If you have read my blogs for any length of time you have realized that I love to walk on our local trail. It is on those walks that the Lord has spoken to me in numerous ways yielding more devotionals than I can possibly count. His goodness and mercy surround me and speak to me through His beautiful creation.
As the weather breaks into Spring, I have hit the trail as much as possible. The first couple of times I took along my Christian tunes and "plugged into" my phone and thoroughly enjoyed all the artists and their messages. However, one day as I walked along and the music changed from one song to another, I heard the birds singing quite loudly. It was at that moment I realized I was missing a very important performance that I so enjoy....the birds' song of joy!
I immediately "unplugged" and packed my phone into my pocket and for the remainder of my walk enjoyed hearing the birds serenading me back to my home! Even though I love my Christian tunes, it is so enjoyable just listening to those little creatures of God coming out from wherever they have been for the past months and hearing their tribute to their Creator God.
It reminded me that we should very carefully listen and watch for the unfolding of God's awakening of nature this time of year. As bulbs burst forth, trees bud and grass turns into a lush green carpet, don't miss the opportunity to view God in action right under your nose!
God bless, my friends!
Is it possible that most individuals look and act so much like the world that no one realizes they maintain the name of Christian? I continually reflect on the person of Lot, Abraham's nephew. When Abraham and Lot's left their homeland headed for Canaan, eventually their flocks and families became so numerous that strife began between the herdsmen of both men, Abraham, in Chapter 13 of Genesis, suggests they separate and go into different parts of the region. Abraham offered Lot the first choice of land and Lot chose the well-watered and beautiful landscape of the Jordan Valley. Abraham went towards Canaan.
As the story continues Lot makes his way closer and closer to the City of Sodom until he is actually living IN the City of Sodom. Really, Lot? After all the lessons your uncle has taught you about staying away from idol worship and the gods of other nations, you have moved INTO the City of Sodom? Not a good idea, Lot. A great deal of desensitizing is happening in Lot's life and his commitment to the Lord.
We might find ourselves getting caught up into the world's snares, thought processes or lifestyles without realizing we are straying too far from the fold. The world draws us in and because whatever we are doing is of the world, there isn't anyone to hold us accountable, or we certainly aren't listening to anyone who disagrees with our worldly action. After all, everyone we hang out with is doing the same things, right?
Beth Moore addresses a similar issue in the Esther study that I mentioned last week. Here's what Beth wrote:
"We're much like them. We too can become so steeped in our culture that we are almost indistinguishable from the world. We too can lose our sense of identity and forget who we are. Indeed, the fact that we can hide our Christianity assumes a certain amount of assimilation. I believe one of God's purposes in this journey is to help us recapture both our identity and identification as His children -- not so we can be obnoxious but so we can be influential."
Father God, help us to stand strong in the face of worldly temptation and those who seek to discredit us. May we shine as beautiful flowers among the weeds of this world to be an example to the great cloud of witnesses that are watching each day. May the wisdom, grace and mercy of our Almighty Father rain down upon us so that we may carry on the work you have for us to do and win souls for the Kingdom of God! Amen!
Our Women's Bible Study is currently undertaking the privilege of diving head first into the study of Esther. This curriculum was written and taught several years ago by Beth Moore. She is quite the writer and speaker and I'm almost positive most of you have heard of her, seen her on videos of her lessons or perhaps gone through a study or read a book written by her.
It's amazing what God has presented through her willingness to be a vessel for His use. There are constant "nuggets" of knowledge that I hold close from many good teachers, but I have earmarked a few of her statements that I would like to share. You might need to read them a couple of times to truly get the meaning, but let your mind and your heart be open to the message tucked within the lines.
This particular quote emerged to remind us that even those written into Biblical history had faults and failures, but God in His mercy forgave them, cleaned them up and used them for His greater good. I simply adore knowing that imperfect little me finds favor with the Father when I asked forgiveness. God is in the restoration business, friends and I'm so thankful He restores my soul! Thank you, Father, that your snapshots of me in the photo album of life show those moments when I have stood firm on the Rock foundation of Jesus Christ!
"Even those most serious about their pursuit of God and godliness fail to be perfect examples all the time. That's why God is busy conforming us into the likeness of Christ alone. None of the rest of us can bear the burden of constancy. The mystery is not that an earthly hero can still be flawed and fall to cultural pressures, but that God, in His mercy, chooses at times to retain only the snapshots He took when they were standing firm. Then, when students like us flip through the photo album of biblical figures, we can take those moments, if not their entire lives, as beautiful examples."