Today’s message is the second in the series of the five kernels of corn. Many years ago, I started a ministry tradition based on a story that I had read about the early Pilgrims and their struggle to make it through a famine. Each Pilgrim, according to the story, was given five kernels of corn daily as his or her ration. After making it through the famine and enjoying a bountiful harvest, the Pilgrims would place five small kernels on their plates to remind them to be thankful for the harvest and to remember the hardship they experienced.
Attached to each kernel is a special message to remind not only the Pilgrims but also us of God’s love, grace and blessings that we receive.
Most of us on Thanksgiving Day will enjoy a meal fit for a royal court. There will be turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and a whole host of delicacies. Over the years, many immigrants who came to this great nation have added items to the Thanksgiving table. In short, it doesn’t matter what is on the table as long as there is room around it and enough for all to enjoy.
Many this year are facing hardships due to inflation. Thousands have lost their jobs due to the slowdown in the economy. Many are turning to food banks across the nation and the world for help. For some, it is their first time to stand in line at a food bank.
During my tenure at a high-tech company, I had the opportunity to volunteer for a local food bank and see the faces of those who needed help. Each person, after receiving the parcels of food, was so very thankful and each would have tears in their eyes. It is hard to see people who once had a home and a job stand in line for a loaf of bread and canned goods. If you haven’t volunteered to help at a food bank, I suggest that you do. It is a very humbling experience and will remind you of your blessings and to be thankful daily.
The one thing I learned is that God does truly provide for your needs. He blesses others with bounty and that bounty is shared with others. No matter the circumstance, each of us receives the blessings of the Father daily. Our needs are always provided by Him.
God is the benefactor of our Thanksgiving feast and each meal we receive. He provides protection from the elements. Everything we wear comes from Him. There is nothing that we have that does not come from Him.
Jesus, in the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, tells us, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
Jesus tells us something very interesting about the Father. He provides for the evil as well as the good. Many will say that God only provides for His children, but remember God loved us long before we loved Him. God wants each of us to accept the undeserved gift of salvation. He provides for the needs of all and we, as His children, are to do the same by loving our enemies. When we do that, we reflect God’s love into the world. It is easy to love your neighbor, but it is quite a different story to love your enemies.
John, in the fourth chapter of his first epistle, writes this about developing a perfect love, “Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.”
Even with our disobedience, God loved us enough to give His son as our sacrifice for our sins. Once we accept that gift, we have nothing to fear. All fear and doubt are done. In their place is only love not only for God but also for all those around us friend or foe.
God’s love is boundless and endless. He gives us opportunities to show that love to others. Sometimes we are called upon to give comfort to those who desperately need it. When we needed to receive comfort, God was right there for us.
The apostle Paul writes in the first chapter of his second epistle to the Corinthians, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
God provides us with comfort so that we, in turn, can provide comfort to others. In our time of need, He is always there with us. He helps and provides for us and guides us through the trials we are facing. We, in turn, provide comfort to others and help them. As we come together, His hand is upon both.
The lesson from the second kernel is simple. God is our provider. In fact, one of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh. In the Masoretic Text, His name translates as “The LORD Will Provide”. The key part is “will”. There should be no question in your mind, as a Christian, that the Lord will provide for you and see to it that your needs are taken care of. All we must do is have faith in Him and act with that faith daily. When we do that, we can easily stand firm in His grace knowing that He is Jehovah Jireh, the provider of all for all.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
Post a Comment