Monday, September 3, 2012

“BOTANY 101”

Good morning. I have to say, the past few days have been just wonderful. I pray you have been able to enjoy some of this unusually cool August weather and that you have taken advantage of the opportunity to be in church, go fishing, take a child to the park, have a picnic or whatever you like to do when the weather is not so hot. God has really given us a great break from the normally hot and very humid days of August.

Botany. Do you know what Botany is? What about Dendrology? I feel like Regis Philbin, and I'm asking you questions on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Before I lose you altogether, please just bare with me for a few minutes and you will see where I am going with this. I am going to jump straight into the scriptures.

Matthew 7:15-20 say, 15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 13:24-30 say, “24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?' 28 He said to them, 'An enemy has done this.' The servants said to him, 'Do you want us then to go and gather them up?' 29 But he said, 'No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, "First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn." Matthew 25:33-34 say, “ 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” Matthew 25:41 says, “41 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:”

When I was in the eighth grade, I had a science teacher named Mrs. Irwin. She was 106 years old and as far as I was concerned, I could do nothing to please her. So, when I saw I was going to fail her class if I didn't do something quick, I decided to seek the help of a friend of mine that had been in her class the year before and get some help on the final project that would account for a big part of my final grade. The project, complete a leaf collection, identifying each one. I had no idea where to start from. Where to gather such a variety. How to identify them. Once I was given a little guidance, I got underway and ended up getting my only A+ in her class ever and passing by the skin of my teeth.

My point to all of this is, I did not know what Botany was, (the study of plants), or what Dendrology was, (the study of trees). My eyes had to be opened and I needed the help of another.

God, through His holy inspired word, is giving us the help we need to be able to discern the good from the bad, the wheat from the tares and the sheep from the goats. But, herein lies the problem. To gain this knowledge, we must spend time with God and His word to grow in wisdom and understanding. Just as I had to seek the help of someone with experience, we also must seek out pastors, deacons, Sunday school teachers or other godly saints to help us find our way so that we will not be like sheep led to the slaughter.

Don't be confused by big words, the lack of understanding or the trickery of man's doctrine. Read God's word. The Bible says that there is a comfort in a multitude of counselors.

Remember: To know what you are talking about, you have to know what you're talking about.

Until next time, please pray for our elections and all those running, for each other, and me, as I continue to pray for each of you. Love in CHRIST,

Brian Hanvey
Associate Pastor
Bethel Baptist Church

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