Today’s Scripture: But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.  2 Peter 3:18

My neighbor, Willie, loved growing watermelons. He grew them as a young boy in Mississippi and continued with his passion even when he moved to California.  Eventually, he moved to Ohio and every year he won many blue ribbons at the Coschocton County Fair for his watermelons. Willie was a great guy and very generous.  He always brought watermelons for the church family to enjoy. Watermelon after Wednesday night church – that’s a great memory!

But Willie didn’t just grow watermelons.  Willie grew in grace and in the knowledge of God’s Word. He began to understand the importance of being in church on Sundays and on Wednesdays.  He cared about growth; not just in the watermelon patch, but more importantly, in his spiritual walk.

Several weeks ago, Willie passed away at age 79. When I drove by his watermelon patch shortly after the funeral, there were no watermelon plants growing. Willie had been sick for the last few months of his life and was unable to get outside and tend his garden.

As I prayed with Willie’s wife, I thanked God for the privilege of walking beside Willie as he grew in knowledge and grace over the years.

Willie was generous with everything in life, watermelons included. God is generous with eternal life. He offers it freely to all. Have you accepted the gift He’s offering you? For so many reasons, it’s better than a championship watermelon.

It won’t surprise me to get to heaven and find Willie growing and sharing watermelons with everyone. In fact, I can picture his 6’6” frame with a big smile greeting me when I get there, holding out a big cold slice of juicy watermelon. I’m pretty sure he’ll have one for you too.

Devotional by Pastor Neal Dearyan