Paul Boyd - Mountain Ranch - 2006

We are thankful to be here. Thanks to those who've helped me these past days. The Spirit says the year ahead of us will be the best yet. Don’t forget the harvest - that's the aim and purpose of all of this, the best of all. Even before the seed is sown, the farmer's not thinking of all the toil, but of the harvest. All this preparation of universes, and of our special world, and of one special kind of being He can have fellowship with. Death is the point of change when we go from life into eternity - death is the harvest. Koreans give audible vent to their grief, and pity us Americans who don't scream and tear their hair. There's a reason for this. Some spoke of leaving convention and going back into the real world. But this, this convention is the real world, and it extends into eternity. All the smoke screens and lights and noise are temporary. We want to get a good grip on this real world that goes on into eternity. 

A little boy asked, “What is gravity? Why do we have gravity?” Because God uses it to teach us which are the things that will never ascend into heaven. If you let go and it drops, then just let it go, because it is temporary. If we will receive this seed of God in our hearts and nurture it, it will grow. We can look back to some of our thoughts and feelings and see the seed is growing. All human civilization is subject to gravity.  At harvest, we find that empty shell where the seed was.  The coconut is one of the largest seeds.  Just put the seed into damp soil and both will root and a sprout will come.  You can't fool a seed by turning it upside down; the roots always go downwards and the sprout goes upward.  In wheat, after a week, the seed is consumed.  For the coconut, it takes a month to get an empty shell.  A spongy thing grows inside the coconut and draws all of the goodies out of it until the coconut is empty. 

At the Asian games, the first Korean gold medalist was a skinny Korean girl. The girl came from a very poor family, but she could run.  Someone found her and got her a coach. The coach taught her how to give her all in the 100 meter run (not in 101 meters). She was a winner, a champion.  We need to use our all.  As we get older, we can't do as much and there is a danger of slacking off in our commitment.  We need to give it all.  We saw 500 High School boys running a race and some slowed down right before they reached the tape.  Rush the tape. You won't need your strength afterward. As the grain forms, there's the milk stage and then the dough stage and then the covering turns color — that’s the time for harvest.  

Do you know what that expression "the fields are white unto harvest" means? The grain is golden when it ripens but if it waits too long, it turns white and is in danger of being lost and being blown away. Harvest time is hot, dry, sweaty, "work until you drop" time but the farmer never cries in harvest. Spectators never lament as the runners near the end of the race and say, "Oh, dear, they are almost finished." Will that willest good alone.  Living in this world we find this hard to grasp.  Everything God has planned is for our good. God's people are not “lucky;"  there is blessing, there is loss, but it is not luck. 

How do we pray effectively? Jesus taught us that the way to begin our prayer is not, "I've made so many mistakes this week," but rather, "Hallowed be Thy name."  Where is Jesus now? At God's right hand.  This is a perfect arrangement; we can get help because our Savior is at God's right hand. Have you ever thought about the testimony in a court of law?  You are under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.  Thoughts are not allowed in a court of law; only what we've said, done, and seen.  Our meetings would be quite short if we followed this in our testimonies. 

I was going to speak on Luke 5, where Jesus was kindly calling and entreating Peter.  Many people were there, and Jesus taught them.  Peter would have rather taken a nap after toiling all night, but he pushed off in his boat.  As a result, Peter had the best seat and heard Jesus the best of any.   Then Jesus asked him to push out into the deep.  Peter might have said, "I am a commercial fisherman and I know how to fish." But he said "Nevertheless, at Thy word, I will let down the net." Mary also said something similar, golden statements, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to Thy word." Afterward, Peter could have said, "And to think I doubted the Son of God." When the apostles first left all, their very first experience with Jesus was they saw a leper cleansed, "This was worth far more than a lifetime of fishing. I will obey and Christ shall have dominion and control."  I rode once in one of those huge tractors. The farmer, by moving just a few levers and controls, was able to pull a big corn picker out of the mud.  Talk about power and control. I don't suppose we will understand in time how precious these moments are.  We can only do our best to appreciate them now.