Sunday, September 19, 2004

John 4:38 – I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labour. (NIV)

When I was at high school in Scotland, there was a campaign to get students to "plant a tree in '73." I can remember planting ten trees next to my school with a group of my peers. We were a cynical lot — typical teenagers — and we made up our own slogans, like "Plant one more in '74" and "See if it's alive in '75". I guess we weren't fully aware of what we were doing, and we didn't really attach much importance to the campaign.

Twenty-five years later, I returned home. My old high school was gone, reduced to rubble to make way for a new subdivision, but, guess what? The trees were still there, tall and beautiful, towering above the new landscape. As I watched some children play soccer beneath the shade of those trees, I felt a deep sense of satisfaction and continuity.

Most of us are in churches that we didn't plant. Past generations did all of the hard work, and through the blessing of God, the ministry continues. We are the beneficiaries of all their labours, and like the children playing soccer below the trees I planted, we can enjoy the blessings of past plantings and praise our Creator with our laughter, our love, and our lives.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the blessings of the past generations who planted our churches and placed seeds of faith within our hearts and minds. May we continue to sow and plant within our own communities, presenting Your promises so that the next generation will know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn will tell their children. In Your holy name we pray. Amen.

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John Stuart <>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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