By Bobby Schuller
It’s natural to love the warm and fruitful periods of life; those times when things seem to be orderly, productive, and peaceful. But how do we find comfort when the winds of change blow the last clinging leaf of familiarity from the branch of our existence and we feel cut off? To these questions, Jesus invites us to learn from the flowers of the field (Luke 12:27). Though they neither toil nor spin, they teach us that each season has a reason, and that hope will spring forth if we endure the process unto completion. Here are a handful of things we learn by studying the evolution of spring’s blooms:
> Power is in the planting. Nothing grows unless it’s planted. Bulbs or seeds must be present in order for fruit or flowers to spring forth. Likewise, God has placed within each of us the seed of divine destiny, but we must be grounded to see it fulfilled. When we drink the living water of His Word and stay connected to His Body, the Church, in fellowship and community, we position ourselves to develop deep roots and bring forth a harvest of His righteousness (Psalm 92:13).
Roots don’t immediately bear fruit. Once a bulb or seed is planted, its roots break through its tough outer layer in due time. However, even as they emerge and establish their own systems, they have to go deep before they can go high. In a similar manner, we must give our full attention to being rooted and established in our faith before we can effectively bring forth fruit in ministry. Growth, healing, and wholeness take time, and it’s essential that we “go deep” with God so we are anchored and can withstand the buffeting winds of life (Colossians 2:6,7).
Soil is essential. No seed can cultivate roots without the proper soil. Soil is nourishment, and it provides the nutrients needed for growth and strength. For the Christian, our soil is the love of God as revealed in the pages of Scripture. Without understanding and meditating on how perfectly beloved we are, we can be uprooted and made ineffective before we ever bear fruit (Ephesians 3:17 NLT).
Hibernation is holy. Not all stages of development are active. In fact, many types of flowers, seeds and root systems remain dormant for months, and though they yield nothing, this period is critical for the resumption of healthy growth. Likewise, each of us endure seasons when we’re hurt, lost, or alone and God seems silent. In these times, we see no evidence of forward movement and often feel frozen or stuck in our situation. Nevertheless, we are being built up and strengthened for the harvest that will come when our winter finally turns into spring (Ecclesiastes 3).
Growth is gradual. Most of a flower’s development takes place beneath the surface, and though nothing is evident to others from above the soil, right below the ground, roots, leaves, and stems begin to take form. Human life is like this, too. While people may not approve of the slow pace of development, God’s time is not ours, and when we submit every area of ourselves to His Lordship, He will faithfully cultivate the spiritual and emotional fortitude needed to spring up and thrive. We must simply be patient (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
Flowering is fantastic, but it’s not the finish. Though the harvest is short and blooms are only evident for a few months, they are the farmer’s pride and joy. It’s like this in our lives as Christians, too — fruit is what we long for, and it’s what makes the Heavenly Sower’s heart extremely happy. Yet our Savior is simultaneously cultivating a variety of crops within our souls, and some take longer than others to spring up. Therefore, He continues to rotate the soil of our spirit, and He uses the spiritual nutrients inherited in prior harvests to nourish future growth and water the lives of others (John 4:35-37).
My friend, whatever season you find yourself in today, I’m praying that Jesus — the One who provides the seed and the soil — will cause your roots to go down deep, and make the fruit of your faith spring up as a source of hope to everyone who beholds its vibrancy!
God loves you and so do I!
Singing a New Song with YOU!
Never has the world been so ready for a fresh season! As we see signs of hope in the global fight against COVID-19, all of us are breathing a sigh of relief and pondering the possibilities of the future. Thankfully, the promise of spring means that new life always emerges from death, and we can grab hold of it, even as we grapple with grief. Because we know JESUS, we can have complete confidence that every loss we’ve endured will be RESURRECTED to something better. As we allow faith to ARISE from deep within our souls, He causes our hearts to COME ALIVE and uses us, in harmony with others, to create a brighter tomorrow!
This is exactly what YOU do for Hour of Power!
To remember the restoration made possible by Christ, we’re thrilled to offer our Easter pearl bracelet with a gift of just $20 or more to the ministry this month. This beautiful stretchy bracelet features a string of faux pearls adorned with a sparkly, hand-set crystal cross charm, and when worn by you are someone you love, is sure to be a constant reminder of God’s goodness and resurrection power! With a generous donation of $40 or more, we’ll send you the bracelet AND our brand new Hour of Power virtual choir CD — Harmony: Peace Through Praise. Featuring the stirring voices and heavenly harmonies of our amazing choir, this moving compilation boasts twelve timeless anthems. As you listen, we pray you’ll be ushered into the Lord’s presence and inspired to embrace His renewing strength in every area of your life!
Request your gift by calling us today at (866) GET-HOPE (438-4673), or visit here.
The Hour of Power Virtual Choir: Songs of Hope in a Hard Time
When our country shut down last year, churches all over the nation scrambled to find a way to bring people together in worship, even while physically apart. Thanks to the wonder of technology, most, including Shepherd’s Grove, were able to quickly transition to an online format; however, continuity of worship was another story. Since music is our hallmark, we typically had 50 to 100 talented performers in our sanctuary every weekend. But with COVID regulations (especially the potential for spread through singing), there was no way we could safely continue. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and as we prayed, God did something greater than we could have imagined…
Our Hour of Power virtual choir has become a gift to millions around the world in the midst of a hard time. Though it requires many hours and multiple steps on the part of each singer every week, something powerful happens when all the voices come together. While not physically sharing the same space, when members — unified in purpose — lift their spirits in praise, God reveals Himself and blesses the hearts of those who hear. This is profound, and it’s a wonderful reminder that as Christians, even if we feel alone, we never are. The Lord is with us, and we’re surrounded by a family of fellow saints that is larger and more diverse than anything we can comprehend. When we all sing in harmony, we inherit divine peace through the power of our praise!
Giving is Truly Living: David’s Story
I am 65-years-old now, and while I am no longer a formal member of any church, I was quite active in my home church in Pennsylvania when I was younger. My American Baptist upbringing taught tithing, and I learned at an early age that the things I thought were “mine” were really just on loan from God, and it was up to me to see that they were used for His glory. But while glorifying God in a church setting is important, He is equally glorified when a child gets a wholesome meal, or when a lonely neighbor is invited to a party, or when a homeless person has a pillow to sleep on. Though I struggled to find His calling for my life, and after years of seeking — unsuccessfully — for some big task that He wanted me to do, the simple answer finally came, “Just be Me to everyone you meet.” Simple, yet profound, and it made perfect sense.
God has abundantly blessed me. I am not a wealthy man, but I have far more than I need to live on, and the joy of my senior years will be to give it all away. Every day, I try to find ways that my time, talent, and treasure can be shared. Maybe it will be an extra-generous tip for a kind waitress, or fixing a neighbor’s computer, or paying off someone’s Christmas layaway balance at Walmart, or listening attentively to a neighbor’s stories about his grandkids (for the umpteenth time), or loaning money to a friend and never even thinking of getting repaid, or taking a homeless man to lunch once a month. Or maybe it will be giving to a ministry that touches me profoundly, and whose pastor is anointed by God for a very special work. And THAT is my life’s calling… to GIVE, as God has given to me. And when my life is over, the giving will not stop, because my estate will all go to charity, with Hour of Power getting a tithe off the top.
— David, Legacy Donor
To learn more about how you can update or create your Will or Living Trust, we invite you to call us at 714-971-4111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Life, Every Day!
By Hannah Schuller
I love Easter! Everything about this time of year feels new and refreshing. Spring brings wildlife, sunshine, and the smell of fresh flowers. And Easter reminds us of how loved we are by Jesus — so much that He gave His life to save us. HE IS RISEN, and this is truly reason to celebrate!
As I’ve watched the seasons change this year, I’ve been reflecting on how we can maintain the spirit of Easter each day by holding onto our joy and celebrating life’s special moments. Right now, optimism is natural since new beginnings are everywhere, but feelings can be fleeting, especially as spring fades. Thankfully, Easter reminds us of Jesus’ TRIUMPH, and though circumstances change, His Spirit in us prevails in all weather. This means that even when skies are gray and clouds eclipse the sun, God is still triumphant in our hearts!
Acts 4:33 says, “With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”
No matter what we see, we can continue walking in Jesus’ resurrection power, because He defeated sin and death! What an amazing source of hope and confidence for us. Just as His grace was upon His disciples 2,000 years ago, it’s upon each of us now.
I want to encourage YOU, beloved child of God, to go deeper in celebration this year. Embrace the renewal of spring in your heart, and continue to carry it throughout the year. Let the resurrection of Jesus fill you with hope for the future, and rest in knowing that NEW LIFE goes beyond this day. His mercies are new every morning, and celebrating Easter year-round means you can keep His hope ALIVE, even as the seasons shift!
God loves you and so do I!
What’s Happening on Hour of Power?
- Upcoming Sermon Series: This month, Pastor Bobby concludes his series “The Prophet’s Dream,” which looks at how Old Testament prophets point us to the Messiah.
- Special Guests: Last month, we welcomed guest preacher Bayless Conley to the broadcast, in addition to Nita Whitaker and the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir (virtually). If you missed any episodes, be sure to catch up here.
- Upcoming Guests: This month, we will welcome guest preacher Christine Caine to the broadcast in addition to the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir.*
* Programming information is subject to change.
What’s Happening at Shepherd’s Grove?
- Our Palm Sunday service, though different this year, featured virtual music from our Hour of Power Choir and the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir as well as a powerful message by Pastor Bobby.
- We are celebrating Easter! We are blessed to remember our Savior’s resurrection safely with our church family, both socially-distanced on campus and via live stream this weekend.
- Our missions department has a new focus for the second quarter of 2021 and will be actively engaged in deepening awareness about the issues of foster care and adoption.