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Rock Report by Pastor Paul

This is a blog that comes from my personal devotions each day. It will also include sermons as I have to delete them from the audio section of the website. This blog will also keep you up to date with what is happening at the Rock in Strathroy Ontario 

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  • May24Sun

    Bear Much Fruit

    May 24, 2020
    Call to Worship: Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” Psalm 25:1 “In you, Lord my God, I put my trust. 2 I trust in you.” Psalm 119:89 “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. 90 Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures.” Psalm 68:20 “Our God is a God who saves; from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death. 32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, 33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens, who thunders with mighty voice. 34 Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the heavens. 35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!”
     
    Songs: Jesus Is -  The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir   
    King of Glory - Passion & Kristian Stanfill
    I Will Bless the Lord - Steve Green 
     
    Scripture:  John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.”
     
    Song:  Haven't Seen It Yet - Danny Gokey  
             
    Sermon:  “Bear Much Fruit”

    Closing Song: Psalm 34  - The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir  
     
    Benediction: Psalm 67
     
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Sermon: “Bear Much Fruit”
                During this Journey to Pentecost, scripture has shown us the power available to all who believe. We have seen the sick healed, the dead raise, demons cast out and the kingdom of God come near. This was the church and from Pentecost on, the church was supposed to be clothed with power from on high and do as Jesus did. What we read about in scripture should be what we see in the church. God’s plan was to dwell among us and empower us but as scripture shows us we must obey. When we obey, this power from on High changes the world and continues defeating satan. Paul said, Colossians 1:3 “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel 6 that has come to you. In the same way, the gospel is bearing fruit and growing throughout the whole world—just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and truly understood God’s grace. 7 You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, 8 and who also told us of your love in the Spirit. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” Paul was sent out in power to bear fruit and Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”
                As we saw this week God did amazing things through His disciples. It didn’t matter if they were the least or the greatest, God changed their hearts and the world was changed. The church was to continue in that power and do amazing things but that didn't happen. This is where most people get off track. They think the bible is wrong because they are not seeing what takes place in the bible so they change it to satisfy the emptiness. They don’t see power so they teach power is no longer available. What is not being taught is to repent so the power returns. It is not because the bible is wrong or doesn’t mean what it says. 2 Samuel 22:31 “As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless.” The bible is very clear about our lack of obedience. Our disobedience leads to a lack of power.
                I was thinking the other day, doesn’t it feel strange how our society now lives in fear of the unclean. Whether you have the virus or not, everyone is goes through their days crying out, unclean, unclean! The invisible virus has caused us to look a little like Leviticus. Leviticus 13:45 “Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.” That sounds a lot like our society except now it is called social distancing. Barber shops and hairdressers not open, and hair continues to grow unless you take the risk and do it yourself. I won’t touch the torn clothes, but people seem to be comfortable in the comfy clothes. Then we are told masks don’t help but now we are supposed to wear masks. Shopping is now an obstacle course, so make sure you follow the arrows and stand in the right spot. It feels like some guy whistles and you go stand in the next box, like sheep being herded by a dog. I even saw a beach in Southern France with roped off sections for sun-tanning sheep. That almost seems to hard to believe. Many have been alone and secluded, not even able to participate in funerals and weddings. Walking down the road you go around those coming toward you. Life has become an obstacle course while you cry out unclean unclean!
                I am still amazed at the devastation this virus has caused and no one seems to know what to do as everything keeps changing. In a moment it can flare up. Wouldn’t it really be amazing if the church was able to do what it was supposed to do in the first place. Yes most churches are not meeting in their buildings but continue to gather online. Some are protesting even to the point of suing the government, which sounds like the church of course. Some are trying to be martyrs but no one has said you can’t teach the gospel, at least here. Bearing fruit is not filling buildings. Many in the church have become very good at filling buildings but dismal failures at being filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is the only way we can bear much fruit. Yes most in the church will say they are filled already yet there lives don’t show that they are clothed with power from on high. Again you go to God’s word to see if the fruit is good. For most there is only a form of godliness and no power. We have to be very discerning here when looking at the church as you see it today and how the church should be as described in scripture. How it should be, should be just like scripture. Jesus empowers His disciples to go, heal the sick, cast out demons and preach repentance so that the kingdom comes near. What we are seeing is just a gathering of people in a building and we are not even seeing that during this pandemic. Recently President Trump “demanded that governors reopen churches, synagogues and mosques “right now,” “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship,” the president told reporters at the White House on Friday. “It’s not right. So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.” Trump added: “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now. For this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America we need more prayer, not less.” One reporter responded, “I’m dying to go back to church. The question that we’re asking you, and would like to have asked the president and Dr Birx, is is it safe?”
                First of all like many others, President Trump has equated churches with synagogues and mosques. This is what this pandemic has revealed because there is no power in the church. There are stories about different pastors who defied the virus that have died and congregations where the virus has spread. Opening a building doesn’t give power but repentance does which is the only way the church will be essential again. Opening churches and a call to prayer and repentance are two different things. While many are praying, there is only one way. John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. The President should have called on the nation to repentance and a return to the word of God. For generations the building has become the symbol of Christianity but if you have watched any live-streamed services, those buildings are empty which is also symbolic of the powerless church. Filling them back up again is not the answer; turning from our wicked ways is.
                Jesus gives his disciples authority and power to do the same as He did. If you call yourself a Christian, you believe and celebrate that Jesus lives and sits at the right hand of the father. You also then believe he sent the Holy Spirit. If we are followers of Jesus, we would also be his disciples. Matthew 28:18 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” John said Matthew 3:11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Peter said Acts 2:38 “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” Acts 6:7 “So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith.” So according to many, there are only 12 people plus Paul in the world that received power from Jesus when he was alive but he is still alive. Matthew 10:1 “Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 7 As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy drive out demons.” We were told to make disciples but todays disciples are powerless so are they really disciples of Jesus Christ? A disciple is “a follower or student of a teacher, leader, or philosopher,” so it really depends who you have decided to follow as to the available power. The presence of power is the proof. Disciples will do as Jesus did, so you have to ask whose disciples are those who say there is no power available. How sad for those who believe that that all the gifts of the Spirit are not available for us even though Jesus is alive and His authority and power could be available to all who truly believe and turn from their wicked ways.
                Today there is much confusion as to what fruit actually looks like since the bible has been set aside. That is another deception. The bible looks front and centre in the church but it is not as tradition, experience and reason replace the authority of the word of God. Yes many will say they are bearing much fruit because their churches have grown yet they teach a false gospel and remain powerless. Some churches have exploded in size yet there is no power. Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Notice there is still fruit growing but not all fruit is good fruit. Isaiah 5:2 “He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.” Bad fruit is not the gospel. Bad fruit does not have power from on high to go into the world and heal the sick, cast out demons and have the kingdom of God come near.
                As we read earlier the church is to go and bear much fruit. Romans 7:4 “So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. We read earlier John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:8 “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” We were called to be fruitful from the very beginning of time. Genesis 1:22 “God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” Genesis 9:1 [ God’s Covenant With Noah ] “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth.” 7 “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.” Genesis 17:2 “Then I will make my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers. 3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.” Genesis 28:3 “May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”
                Because of Jesus, we are also part of the promise to Abraham except the whole world is now the land of promise. Galatians 3:29 “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” God wants to make us fruitful yet man decided to go and do their own thing. This ended up producing deceptive fruit that has led people astray. Now people who go to church think what they see in the church is how it is supposed to be. They are told God doesn’t empower His disciples anymore and it looks from human eyes that God is blessing the deception but in reality it is delusion sent by God. Hosea 10:13 “But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors.” When we stop relying on our own strength and return to the word of the Lord, God says he will pour out His blessing on us yet most don’t feel there is a problem so why would they change. Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.”
                Nehemiah gives us a picture of the church. Nehemiah 1:3 “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.” He then went back to the Promised Land and after his inspection said, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” This is what the church should be doing but if we look at Haggai we see a rebuke from God. Haggai 1:2 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’” 3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.” Amos 8:11 “The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine through the land— not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.”
                Today there is only a remnant of the church left. Most have followed other gospels and have turned away from the Way and Truth. There is much deception in the church and the power of God has been removed. This removal of power has led to our enemies taking the church captive. There is a stubborn refusal to turn back to God. Jeremiah 7:24 “But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward.” Jeremiah 18:11 “Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’ 12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’” Disaster came to them in the form of the Babylonians and they were taken captive just as the church has been held hostage. The deception is so great that the church while charging full speed backwards, think they are following God and bringing glory to Him but there is no fruit. Jesus said “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
                So obviously it is hard to bear much fruit when the enemy is ravaging the land. Judges 6:1 “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. 2 Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. 3 Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. 4 They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count them or their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it. 6 Midian so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help.” This is what the church looks like but doesn’t cry out for help. If the church would return to the word of God, they  would see that the Word of God and the church do not line up. Jesus once again has to be the head of the church. Since this is not happening presently, something else has been going on. 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” Satan Is working hard to deceive the church because he knows that if we turn back to God he is finished. Jesus came to destroy His work and we as His disciples were to do as he did and continue His work.
                There is good news is spite of all the chaos we are seeing in the world today. God promised David that there would always be a remnant of His people. The amazing part of the passage we read in Haggai, Haggai 2:1 “The word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 2 “Speak to Zerubbabel  to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4 But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’ 6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Amos 9:14 “I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.” If we would just obey, God said Leviticus 26:3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 9 “I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” Zechariah 8:12 “The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.” Psalm 92:12 “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, 15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
                So even though the enemy is attacking, God’s promise to David stands. Habakkuk said, Habakkuk 2:16 “Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. 17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, 18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” When Hezekiah was king, The Babylonians had conquered the land and Jerusalem was next. Hezekiah poured out his heart to God and said. 2 kings 19:15 “Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. 16 Give ear, Lord, and hear; open your eyes, Lord, and see; listen to the words Sennacherib has sent to ridicule the living God. 17 “It is true, Lord, that the Assyrian kings have laid waste these nations and their lands. 18 They have thrown their gods into the fire and destroyed them, for they were not gods but only wood and stone, fashioned by human hands. 19 Now, Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God.” The answer came from Isaiah. “‘Virgin Daughter Zion despises you and mocks you. Daughter Jerusalem tosses her head as you flee. 22 Who is it you have ridiculed and blasphemed? Against whom have you raised your voice and lifted your eyes in pride? Against the Holy One of Israel! 23 By your messengers you have ridiculed the Lord. 29 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah: “This year you will eat what grows by itself, and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 30 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. 31 For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. “The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. 32 “Therefore this is what the Lord says concerning the king of Assyria: “‘He will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here. He will not come before it with shield or build a siege ramp against it. 33 By the way that he came he will return; he will not enter this city, declares the Lord. 34 I will defend this city and save it, for my sake and for the sake of David my servant. 35 That night the angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the Assyrian camp. The King Sennacherib was killed.”
                This is the hope the remnant has and once more the church will take root and bear much fruit. Deuteronomy 11:8 “Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 9 and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 The land you are entering to take over is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you planted your seed and irrigated it by foot as in a vegetable garden. 11 But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 12 It is a land the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. 13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied. 16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut up the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the Lord is giving you. 18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21 so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.
                There is good news. Song of Songs 2:11 “See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. 12 Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. 13 The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.” Isaiah 27:2 “In that day—“Sing about a fruitful vineyard: 3 I, the Lord, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. 6 In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.” Isaiah 4:2 “In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel.” Isaiah 11:1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” Luke 24:44 “He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”