Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

““Then he said to the crowd, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?”
Luke 9: 23-25 (NLT)

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
Matthew 28: 18-20 (NIV)

It was Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023.

I was sharing a message of the hope of the Risen Christ—supported by musicians affirming that truth—at the Duck Pond at HCA Florida, North Florida Hospital. 

It was the thirty-fourth Easter Sunrise Service sponsored by the hospital. And the twenty-second time I was privileged to share a message of hope at that service. In addition to live attendance, it was broadcast on the hospital’s Facebook page.

I was humbled to share a memory that Easter morning about the man who had started that sunrise service and shared the message for twelve years before I stepped into his place, when he and his bride moved to Atlanta—Jim Sproull.

Later that Easter Sunday evening, his bride, Linda, called me to share that her precious Jim had just stepped into Heaven into the arms of God.

But not before Jim had planted seeds of the Gospel Good News of the saving hope of Jesus Christ in the hearts of God’s children here and throughout the world.

And also in my life, eventually leading to me accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord in 1982, assuring my eternal home with God in Heaven forever, after a comparatively few number of years here on earth.

Jim and I met in law school at the University of Florida fifty years ago. During a break between classes one day, while sitting outside at a concrete lunch table, Jim, a follower of Christ, handed me a business-size card. On one side was a picture of Jesus with these words printed next to Jesus’ picture—

“If we meet and you forget me, you have lost nothing:

But if you meet JESUS CHRIST and forget Him,

you have lost everything.”

I didn’t fully understand those words at the time, but over time with Jim, and my bride, her parents and a number of others planting seeds of a saving relationship with Christ, I accepted Christ as my Savior and Lord.

Jim’s identity was in his relationship with Christ. And through that identity, the two passages of Scripture, above, from the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, set forth his mission in life. 

And an example for all of us to follow—to take up our cross and follow Christ, to align our lives with Christ, and then to go and make disciples of Christ in all the nations every day of your life.

To be seed planters of His love, His hope, His eternal promise. We have a choice in the short time of our lives here on earth, as we prepare for the rest of our life which will last forever when our time here is over. 

The choice—to accept Christ as Savior and Lord and live forever with God, or to not accept Him and live forever without God. It’s a choice for us to make. A choice we should make now, remembering time is short, and we are not promised tomorrow.

Jim Sproull and a handful of precious others planted seeds in my life which led to my decision to accept Christ as my Savior and Lord, assuring that my eternity would be with God in Heaven. 

And for Jim and those others I am thankful. Eternally thankful.

Ray Boltz sings a classic song entitled “Thank You for Giving to the Lord.” Here are a few words he shares—

“…’You used to teach me Sunday school when I was only eight,
and every week you would say a prayer before the class would start,
and one day when you said that prayer, I asked Jesus in my heart.’
Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am a life that was changed.
Thank you for giving to the Lord. I am so glad you gave…
One by one, they came, as far as the eye could see;
Each life somehow touched by your generosity.
Little things that you had done, sacrifices made,
Unnoticed on the earth, in heaven now proclaimed…”

My friends, we are called to take up our cross and follow Christ. 

To focus our short lives here on earth, on what will be our life in eternity, not just for ourselves, but for all others. To lift lives around us, to Christ. To go and make disciples of Jesus Christ so their eternity is assured to be with Him in Heaven.

There is absolutely nothing more important in your life right now than making sure that you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. 

And nothing more important for you and me to do than to make sure of that for everyone else in the world. Nothing. 

Time to plant seeds. Now. 

In His Name–Scott

Sit back, tear up, and listen to this classic “Thank You for Giving to the Lord” by Ray Boltz, and then “Go and make disciples.”