The title of this week’s article might seem a little strange when compared to the title of the column — “Something To Think About.” But it’s very appropriate for the information I am about to share with you.
Most of you know that I am a bi-vocational pastor (pastor and another job) so I am not a financial burden to our church. For the past “who-knows-how-many-years” I have sold life insurance. But after so long, I decided I needed a break and began to look at something else. I came across an ad for a Biologicals Field Rep wanted in Central Ohio. What is a Biologicals Field Rep you ask? Well…a certain company has formulated a product that will help the bacteria and fungi and enzymes in the soil to better break down the fertilizers that farmers use on their fields and increase root growth which in turn provides additional yield for their corn, soybeans, etc. That is layman’s terms for “it makes the plants eat more so they grow more so they produce more.”
Now…I’m not a farmer, never have been, never claimed to be. But, if someone told me that there was a product that would increase my crop yield, it was affordable, was proven with great results and would work for me, I’d be the first one putting it on my crops. I have talked to numerous farmers in the past month and found that some of them are skeptical. Some tend to look at new products as “snake oil.” You know, the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” And, several farmers have shared with me that they have seen of or heard of someone they know who has been “taken” by a product that was supposed to do something and didn’t. Haven’t we all. I know I have purchased my fair share of products that are supposed to do it all and haven’t. Yet, there are other farmers who are willing to give it a try because they want their bottom line to increase. So they are trying this product, splitting fields and are going to see if what I say is true or not. I believe they are going to be quite happy when harvest comes.
Which got me to thinking. Insurance is a product that cannot be seen. Yet, people buy it because they see a need. This biological product is, for all matters, invisible because you cannot see immediate results. It comes in a gallon jug and looks like green water. One day, you will…but for now, you cannot. Likewise with salvation. I have yet to meet someone who has “seen” salvation. I have experienced salvation. I know what it has done for my life. I know how I felt before I was saved and how I feel now. I know how my life was before I got saved, and what it’s like now. And one day…I am going to “see” that it is what the Bible says it is — eternal life, in Heaven with God. What could be any better than that? But when I talk with farmers and attempt to share with them what our product will do for them, sometimes I am met with skepticism. One farmer told me, “If I bought everything on the market that said it would increase my crop yield, I’d be broke.” And he’s right. But that shouldn’t keep him from looking at what is available and make an intelligent decision based upon years of research and tons of facts.
Likewise, there are many religions “on the market” and no one has the time or resources to explore each and every one of them and decide which is the best. Notice…I said “religions.” There is a difference. Just like products on the market, whether for agricultural use or not, there are many products that are marketed to do it all. Some simply do not. Religions are typically marketed to do it all too. This religion will cause you to have your best life ever. This religion will cause you to be blessed if you just name it and claim it. This religion will pour out blessings on you if you will simply plant a seed faith offering into the particular ministry. But do you know what Jesus said? “Come unto Me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” And He does. Jesus also says if we accept Him as our Savior (accepting what He did on the cross to pay for our sins) we can live our eternal life with Him. (John 3:1-7; Romans 10:9-10;13 and I. John 5:13) The basic teaching of the Bible is God loves you. Jesus died for your sin debt. And if we accept Him into our life and receive the free gift of eternal life, we will spend our eternity with God. If we refuse to do so, we will spend our eternity in Hell.
Just as some people are skeptical about a product that is for sale, others are skeptical about salvation because of all the religions that have false promises. But one day, there will be a harvest, and those who have trusted Jesus will be glad of the decision they made. What about you? Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Savior yet? Why not do that today? Call me, I’d be glad to talk with you and show you how you can be born again into the family of God. And visit with us on Sunday. We’re growing and we’d love to have you and your family grow with us. And that’s Something To Think About for this week.
Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at (740) 852-7800, e-mail him at m.thad.gifford.com or at their website www.3c-church.org.