor in the fields.  But if you persevere…if you use all your talents well…your land will demonstrate proof of the authenticity of your calling as a farmer.   As Believers, we also must work as unto the Lord in all we do…enduring temptation and proving our faith daily.  For in the end, the authenticity of our calling will be validated.