Weekly Seed of Faith 7/25/2022

Seed of Faith – Jesus Sends, Sees, Stills and Saves By Pastor Dave  

“When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified.  But he said to them, “It is I, don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading” John 6:16-20 
Dear Faithful Seed Sowers:

Well, it has been a very, long time since I sat down to write and send a “Seed of Faith”. Please forgive me.  I have been a little overwhelmed with ministry and we have had eight family members and 4 best friends die during the past two years. We have have spent a lot of family time grieving during the past few months. My wife and I just returned from a 3 week trip to bury her parents’ urns. We fulfilled their last wishes and they are “safely home” to their final resting spot in St. Louis. During these three weeks, we were able to do two weddings, and 3 funerals. On the trip out to St. Louis, our car got hit by a weight that dropped off of semi traveling at 75 mph, while we were traveling at 80 mph! We were so lucky that the weight hit the front lights and did not travel up the hood. God protected us and we are thankful. We ended up having days and days of mysterious vehicle problems afterwards but got that all taken care of in St. Louis. God provided a sister-in-law who worked at Lou Fusz in St. Louis and she got us right into the service bay. It was an expensive set of repairs but our lives are worth more than that! We truly are thankful for the time away. We’ve been really swamped with all that the past two years have entailed and found ourselves empty and exhausted as we spent a week in the Lake of the Ozarks–merely floating in the lake and reading. All in all, it feels really good to know Mom and Dad are finally resting in peace along with the rest of their family members in St. Louis. A great accomplishment for Jac and me.

I don’t know how long it’s been since I sent out a SEED OF FAITH. I do have to share that I received several emails saying, “I don’t know how I stopped receiving your “SEED OF FAITH” but will you put me back on the email list?” Uh, sure. So here we go! Strap up and let’s get back to planting SEEDS OF FAITH!

I love this story in the Bible of Jesus walking on water.  What a miracle.  This story is found in three gospels: Matthew and Mark and John.

There will be four points to this message.
Jesus sends us!
Jesus sees us!
Jesus stills the storms around or within us!
Jesus saves us!

In this Seed of Faith we will cover two points and pick up next week with the final two.

Enter into this story for a few minutes. Jesus and His disciples got up early in the morning and rowed their boats across the Sea of Galilee where they landed on the far side of Sea, around Bethsaida. A very large crowd followed Jesus. Jesus had compassion on them (as Jesus has for you and me) and wanted to feed them. The disciples thought Jesus should send everyone home and have them come back tomorrow! But Jesus sent out a search committee who came back with five barley loaves and two fish–a young boy’s lunch! Jesus blessed the loaves and the fish–and five thousand men, plus women and children are fed. AND…there’s 12 baskets of leftovers! Scholars say that there were really more like 15,000 and 20,000 people—counting the women and children!

Now it’s time for you and me to truly enter into the story and to let the story enter into us.

We’ve just rowed over to Bethsaida. We’re being followed by a huge crowd. Everyone is hungry! Jesus is breaking the bread and fish, the disciples are running around handing out bread and fish to thousands of people. Can you imagine how tired the disciples are? (hmm, being tired must be one main ingredient for throwing yourself a pity party?)  The disciples have rowed their boats 6 1/2 to 7 miles across the Sea of Galilee and are now working in the hot sun feeding 20,000 people. They finally get all done feeding the multitude of people and picking up the leftovers and Jesus decides to send them back across the sea to Capernaum. We are told it is evening. The disciples are tired. They’ve worked all morning rowing their boats across the sea, they’ve worked all afternoon and now it is evening and Jesus tells them to get in their boats and row back across the sea in the dark! Work. Work. Work.  Is there anybody listening who feels the same way? I do. I can identify. Maybe this first SEED OF FAITH back to work is just for me!

Gospel writer John does not tell us that Jesus told them to get in the boats. But in Mark’s account and Matthew’s account we read that it is Jesus who sends them. Matthew records it this way, “Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd.” (Matthew 14:22) This is a story of faith from beginning to end. Matthew 14:22 tells us Jesus “made the disciples get into the boat.” The word “made” could also be translated “compelled”— “to compel by force or persuasion or to constrain.” Kind of makes me think that just maybe the disciples were tired, too. Maybe they had visions of sugarplums in their heads and thought it might be time to take a siesta under the olive trees?

I do not know all the struggles, battles, confrontations, difficult situations and fearful conditions you find yourself in day after day. Have you ever thought that maybe it is Jesus who has sent you into these storms you face? Now just a sidebar for minute. Not all the storms we face in life are directly brought to us by Jesus. We are human and we definitely make our share of sins and mistakes that cause us pain and confusion. We also fight a common enemy of evil who wants to steal, kill and destroy us. (John 10:10)

Maybe a good so what question here is, “Why would Jesus send His disciples out on the lake at night by themselves? Why does Jesus send you and me out into the dark at night to face the storms of life while He is up on the mountain alone with God having some QT (quiet time).

Yep…there’s the disciples working all day and night and there’s Jesus—having a little QT! Are you in the story, yet? I am, and I, for one, vote for sleeping under the stars tonight but that’s not the story. The story is, “Dave, get in the boat and row back home.”

Is our Lord is saying to us, “Those of you who have decided to follow me as your Savior are going to be sailing your vessels into the winds of life. You are going to have trouble. Obey anyway.”

There are two ways to get into storms. One is to flee God’s will, like Jonah did. A great storm blew up, and he ended up in a fish’s belly. That is different from the disciples’ situation. They were in the midst of a storm because they were obedient (not disobedient) to God. Those of us who have decided to follow Jesus and give him all of our allegiance will often face contrary winds, no doubt about it.


POINT 2 follows quickly now: JESUS SEES US.

No matter what the storm is that you are facing, if Jesus sent you, Jesus sees you! And that even goes if you created the storm yourself by being disobedient! It’s the beauty of the GOSPEL.

Jesus sees you in the storms of life! We are told in our story that Jesus sent the disciples back into the boat knowing there would be a storm. On the other hand, Jesus went up the mountain to be alone with His Father. Are you in the story? We’re tired. We’ve poured out all day and now…we’re headed to home, sweet, home!

We, too, need to spend time alone with God but that is an entirely different sermon. Jesus up on the mountain with God His Father. Did you know that in Scripture a mountain is often used as a symbol of a place of authority? Jesus is up in a place of authority and from there He sees His disciples struggling.

Mark’s account of this tells us that Jesus saw them. Listen to how Mark tells the story and enter in — “When evening came, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them,  but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.” Mark 6:47-50

The Greek word for “He Saw” is a verb and it means that Jesus “understood, perceived, knew, paid attention and saw them” What a powerful thought! Jesus knows, perceives, pays attention, and sees us in the storms of our lives—He sees us in every storm we’re in during our lifetime. Powerful thought.

Not only are the disciples in a storm but some scholars suggest that waves could have been up to five feet tall. There have been recorded ten-foot waves on the Sea of Galilee that caused damage to the modern day town of Tiberias. We do not know how big the waves were. They could have been three feet to ten feet tall. And…no motor to power them on.

These were experienced fishermen. The water was sloshing into the boat. Soaking all the disciples in the dark and the cold of the night. We are told that it was fourth watch of the night which is between 3 and 6 in the morning. Enter Jesus! Jesus came to his threatened, frightened, and scared followers during the darkest part of the night WALKING ON THE WATER! Jesus came to His disciples when they were exhausted, miserable, tired, and afraid. They were wondering, “Are we going to survive this storm!” (Can you relate?) Only then did the Lord come. Boy, does that sound familiar to me.

There we were, on the freeway between Needles and Kingman. Desert. Hot. And this octagon weight falls off the semi we are passing and bounces on the ground. After we got hit, we pulled off the freeway and checked out to see if there was any damage. The passenger side, front headlight was smashed to pieces. We decided we could still drive in the daylight and made it to Albuquerque. We started having trouble with the air conditioning but it worked until we stopped in Witchita. The next morning as we started to head to Kansas City for a wedding, we had no air. It was 108–without the heat index and on the hot pavement. We were in the middle of nowhere. Little did we know that the weight had also hit our battery and by the time we were in St. Louis–doing my brother-in-law’s wedding, our care refused to turn over. (It was a sight to see: me in a suit and tie and dress shoes–trying to get the car to turn over–in 108 degree heat without the index factor.) Jesus sent me on this trip to bury my wife’s parents. Jesus saw me trying to find the battery then lift the battery out from behind the passenger seat. Stay tuned–next week Jesus is going to still my storm and save me!

So What? How about you? Are you currently in a storm?
Take heart—

Keep looking up and trusting Jesus.

See you Sunday!
God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed Of Faith 4/9/2022

Seed of Faith – Hosanna, Hosanna By Pastor Dave  

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”  “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”  Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”  “I tell you,” he replied” “if they keep quiet the stones will cry out.”  Luke 19:37-40 

Dear Faithful Seed-Sowers,

It is my prayer this week as you prepare your heart and home for Easter that Jesus would triumphantly enter into your heart and home.  May His powerful presence and perfect peace surround you and hold you in these tumultuous times.

The story of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem is recorded by all four Gospel writers: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-40. and John 12:12-19.  John gives us eight verses to record this momentous event while Mark and Matthew use eleven. Luke, the Gentile Doctor, AKA…Dr. Detail, uses sixteen verses.  Take some time this Holy Week and read and compare them all.

I wonder how God felt on that memorable day when His one and only Son went riding into Jerusalem.

Think about this for a moment.  Where are you in this story? Where are you in your faith walk with Jesus? There were crowds of people in this story.  Scholars believe that there were over 2 million people in Jerusalem during the time of the Passover.  Jesus was riding into town on a donkey and the crowds went wild.

1. The people who knew their Scriptures and were waiting for God to send a KING to overthrow the Roman government—this crowd went wild with praise!  Praising Jesus!

2. The crowd of the Pharisees, however, did not go wild with praise.  They went wild with protest. Protesting Jesus!

3. The third kind of crowd was absolutely passive—to them, this parade was no big deal either way. Passive about Jesus!

Praising, protesting or passive! 

What crowd will you find yourself in today?

Will we praise Jesus, protest Jesus or be passive about Jesus?

One day Mark Twain took his little daughter on his knee and told her all about the rulers and other prominent men whom he had met in his travels. She listened attentively. When he had finished, she said, “Daddy, you know everybody but God, don’t you?” Mark Twain was certainly an intelligent person. Yet he rejected God.[i]

Imagine for a moment 100,000 to 200,000 people moving, waving palms, and shouting!  The Rose Bowl holds around 92,000 people, double that crowd, imagine the noise and hysteria of the crowd on that first Palm Sunday.

Can you enter into the picture?  A few million people are milling around Jerusalem.  There are people everywhere! The calendar day is Sunday, the Sunday before they celebrated Passover, the reason why all of these people were there in the first place.  This Sunday is known as “Lamb Selection Sunday”—thousands of lambs are being led into town for Thursday’s annual Passover sacrifice event. Everyone is selecting their family’s sacrificial lamb.

Think of the tension in the air as the Roman centurions walk around — angry that the crowd is so large and unruly.   Their swords and shields are ready at a moment’s notice to keep the peace.  Jesus makes his way through the nearby town of Bethany, down the Mount of Olives and enters the city of Jerusalem.

Jesus has been in ministry for three years.  The people have seen Him in action or they have heard about Him.  The crowd is energized, and the excitement keeps building and building!  Jesus is now riding on a donkey and the crowd goes absolutely wild.  They have been waiting for this day! These people know their Scriptures. They don’t have the New Testament—only the old! They can easily equate Zechariah 9…with what they are seeing!  Prophecy is coming to life before their eyes!

All of sudden, this is the biggest parade you have ever seen, everyone is breaking off palm branches from the palm trees and waving them. They are taking off their outer coats to throw them on the dirt road that Jesus is riding into town on!  Are you with me?

Can you hear the excitement as the crowd begins to shout, “HOSANNA — HOSANNA — HOSANNA!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Blessed is the king of Israel.”  (Makes me think of when we shout “USA” in the Olympic games.)

The Hebrew word “hosanna” literally means “save us, we pray, save us now, save us–we beseech you.”  The crowd is shouting at the top of their lungs, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna!”

The day is Sunday.  Their “church day” was yesterday—Saturday.  Their Sabbath is over, it’s back to work day!

Today is the day Jewish families select their family’s unblemished lamb for the Passover sacrifice–held four days later.  This is a really big day—think of four days before Christmas and you kind of get the idea!  Everyone is out!  Everyone has something to do!  Everyone is super excited about the upcoming holiday celebrations!  It is mayhem and this is the day that Jesus enters Jerusalem–lamb selection day.

The crowds are pumped, and they are shouting, “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna — save us we beseech you — save us now!”  The people are tired of the harsh Roman rulers.  They see their King fulfilling the long-awaited Scripture and they are wild with excitement.  At least this portion of the crowd is passionate and praising God with every ounce of their being.

What about you?  Are you in this crowd?

This the “So what?” for us today:  what crowd are YOU in?

·         Are you in the “THINK-I-WILL-PRAISE-Jesus-TODAY” crowd? 

·         Are you in the “THINK-I-WILL-PROTEST-Jesus-TODAY” crowd?

·         Are you in the “THINK-I-WILL take a-PASS-on-Jesus-TODAY” crowd?

Praise.  Protest.  Pass.  Our choice.  Today’s “So What?” comes down to a choice…made by me…made by you…to either PRAISE…PROTEST. …or PASS this JESUS OF NAZARETH. PRAISE…PROTEST…or PASS on the God who hung on a cross.

When Jac and I lived on 9th street in Rochelle, guess what? we were one of the few houses that was along the parade route. Yup. The parades went straight by our house and down to Cooper Park! Whatever parade there was, you could find us setting out our folding chairs, blankets, waters, and brownies for those who came to our house to watch the parade! (pause) WAIT!!  GUESS WHAT? TODAY…I have a house (point to your heart) that is on the parade route! And all day long I’ll be serving snacks and punch to anyone who needs a good view. It doesn’t matter if you’re family, or if you’re a friend or if you’re a stranger–mi casa es su casa today!

Can you only imagine the day when we see this parade for real, in heaven?

Today is lamb selection for REAL! Jesus, the lamb of God, rode into Jerusalem on a donkey on lamb selection Sunday only  THIS LAMB OF GOD is 100% totally unblemished.

May Jesus ride triumphantly into your heart and home today and every day!
PS: Get the parade ready–set up your chairs and blankets, coolers of life-giving water, and the bread of life–or brownies or cupcakes. You never know who’s going to stop by and see what the parade is all about!

See you Sunday!

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 3/4/2022

Seed of Faith – What Do You Want  By Pastor Dave  

35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”  So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.  John 1:35-39

Dear Faithful & Fearless Seed Sowers,

We have entered the season of Lent.  Lent is the forty days before Easter (not including Sundays) in which we take time to prepare our hearts for Holy Week and Easter.  The reality of the cross and empty tomb have, and continue, to shape our world.

I encourage you to carve out some intentional time this season and dedicate yourself to the journey of Lent. Today open your bible and read the first chapter of John as you prepare for Lent.

I love this opening chapter of John because it contains many powerful statements.  I love the fact that Jesus asks questions. Questions like, “What do you want?”  I believe that Jesus’ question “What do you want?” is a profound and deeply moving question. Did the disciples really know what they wanted? If we met Jesus and he asked us to follow Him, can you put yourself into this story? Would you know what you wanted, would you know Him? Have you been waiting for the Messiah?

A pastor friend in Texas sent me an old quote from Mark Twain, “I can teach anybody what they want to get out of life. The problem is that I cannot find anybody who can tell me what they want.”

“WHAT DO YOU WANT? The Greek word for “do you want” is “ζητέω zēteō;” and of course it is a present active verb.  In Greek it can mean what are you “deliberating about, demanding, looking for, searching for, seeking after, striving for, looking for and wanting.” And—it isn’t a one timer…Jesus is asking you this question over and over, again and again…and again. He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and so is His question.

What do you want? Do you want success? Do you want security? Do you want financial wealth? Do you want health? Do you want peace?

What did Andrew, one of the first disciples to follow Jesus, want? What do we know about Andrew?  We know that Andrew was an early follower of John the Baptist.  To be a follower of John the Baptist took a lot of courage.  John the Baptist lived in the wilderness, ate locusts and honey, and wore camel’s hair tunics. (He was a different kind of person.) John wanted the people to turn their hearts back to God. To say the least, John the Baptist’s message was not very popular with the religious establishment of the day.  Yet here is where we find Andrew–following and hanging out with a wild man who was cut from a different cloth—camel’s hair!

Andrew was on the seashore the very day Jesus came to be baptized by John the Baptist. Enter this story. You are there by the river. John is calling out, “Repent. Be baptized.”  Andrew was right there when he heard a line out of the norm,  “Look, the Lamb of God!”  And there was Jesus.

This week when I was working in my Greek, I found the verbs in John 1:36 fascinating.   “When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God!’”  The verb used for “passing by” is   περιπατέω pĕripatĕō, per-ee-pat-eh´-o; or peratounti”;  it is a present-active participle which means that the action Jesus is doing is a continuous action.  The “passing by” of Jesus is ongoing and never ending—yesterday, today and tomorrow!  Now, friends that is a comforting note for us!!! Jesus is going to ALWAYS and FOREVER be passing by you and me! Stay with me because the verb used for John the Baptist’s proclamation, “he said,” is also a present active verb meaning that the news that Jesus is the Lamb of God is proclaimed over and over and over—never ending.  Jesus is passing by as the Lamb of God—over and over, again and again.  Not just 2,000 years ago—but to this very day—Jesus, the Lamb of God, is passing by.  This is really exciting stuff—I might have to go take a Tylenol and lay down!

Once, while testing the acoustics in Agricultural Hall in London, the famous preacher Charles Spurgeon, rang out while practicing in the empty building, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!” A workman up in the ceiling heard the message, was convicted, went home, knelt before the Lord and found salvation.[i]

We never know how or when or where Jesus, the Lamb of God, will go passing by—do we?

How many of you have heard of Edward Kimball?  Edward was a timid, soft-spoken Sunday School teacher.  Kimball’s impact on the world is greatly known, but he is not known by name.  Kimball went to a shoe store in Boston one day to share the Gospel with an uneducated, crude, and illiterate young clerk by the name of D. L. Moody.  Moody had begun to attend Kimball’s Sunday School class.

Kimball found Moody in the shoe store stock room and shared with Moody about having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  “I never could remember just what I did say: something about Christ and His love; that as all.” Kimball admitted it was “a weak appeal.”[i]

D.L. Moody was used mightily by the Lord in the last half of the nineteenth century on both sides of the Atlantic.  Moody was an Evangelist who started Moody Bible School.  Moody is credited with speaking to over 100,000,000 people.  Moody influenced many for Christ including the C. T. Studd who was a great pioneer missionary and Wilbur Chapman who became a famous Evangelist. From an uneducated shoe salesman came D.L. Moody and a Bible Institute that today produces at least one out of ten Protestant ministers.

Where would we be without the Andrews of the world?  The Andrews are the first to hear and first to go and tell!  The first thing Andrew did after meeting Jesus, the Lamb of God who was passing by– was go and find his brother Peter, “Pete, we have found the Messiah.”   Peter—the one who Jesus said He would build His church upon.  Peter—the one who denied Jesus three times.  Peter the guy who gave the first sermon after Pentecost–where three thousand people were added to the church in one day!  Yes, the church needs bold, brave people like Peter, but where would the church be without Andrews?

So What?  I think every pastor, including me, would be overjoyed to serve in a church filled with Andrews.  Andrew was a man on mission.  His mission was to go and tell others one-on-one that he had found the Messiah.  Andrew helped to transform the world.

Listen, you may not think my getting a haircut is a big deal but it is. I have a young woman who normally cuts my hair. She’s great. She does a great cut for me but every once in a while her schedule and mine are worlds apart and I need to go out into the world of Rancho Cucamonga and get a trim. I had to cancel my appointment with my normal girl because my wife and I needed to fly to St. Louis for our nephew’s funeral. You may think I’m nuts but I prayed about where to go get a trim. “The Tavern” kept repeating in my heart. Yes, there’s a barber shop that sells beer here. Matter of fact, it’s right across the street from church. A young man named Daniel trimmed my hair and in the time we had together, he decided to renew his relationship with Jesus. He grew up believing but had turned and walked away. Daniel wanted to know if the church would even let him in the doors–he’s tatted up. I said, “Jesus would, I would and our church family would.” It’s only been a few weeks, but I’m praying Daniel will return to church–any church.

Is there anyone out there who is willing to be an Andrew for Jesus? I encourage you to go and tell the GOOD NEWS. Our world is so lost and hurting.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to go out from here this week and share with one person that you have found the Messiah.  Just think of what would happen.  Just think of what would happen in their lives and in their homes?  Just think of what would happen in their work places?  Just think of what would happen in the church and this community? If you aren’t brave enough to go, then tell! Write a letter, a card, an email or text, send a book, or a cool bible or a cross. This week–GO AND TELL. You can lead a horse to water–let them choose to drink everlasting water or not.


See You Sunday!

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 1/4/2022

Seed of Faith – Epiphany – Wait, Watch, Witness, Worship   By Pastor Dave  

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” Matthew 2:1-2

Dear Saintly Seed-Sowers,

EPIPHANY is Thursday, January 6th! Do you know that Epiphany is always 12 days after Christmas—January 6? Yes, the 12 days of Christmas!
Epiphany means “manifestation” and is the day that was set by the early church as the day God manifested Christ, the Savior, to the Gentiles–with the appearance of the wise-men in Bethlehem. There are 330 different prophecies of the coming of the Messiah in the Old Testament.  Matthew gives us four of them in chapter two of the book of Matthew alone.  Think of it for a minute; if you are a mathematician, what are the odds of four of the 330 prophecies being fulfilled by one person?  What are the odds of one person fulfilling all 330?  THIS is exactly what happens when Christ is born!

The story of the wise men visiting the Christ child is an intriguing one. I love the pic above! I added the 4 W’s and it helps me to remember what I have in common with these wise guys.

These wisemen waited, and when they saw the promise of the star fulfilled they went, they witnessed and worshiped. Can you comprehend this story?  This traveling caravan of wise-men and servants began a long trip to Israel simply because a particular star was in the sky, alerting them to the birth of the King of the Jews.  They traveled for several months before they finally met the Christ-child. I believe this is more than just a story to entertain us, it is a story to teach us about our own personal response to Christ, “the child born the king of the Jews.” First in the line-up of the W’s is WAIT.  Are you waiting? It’s okay.

What is so fascinating is the Greek wording in verse two, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  The verb that is used to describe to action of the wisemen is a present active verb, which means that they never stopped asking the question. Can you imagine a caravan of travelers coming into your town and walking all around asking anyone and everyone they see —  “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”  What a powerful witness!

I would ask you to take a few minutes today or this week to read the story found in Matthew 2:1-12.

Look at the action words —
they went — verse 9
they saw the star — verse 10
they were overjoyed — verse 10
they saw the child — verse 11
they bowed down and worship HIM — verse 11
they opened their treasure and presented him gifts — verse 11
they returned to their country by a different route — verse 12

Look at the characters in this story.  You have the wisemen or magi, King Herod, the chief priest and teachers of the law, all the people of Jerusalem who were asked one question — “Where is the ONE born KING of the Jews?” Of course, then you have Mary, Joseph and Jesus.  Have you ever thought about the responses of all these people?

So What?
Where are you in this story? Where are you in your journey to the King? Where are you as you follow the Star? Have you allowed the clouds of the past years overshadow the joy of Christ the King and Messiah being born a NEW for YOU!

The wise men WAITED, they WATCHED, they WENT, the WITNESSED and they WORSHIPED!  

How about you!?  I love when the OLD, OLD story become HIStory…which becomes our story, too. We can WAIT…and while we wait…we will WATCH…and when it’s time…we will GO…and we will WITNESS and. most importantly,, we will WORSHIP!

Have you given up on church during COVID? I beg you to straighten your crown (magi) and return to church…you may have gone a different way…it’s okay…we can WAIT together…we can GO together…we can WITNESS together and we WILL WORSHIP TOGETHER! And as we do, we can be GOD’S CHURCH together.

If you don’t have a church home, join us. If you do–return and practice these 4 W’s. God loves you, He really does. Let’s WORSHIP this newborn baby who has come to SAVE us.

Happy New Year!

Happy Epiphany! May Christ be manifested anew in you today and every day!

God loves you and do so do I,
Pastor Dave

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 12/10/2021

Seed of Faith – Room For Love by Pastor Dave  

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel—which means, God with us.”  Matthew 1:21-23

“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7

Dear Faithful Seed-Sowers,
We are in week two of Advent!  This week we lit the candle of LOVE! My wife came across a great acrostic for love this week:

L— Listen
O — Overlook
V — Value 
E — Encourage

I encourage you to put LOVE into practice this week and listen to those you love, overlook the little things and even some of the big things and forgive, then value your family and friendships, and then encourage others with the LOVE of God in your heart and home!

Home for Jesus was Bethlehem. Bethlehem! What do we know about Bethlehem? Why did God choose Bethlehem?

Bethlehem was a small town six miles southwest of Jerusalem. It is first mentioned in the Bible in relation to Jacob and Rachel. (Abraham, Isaac, then Jacob and Esau) Jacob had twelve sons; this is where we get the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob had several wives but Rachel was the love of his life. Rachel was the mother of Joseph (coat of many colors) and Benjamin. Rachel died giving birth to Benjamin. “So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb.” (Genesis 35:19-20) 

Jacob buried Rachel near Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. This all takes place 2,000 years before the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. The next time Bethlehem is mentioned in the Bible is in the Book of Ruth. We are told about the famine in the land and how Naomi and her husband left Bethlehem and traveled to Moab. Listen to how it is written in Ruth 1:1-2 — In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land, and a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab. The man’s name was Elimelech, his wife’s name Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.”

Because of a famine, Naomi and her husband left Bethlehem and headed across the Jordan River to live in a foreign land. Their sons take wives from Moab. Elimelech dies as do his two sons. Naomi is a widow and decides to head back home to Bethlehem. Ruth, a Moabite woman, was married to one of Naomi’s sons and insists on going back the Bethlehem with Naomi. Remember these powerful words in Ruth 1:16-17, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16-17)

Ruth is a very short book you can read in one sitting. In Ruth you will also find the story of Ruth and Boaz. Boaz is a relative of Naomi and the kinsman-redeemer who ends up marrying Ruth and providing for Naomi. They have a son and name him Obed. Obed has a son and names him Jesse, and Jesse has a son and names him David—as in the second king of Israel. This makes Ruth, the foreigner and a Moabite woman without Jewish blood, the great-grandmother of King David. This is powerful when you consider that prophecy declares the Messiah will come from the line of David and will be born in Bethlehem! Boaz was not just Ruth’s kinsmen redeemer…his blood made Jesus from the line of David, house of Judah! That is why Bethlehem is called the city of David. All of these people (except Ruth) were born in this little, farming town six miles south of Jerusalem, the town called Bethlehem.

 God is sovereign over time and place!

·         700 B.C. Micah prophesies the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. All this time God has been working.

·         God was preparing a place for the coming of the Messiah. Around 2000 B.C., Rachel is buried near Bethlehem with a pillar set up to make her place.

·         Seven to nine hundred years later (1375-1050 B.C.), God calls a foreigner by the name of Ruth into the story. Ruth, a foreigner, an outcast, and outsider makes her home with Naomi in Bethlehem. Boaz marries Ruth. Obed, Jesse, and King David are born.

·         Three to four hundred years (742-687 B.C) go by and here we are:  God sends the prophet Micah to tell the people that out of Bethlehem–will come the Messiah.

·         It is worth noting that the name Benjamin means “son of my right hand,” and the name David means “beloved.” Both of these names apply to our Lord, for He is the Beloved Son (Luke 3:22) at God’s right hand (Psalm 110:1)

In the Hebrew language Bethlehem means “House of Bread.”  Bethlehem was located in a fertile area in Judah and produced great crops of figs and wheat. Don’t you find it fascinating that here in Bethlehem, the “house of bread,” the Bread of Life was delivered from heaven to earth?

O little town of Bethlehem
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight

The Scriptures record the journey of the Jewish nation–God working out the ultimate purpose of having the Messiah born in Bethlehem, the house of bread, before the beginning of time or place. God is SOVEREIGN over time and place!

So What?
It is my prayer that as we journey through these Advent Sundays, we will come to realize that we are home. It is not a dream! You are home in God’s hope and love. Ever since the beginning of time, we have been planned and placed exactly right here into God’s story. We are home! We are not lost — Immanuel is here, “God is with us.”  God has been with us from the beginning of time to today. God has been working out His plan to bring us home for Christmas since Jacob and Rachael, Ruth and Boaz, David and Bathsheba, Mary, and Joseph—and Jesus! If we are with God this Christmas Season—we are not lost at all.

The “So what?” for us today is that God is sovereign over time and place. God is the Authority with supreme rank and power over all of time. God is working even when we do not see or understand. God is sovereign over where we are right this very second! And the same God who spoke to Micah, who spoke to Ruth and Boaz, who spoke to King David and to Joseph and Mary—this marvelous God has called us here–to this place and time–so we will find our hearts’ home in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus!

Here is what I heard as I prayed, studied, and sweated over “this message” for this Christmas season: “Dave, tell my people I have a plan. I have had a plan all along—since the beginning of time. Tell them about Micah, Ruth, Boaz, David, Zechariah, Isaiah, Elizabeth, Joseph, and Mary. Tell them the story again—about shepherds and angels and wise men. I want my people home for Christmas—home at the manger…home in Bethlehem…home where my ONE and ONLY Son was born. Home where LOVE is! We do not need all the bells and whistles. Keep it simple. I want my children to be home for Christmas.”

“Home” means a shelter, a house, a residence, or birthplace. This Christmas I believe with all of my heart that God wants our lives, our hearts, and our homes to be the shelter and residence for the Christ Child—and THAT is the real “so what?” for us this Sunday of Advent! As long as God is the ONE who is writing HIS STORY, we are not lost! We are HOME in His LOVE!

No matter where we travel to for the holidays, let’s be HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!
Count on God’s HOPE and LOVE to abide with us this Advent Season. We’re halfway through Advent! JOY is on deck…then PEACE!

REVIEW OF THOSE PASTOR DAVE acronyms for Advent:
HOPE:  Holy One Prepares Everyone….Heaven’s One Promise: Emmanuel
LOVE: Listen…Overlook…Value…Encourage!

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 12/3/2021

Seed of Faith – Advent Hope  By Pastor Dave  

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7

Dear Faithful and Fearless Seed Sowers,

It’s here: the first week of Advent. It is time to get all our Christmas tree, our Christmas decorations and set up our home.  Guess what pastors love about the 4-week Advent season? It is time for us to prepare our hearts for Christ!


What comes to your mind when you hear these two words?

Who or what is it that you are waiting on?

I remember when I had a mysterious, intriguing, and strange rash of oozing blisters on my legs and shoulders and chest. The year was 2013! I waited for 33 months as I saw fourteen different doctors. Each doctor told me they had no idea what was wrong with me. The Infectious Disease Doctor called in two other disease specialists into my room. Their diagnosis: no clue but you are intriguing. Listen, I didn’t want to be intriguing.  I was waiting to get rid of my 33-month-old rash!

How about you? What are you waiting for?

We have all been struggling with a world-wide pandemic that has caused many to quarantine, lock-down and even shutdown. It has been almost 2 years — 20 months of waiting, watching, worrying, and wondering — How Long, Lord?! How long do we have to wait?

“Wait” is a verb! Did you know that? I will say it again, “WAIT” is a verb. Waiting is an action that we do. Isn’t that kind of funny? Waiting is an action that we do…we wait. How exactly do we wait? One of my Bible Dictionaries defined “wait” this way: “to remain in readiness or expectation.” [i] In Scripture, the word “wait” normally suggests the anxious, yet confident, expectation by God’s people that the Lord will intervene on their behalf. Waiting, therefore, is the working out of hope. Did you hear that? When we wait—we are to remain in readiness and expectation. Think about what it is (or who it is) that you are waiting for. Now—remain confident that God will intervene. What we are doing when we wait? We are working out HOPE.

I love that thought, “Waiting is the working out of hope.”  “The expectation that the Lord will intervene on my behalf.”

We have been waiting for 20 months to hear some good news concerning Covid. As we wait, we hear that there is a new variant.(I find it interesting that they are using the Greek alphabet to name the variants.)

As I have work on this message, I have been reflecting on some of the people who had to wait in the Bible:

Abraham was given a promise that he would be the father of many nations yet it was not until he was 100 years old that his wife Sarah gave birth to Isaac. Can you imagine waiting until you are almost one hundred to see the birth of your son!? WAIT ... Remain in readiness. Remain in Expectation!

Then there is Jacob. Jacob worked for 7 years to marry Rachel only to find out that his father-in-law switched daughters on him, and he ended up marrying Leah. When Jacob found out what Laban had done, he then promised to work another 7 years for him in order to marry Rachel. Can you imagine waiting and working for 14 years for the right to marry the one you love? WAIT: Remain in readiness. Remain in expectation.

How about Moses? Moses is orphaned as a 3-month-old baby and grows up in Pharaoh’s palace for the next 40 years, then the following 40 years he lives in the wilderness taking care of his father-in-law’s sheep. After that, Moses spends 40 years wandering in the wilderness caring for the people of Israel. That is a lifetime of waiting. Can you imagine waiting 40 years to enter the Promised Land? Can you imagine seeing it from across the river but not ever being able to enter it? WAIT: Remain in readiness. Remain in expectation.

What about David? David grows up taking care of his father’s sheep. He writes psalms (songs) and plays the harp. David is anointed king by Samuel, and slays a giant named Goliath. Did you know it took 15 years after he was anointed king to actually become the king of Judah? Can you imagine waiting 15 years for the promise of a promotion or a raise? WAIT: Remain in readiness. Remain in expectation.

When you turn to the New Testament, we read about an old priest by the name of Zechariah.

Zechariah, an old high priest, waited to have the opportunity to bring the incense into the Holy of Holy’s. It was finally his turn and in he went into the Holy of Holies—by himself, with a rope tied to his foot—in case of emergency—they could drag him out.

Hope. Zechariah had prayed and prayed for years and years for his wife Elizabeth to have a child. Now he was an old man and his wife was beyond childbearing age. Scholars believe that Zechariah and Elizabeth had been married for about 50 years. We do not know how old Zechariah is but that we do know that he had been waiting for a long time to hear from God. The Jewish people had been waiting four hundred years to hear from God. They were waiting for a Messiah. My guess is that Zechariah had been waiting and hoping for a child for 80 years. Zechariah was going through the motions, putting in his time, punching his high priest’s “to do” list: “Fill the candles, clean the pulpit, mop the entry, dust the altar…” And then, lightning struck: Zechariah’s name was drawn from the hat! More like his straw was picked, his lot was chosen; and Zechariah was chosen to enter the holy of holies and offer the yearly sacrifice! Zechariah’s been at this for an exceptionally long time. Five times every year Zechariah made the five-mile hike to Jerusalem to go serve in the temple for the feasts. Now from the lot of the 18,000 priests, Zechariah’s name is chosen. Look at those odds … 1 in 18,0000. Is now the time for God to speak? WAIT WITH CONFIDENCE, and EXPECTATION…work out HOPE as you wait.

Zechariah means — “The Lord Remembers.”

I wonder if there were times when Zechariah thought that the Lord did not remember him. I bet there were times when Zechariah was willing to give up, give in and stop believing. “I’m too old. Elizabeth is too old. I have been praying this same prayer for way too long. Maybe God has forgotten me.”

How many times do you and I want to give up, give in and not believe?

What are the odds that some of us reading this today are ready to give up, give in and throw in the towel?
Don’t do it. Be like Abraham. Be like Jacob. Be like Moses. Be like David. Be like Zechariah. WAIT IN HOPE!

In our Scripture reading from Isaiah 7, we hear the Prophet Isaiah challenge King Ahaz to ask God for a sign. Ahaz says that he will not put God to the test of a sign because he has secretly made an alliance with the Assyrians to protect him. In essence, King Ahaz was not waiting on God to help him. King Ahaz had taken matters into his own human hands. Instead of waiting on God, he forced a deal with the enemy.

How often do we act like King Ahaz?

How often do we take matters into our own hands?

How hard is it to WAIT on God?

I can tell you that it is pretty darn hard to wait.

Even though King Ahaz would not ask for a sign, God gave him, and the people of Israel, a sign. That sign is proclaimed in Isaiah 7:14 — Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Do you remember what “Immanuel” means? “Immanuel” means “God is with us.” Here in Isaiah, the promise of the sign given by God is that of IMMANUEL–God is with us. God is with us! God is working on our behalf even when we cannot see or feel Him working! God is working in our lives while we wait.

Write that down on the table of your heart: God is working while you wait!

Dr. Arthur Pierson once told of being alone in the study of the great man of faith and achievement, George Mueller. Thinking it would be a good time to look at the great man’s Bible, he opened it and was thumbing through its pages when he came to a verse in Psalms where it reads, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord” (Ps. 37:23).

Opposite it, on the margin, Mueller had made this notation: “And the stops, too.”


Has God put some stops in your life?

Then WAIT.

What if we turned WAIT into an acronym?




  1.  While we are waiting, God is working.
  2.  We can wait with hope. We can remain in readiness. Remain in expectation. We can wait and trust that God will intervene.

I still have two times the lethal limit of lead in my body, I am down from 5 times! I have been waiting to detox this lead since September of 2017, 4 years. The pandemic has but a halt on my chelation, so I’m waiting. But NOW I wait with confidence that God is with me.

IMMANUEL. I wait knowing that the day is coming when I will be lead free. Like Abraham, Moses, Zechariah—and all of us who wait…it is my prayer that we will learn to wait in hope … “remain in readiness or expectation…having the anxious, yet confident, expectation that the Lord will intervene on our behalf.”

As you may know, my wife is very creative. The other day she walked into my study area and announced she’s changing my acronym for the Advent season. My trustworthy and true acronym for HOPE is HOPE…. Heaven’s One Promise: Emmanuel. God with us.
Jac wanted something new for this Advent season. She loved that Advent means PREPARATION! We really are to prepare our hearts for the Christ Child this Advent. Here is her acronym: HOPE…Holy One Prepares EVERYONE! “Get it,” she said. “This way while I wait, I can trust that God is busy preparing everyone for Christmas!”

Let’s wait with readiness and expectation that GOD IS WITH US. God is with us as we get our decorations out. God is with us as we prepare our homes. God is with us as we make our lists but most importantly, GOD IS WITH US AS WE WAIT.

What are you waiting for? Who are you waiting for? Your homework is to go ahead and start preparing your home for Christmas. But…when you get a momentary setback of time, just remember–God is with you while you wait so wait in readiness for God to intervene. I’m waiting to be free of lead poisoning; 33 months is nothing for God. I’m praying for you, too, as you wait in hope and prepare your heart for the reason for the season.

Let’s prepare our hearts for Christmas.


God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.