|It has been a mild winter, but not this mild. Here in northern Wisconsin, no matter how warm March is, we know that we better wait at least another month to plant anything outdoors. But Spring is still here!|
Sunday, March 20, 2016
First Day of Spring
True and False Prophets
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
True and False Disciples
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
The Wise and Foolish Builders
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. (Matthew 7:15-29, NIV)
These are the final words of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount, which I have been sharing throughout Lent.
Today is Palm Sunday, the day we observe Jesus’s triumphant return to Jerusalem. It is also the beginning of Holy Week, the somber seven days which includes Jesus’s arrest, conviction and crucifixion. These are the final days of His life on this earth before He returns in glory one week from today.
Appropriately, this year, today is also the first day of Spring, here in the United States. It is the time of year where we revel in new life and new beginnings, where we look forward to seasons of growth and prosperity.
No matter what time of year it is, however, we need to remember that we have already been granted New Life through Jesus Christ. As believers, we can look forward to His triumphant return to this world.
Lord, God, thank You for sending Your Son to save us from our sins and from the hardships of this world. Grant us the patience to realize this life is only temporary, that You have so much better planned for us in Heaven. Amen.