Winter and Spring
It makes me laugh when I think back 30 years. We had just given our hearts to Jesus. Jesus was as fresh as spring in our lives. Everything was beautiful. The sun seemed to shine brighter, the birds sang a sweeter song and everything seemed to be more beautiful then ever. We shared our Jesus with everyone we knew and even those we didn't know. I remember our cars always had bumper stickers on them. They said things like "Jesus Loves You", "Jesus Saves", and "Try Jesus". I even wore a car bumper sticker on my jacket that said "Property of Jesus Christ". There was no shame.
I've lived in cold country all my life. I weathered cold hard winters where the wind and snow blew so hard we could barely set foot out of our home. Then spring came. The grass poked its green blades up from the thawing soil. And spring flowers started to show their colorful blooms. Birds returned from their winter hideaways in the South. We lived on a ranch in those days. New life was popping out everywhere. There were wobbly lambs and calves tripping over themselves. Chicks, ducklings and goslings followed each of their respective parents. Blue Birds, Yellow Birds and Robins begin claiming real-estate in the local trees.
Doesn't the arrival of spring after a hard winter demonstrate that time when we first received our new birth through Christ Jesus?
A friend once said to me; "I don't care for spring. All it does is bring winter." But you know we don't have to go back into the winter. We can keep the excitement, love and freshness of new birth alive in our lives. How? Well by reading and meditating on the Word of God. We need to renew our minds to the love of God every day. I've noticed that the righteousness of man brings worry and strife. I've seen people get so wrapped up in their church that they don't take time out to visit with their Lord and Savior. The winter ice begins to crisp around them when they fall into this. If your time alone with the Lord does not spring up new flowers of hope or if your religious works are drowning the garden that God has planted in your life; then you need to take a break and find out where it all went wrong. There are false teachings in the world today that will take us into winter again. They have their own form of righteousness, a righteousness that points to man rather than Christ. In the end only the righteousness of Christ Jesus can bring the spring back into our lives.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, Philippians 3:8-10 (NKJV)