2 July 2001

Last week, as I was sitting on my deer stand, I enjoyed one of those rare displays of God's beautiful creation. As I gazed across the cut-over there were millions of downy white seeds floating across the opening. For three hours, this spectacle gave the appearance of gigantic snowflakes as the warm southern wind lifted the seeds from their stalks and sent them spiraling northward to land in some remote corner of the woods and fields. The setting sun shone through my entertainment adding the final touches to the backdrop of God's beautiful picture. This was something that I knew I could not put in my pocket and carry home. A camera could not capture it and I doubt a movie screen could hold it. As I enjoyed the splendor I thought of God's wisdom as the earth was re-seeded in this way for just one species of plant. As each seed parachuted its way to earth and found its own particular nesting place I thought of Romans 8:28-30, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are he called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." When Paul wrote "all things", did that include the exact spot each seed would land? Did the fact that one seed landed here and another seed landed there "work together for good" to them that love God? My mind was settled when I left that day. As I considered the many "things" that take place every day in God's creation, both good and bad, beautiful and horrible, from words to actions, I realized that the particular place a seed might land had nothing to do with Paul's list of "all things". The word "all" must always be considered in its own particular setting. Here it speaks of God's eternal purposes. Surely, the unfolding of God's creation could not add to nor take away from the eternal decrees of an unchangeable God. It could not change the names of those that God foreknew in love because the text says more than that. It explains the "things" that work together for good. When Paul explained the "things" that work together for good, he spoke of predestination, calling, justification, and glorification. These beautiful tokens of God's grace are the nuts and bolts of our salvation. They were all consummated by Christ upon the cross. Predestinated, means that God predetermined something. He predetermined people to live with Him in heaven. I believe they will. If we read on, we will find them to be the same people that are "called" from death in sins to life in Christ. He continues to tell us that these are justified from their sin by the blood of His cross and they will be glorified and changed into the "image of Christ" when He returns. One does not have to know Greek and Hebrew to understand such simple language given by the apostle. This language of security is Christ honoring. We must end as Paul did in his cadence of security, "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? ... "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" the answer is obvious. Not the place a seed lands or any thing else will separate, change, or alter God's purposes for His chosen and redeemed family. Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, at Donaldson. Services begin at 10:30 each Sunday morning. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor